Jack writes about playing the long game after missing Brno.
There was some good news out of being at Brno last weekend and not racing – my body is starting to feel better after the crash in Austria and I should be close to being completely right for Silverstone in two weeks. But you can imagine what I’m like when I’m at a track and can’t race, and it was a shame to miss out, especially with it being a wet race in the end. The old wet races have been pretty good to me this year …
I’m getting better day by day, and it feels good to let the body heal. I can’t think too much about the two races I’ve missed; it’s more important to get ready and get better for Silverstone and take it from there.
I’ve got a hairline fracture in my right wrist which isn’t great, but the back injury is the worst of them because it’s affecting everything, which having three broken vertebras in your back would. Sleep has been pretty hard, and doing anything still for a long time makes me sore. It’s been more comfortable – slightly anyway – sleeping on the couch rather than the bed, so I’ve been doing that.
I got to Brno from Austria and was pretty optimistic that I’d be cleared to ride, and that happened – sort of. One doctor said I could ride, but two others said that it was probably best not to. My team, my management and I then had to come to a decision as to what we did for the weekend. We had a meeting, me, Livio (Suppo) from HRC, my team boss Michael (Bartholemy) and my manager Aki Ajo. I wanted to ride and that was always going to be my decision if it was left completely up to me, but we made a group decision that I shouldn’t do this one because it was too much of a risk. One more accident with being as sore as I am, and that has a much bigger impact on the rest of my season. I didn’t like the call, but I get it. My vote was yes, but it was three against one, so there’s not much you can do there!
In a lot of ways, it was a boring weekend for me as you’re not on the bike for one, but also because you usually get into the rhythm of the weekend and they follow their own path with everything we do at the track. Being at the track, watching it all go on like usual and not being a part of it … it definitely sucked a bit. I went out on the scooter and watched different bikes from different corners, watched what the other riders do, looked at things from other angles – there’s always something you can learn. It’s always frustrating not riding, but you can get something else out of it, and I just have to be practical about it, be calm, and not get too down. I did some TV commentary too – I talked a bit of rubbish with BT Sport in the UK for FP4 and gave them some thoughts on the riders and what not, and then did an interview on the grid before the race with Cal (Crutchlow), which was a bit of fun. I’m taking no credit for his win, but I made a pretty good guess …
Unlike a lot of the other injuries I’ve had, especially with my foot earlier this year, there’s not a lot I can do besides rest and recover before Silverstone in two weeks – it’s not like there’s some extensive rehab plan I have to follow, it’s pretty easy. I’ll need to spend some time in the hyperbaric chamber, and unfortunately I have to wear a corset until Silverstone, if I can put up with it for that long. It’s not much of a fashion statement!
When my back feels a bit better I can up my training again, and I’m pretty confident that will be soon because I feel a lot better than when I first got to Brno in the middle of the week. If it keeps going like that, then I’ll be good for Silverstone for sure, and I’ll probably wish it’ll be next weekend and not the one after. I’ve got to be patient – it’s not something I’m great at, but it’s the right path for now. And then get back into it for Silverstone and hopefully find that momentum after the three top-10s and go from there.
Thanks for all the messages from back home, and catch you next time.
This story originally appeared on redbull.com.au
Photos courtesy of Mirco Lazzari