Jack looks back on a painful visit to Austin.
It’s been a fairly crazy week since Argentina last weekend, and it’s hard to believe everything that has happened in just a few days. Even getting out of Argentina to get to Texas was a story in itself – I’ll get to that – but it was so disappointing to injure myself in practice on Friday and have to miss the race in America. I love the track in Texas and I’ve had some good results there in the past, so getting back on the bike after Argentina and letting a good result slip there was something I was looking forward to. In the end, I had to watch the race like everyone else.
My crash in Friday practice was one of those you play through your mind a lot afterwards. It was right at the end of the lap, Turn 18, where you’re leaned over on the right side of the tyre for a long time. I was on an out lap to start a new run, the tyre was a bit cold, and I was just pushing that bit too hard, and you saw what happened next. A big old highside and a pretty fast one too. It shows you how fine the margins are and I paid a big price for stepping over it.
I tried to keep going on Saturday but the risk was too big, so I pulled out just before qualifying and spent a fair bit of Saturday afternoon in the Clinica Mobile at the circuit. Because I already had the injury with my ankle before the season, the foot swelled up like a balloon, and when it was in the boot when I was riding on Saturday – it’s such a physical track anyway in Texas and the changes of direction were pretty difficult, so there was no sense in making it worse. The biggest thing now is being patient enough to let it heal, and get as much physio on it as I can this week. I don’t want to make too many predictions about Jerez and the next race yet, because we need to see how the rehab is first.
The plan was to head back to Europe after two weeks away straight after the race on Monday, but because of the accident and how badly my foot has swelled up, I’m staying in America this week and going across to Los Angeles. I’m going to work with a physio and doctors there and not attempt to fly back to Europe until the swelling has gone down, more swelling at the moment isn’t something I want to risk with a long flight. I’ll be in LA for the next week most probably, and then head back to Europe and probably go straight to Jerez.
So much has happened over the past few days that I’d almost forgotten about how long it even took us to get to Texas from Argentina and the last race last weekend. Maybe that’s not a bad thing! The weather was bad on the Monday after the race in Argentina, and it was a bit of a nightmare to be honest. I was with the whole team and we were booked on a charter flight, but the weather hit and we changed airports. Then the weather followed us, we couldn’t fly, we were on buses … it was one thing after another, and it wasn’t only us – so many people in the paddock had stories about the dramas they’d gone through just to get to Texas. I know it took us three days to do one day of travelling, and I lost count of the amount of times we got on and off buses and planes. After all that, we make it there, and then I don’t end up riding …
It was pretty weird to be at a track and not be racing on a Sunday, but I ended up being asked to do some TV for BT Sport, which was actually pretty fun. Saying that, I swear being a media person is the easiest job in the world. Sitting around nice and comfortable, talking about bikes … no, I’m joking. I actually quite enjoyed it but I hated having to watch the race and not ride in it, so I hope I don’t get to have another go at doing TV too soon.
Being injured again – my first thought was frustration more than pain or even anger to be honest. The bad luck with injuries just seems to keep dragging on and on. It sounds like such a small thing, but I can’t wait to actually feel healthy again and not feeling like I’m riding around an injury or in rehab. That has to be the focus now because we’re three races in and I don’t want this to drag on and on. It’s disappointing to just get a couple of points out of these first three races because I know we can do a lot better, so the main thing is to get my body right, stay as positive as I can and then get back to Europe and hit the reset button on the season and start again. The season gets into a real rhythm once you get back to Europe, so I’m looking forward to that.
Catch you next time,
This story originally appeared on redbull.com.au
Photos courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool and Marc VDS.