As usual when things get slow between races, the message boards start running wild with rumors. Since various Team Chevy Trucks Kawasaki riders figured prominently in this week’s rumors, we figured it was time to make a phone call or two and see what was up with each of them. Here goes…
Paul Carpenter: Yep, he broke his navicular after a step-off tabletop crash. Word from the Kawasaki crew is that he had settled in nicely on their supercross test track, and was extremely comfortable with the KX250F. He’s scheduled for surgery next Monday with Dr. Murphy (who has also operated on both of his teammates) and will have the bone pinned. Paul’s looking at a six to eight week recovery time, but fortunately he was already lined up for a tour of duty in the 125cc East series, so this shouldn’t be a huge setback.
James “Bubba” Stewart: Rumors had him aboard a 250cc two-stroke during testing this week, but apparently once the decision was made to ride a 125cc two-stroke during ’04, rather than a 250cc four-stroke, it left an inadequate amount of time to fully prepare for exploratory races on a 250cc two-stroke. While we can all dream about Bubba’s 250cc debut, the word we get is that there’s no chance of seeing him aboard one at Anaheim.
Michael Byrne: The Byrner had already put in the first rides on his KX250 following shoulder surgery, but a crash last week left him with a sprained wrist. The good news is, it’s a relatively minor injury…he’d have been able to race as soon as this weekend, if necessary. But in the meantime, he’ll be back on his bike next week, and should be back to full speed by Anaheim.
The team has also been doing night testing, to simulate conditions at Anaheim (which is less than 30 miles away). Bringing in lights to illuminate their SX test facility makes quite a spectacle for drivers who travel the I-15.