Team Sobe Suzuki’s Tortelli Out For 6-8 Months

Former World Champion re-injures knee ¿ must undergo surgery

FLORENCE, Ky. (May 30, 2003) ¿ More tough news out of the Sobe Suzuki camp as star rider Sebastein Tortelli has been diagnosed with a knee injury ¿ the result of a practice session mishap at Round Three of the AMA/Chevy Trucks U.S. Motocross Championship last weekend at High Point Raceway in Mt. Morris, PA.

According to Tortelli, the injury will require surgery and will keep him on the sidelines for six to eight months. It is the same knee he injured early in the supercross season (Anaheim 3) and forced him to miss the remainder of the supercross season.

“This is so frustrating,” said Tortelli. “I’m feeling very bad right now. I worked so hard to come back, only to re-injure my same knee. It’s tough. I want to race so badly. And now I have to go through it all again.”

In two Outdoor National races this year (Glen Helen and Hangtown), Tortelli was in 10th place overall and gaining momentum. Sobe Suzuki Team Manager Roger DeCoster was equally upset about his fallen rider.

“I’m very bummed for Sebastien,” said DeCoster. “There’s two types of injuries: Ones that you can come back from and ride in pain, the other type you come back from and run the risk of re-injuring yourself and/or making the injury worse. I’m not saying Sebastien came back too early. It’s the rider’s decision, not the team’s decision.

“But we just have to work together now to get him through this tough time and back to being healthy.”

Tortelli hasn’t set a date yet for his surgery. His ballpark seven-month plan would put him back on a bike just one month prior to the 2004 supercross opener at Anaheim.

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