Talking Point: One day, three shoulders.
Injuries are the worst part about motocross. And on Saturday the 30th May the injury bug struck again, this time against two of the biggest names in the sport, in two different championships, right at the prime of their careers.
First up was Clement Desalle in MXGP who while on a slow lap in qualifying hit a rock with his front wheel on take-off of a jump and dislocated his shoulder. This was looking like Desalle’s best chance of a title of his career and he had played it perfectly so far this season. Then, while not even pushing he ends up dislocating his shoulder and going from 4 points to 41 points down to Max Nagl.
It’s one thing to crash when you are pushing hard, but when it was due to a rock just rolling into the wrong place at the wrong time it’s even harder to accept. Desalle never looks like he is riding on the edge and this injury did not occur because he pushed too hard. Sometimes even when you do everything right, it still goes wrong, and that’s what makes it so hard to accept.
Luckily for Desalle he doesn’t need surgery on the shoulder and he should be able to race the remaining rounds of the championship. But let’s not get carried away, Desalle won’t be fully fit for a few weeks and it’s going to be very hard now to win the title.
Undefeated to out for the season in a couple of seconds. That’s heart breaking reality for Eli Tomac. The Geico Honda man had not just won but dominated all five motos of the US National championship series and was on his way to a sixth in a row when he threw it away big time on a rough downhill.
Tomac managed to injure both shoulders, dislocated one and tore the rotator cuff on the other. And just like that his championship and his season was over. Even more frustratingly for Geico Honda is the fact that Tomac is reportedly signing for Kawasaki next season and therefore this was Geico Honda’s best chance they had to win a 450 national championship and now the dream is gone.
Tomac rides more on the edge than Desalle so in a way it wasn’t surprising he crashed, but no-one thought he would crash that hard and end his season. But he really didn’t need to be pushing that hard, he already had the race won. That’s what will frustrate Tomac the most!
However Tomac is young and wants to make a point every time he hits the track. We have already seen in Supercross how crashes ended Tomac’s title aspirations and he’s had a few crashes at the MXDN too. But things were going so well for Tomac outdoors this season that you though that he may just get away with it this time! Quite frankly the only way Dungey or even Roczen was going to beat Tomac was if Tomac crashed.
Unfortunately that’s what happened but no-one, even his rivals, wanted to beat Tomac this way. It robs the fans of seeing a great rider in his prime too.
The one silver lining in the big grey cloud for Tomac may be the fact that he has learnt a valuable lesson – don’t push harder than you need too. If Tomac realises he only needs to go as fast as the guy in second to win, then this setback may be the making of his career and Eli could go on to win a lot of titles.
Time will tell, but right now both Desalle and Tomac are hurting physically and emotionally. Sometimes the best sport in the world can be the most cruel.
Hopefully there be no long term damage for either rider and they can get back to riding at their full potential and going for more championships. Get well soon Clement and Eli!
Article: Jonathan McCready