Tortelli to sit out Houston SX

At the moment, Sebastien Tortelli is in the (909) undergoing therapy treatment for strained ligaments in his lower back.

“I went over the bars in the whoops during the first practice at New Orleans,” said Tortelli. “I twisted my back when I crashed, and I have some strained ligaments and inflamation in my back. I am seeing my chiropractor all this week.”

Though he probably could race this weekend, Sebastien is electing instead to play it safe and save himself for the outdoor nationals.

“I think I could ride, but there would be a chance to make it worse,” he added. “After Houston there is a weekend off, so I will come back at St. Louis. My main focus this year is motocross, and I am looking forward to a good outdoor series.”

Pleased with his SX performances, Tortelli is even more excited about his chances at the 250cc National Championship. Before Daytona, he and the rest of Team Honda spent the week doing some early outdoor series testing at Ricky Carmichael’s home in Tallahassee.

“I am really happy with the bike,” said Tortelli. “For an all-new bike with a new motor and new chassis, it is very good right from the start of testing. This is definitely the best bike I have ever ridden and I was very fast on it from the start of testing. Riding at RC’s house was the first outdoor riding I had done all year long.”

When asked about the prospect of racing the four-stroke CRF450R, Sebastien replied, “You know it is a great bike, but I will stay on a 250 two-stroke. Ricky rode it a little bit and I think he may bve thinking about riding at a few races, but I think that if you are going to race a four-stroke, you have to ride on 100% of the time. It has so much power and weight that you have to be completely comfortable on it to be competitive. RC was still a second or two faster on his two-stroke.”

And how fast was Sebastien? “I was only a second or so off of Ricky’s pace,” he said. “And that was on his home track. I think my chances in 2002 are very good!”