Travis Pastrana continues to struggle, now with an injury that will keep him off the track for around two months. After the downtime from his sinusitis/tonsillitis, the SoBe Suzuki rider was hopeful and looking forward to starting a successful National season. However, those hopes were dashed with the first moto at Hangtown last weekend, where Travis crashed and broke the navicular bone in his wrist. A decade ago it would have been a career-ending injury, now it will put a rider out for two months. Hopefully we will see Travis back racing soon. We rang the young X-Games champ at home to see where he’ll go from here.
TransWorld Motocross: It’s terrible news to hear that you are injured.
Travis Pastrana: I was not on the pace coming back. Carmichael and the others are very fast right now. At the half-way point at Glen Helen and at Hangtown, I was so frustrated being so far back. I understand now that you have to take a fifth, or heck, even a tenth, once in a while. It’s just so frustrating being back that far!
TWMX: Did you get the injury in the first moto at Hangtown?
TP: Yeah, I did it in the first moto. I was ducking roost from Sebastien Tortelli and I was in that hunched-over position. I cart-wheeled all the way down the straightaway.
TWMX: Did you know that you broke something in your hand right away?
TP: Yeah, I was pretty sure. At the time, I was more disappointed than anything.
TWMX: What did your team manager, Roger DeCoster, have to say?
TP: You know, Roger has been really good to me. I know he is devastated. We worked so hard these last two weeks. Suzuki and Roger has put so much time and effort into me, it’s unbelievable. We were working everyday, all day, testing, and for something like this to happen, the whole morale just dies. Roger came up to me smiling and put his hands around my neck and started wringing my neck (laughter).
TWMX: It must be hard, because you have this great team of people in back of you, and you ride 110% for them. You do all the preparation, and something like this happens.
TP: Everyone was really encouraging me to just finish the race. It’s like anything; the harder you try the more you screw up. I will be back, though, it’s good.
TWMX: What are your plans for racing this summer?
TP: I will be lucky to be back by Washougal. At this point I want to be 100% when I come back. If I was in the points chase I would figure a way to get back out there. I think the biggest thing for the past two races is that I was not in good enough shape to run the pace the whole time, and in the back of my mind I knew that. When I come back, I want to be able to win.
TWMX: Do you know what you are going to do with your wrist at this point? The navicular bone is known for not getting the best blood flow for healing. Will you cast it and see what happens, or will you have it pinned together?
TP: I am getting an MRI done as soon as the swelling goes down, then they will see what the blood flow is like. If the bone is not going to be ready in six weeks, I will have it pinned. The doctors said that even if I do pin it, I will still have to wait six weeks until it is healed.
TWMX: What are you going to do for six weeks?
TP: Hey, I can still train. Physically, I want to get back to where I was before I got sick. I think I will be able to keep training even though I have the injury. I will be in great shape by continuing to do what I was doing before I got sick; I just won’t be riding my Suzuki for a while.
TWMX: I guess Sean Hamblin will be the only one carrying the SoBe Suzuki banner now?
TP: You know, Sean is really impressive. Everyone is really happy with Sean. They moved him into the semi this past weekend. Kevin Windham might be back for Southwick or by Budds Creek, but it’s not for sure yet. Hamblin is a great rider and he deserves to get the chance to prove himself. I think the team is working on getting Hurley from Australia.
TWMX: Personally, what do you think of Sean Hamblin?
TP: He is a great guy. I have raced him pretty much my whole life, and he is a hard worker and the guy is really dedicated. Right now, he knows where he is, and what he has to do.
TWMX: Well, I better let you go. I know you have some video games you have to master.
TP: Nothing better to do! Thanks for the call!