Damn, I didn’t realise how slack I've been with my blog - the last one I wrote was at the end of last year! Anyway, so much has happened since then, especially since I switched from the KTM530 EXC to the 250EXC-F to ride E1 in this year's Australian Off-Road Championship. It's always good to switch models or capacities because it keeps you excited and fresh for another year of racing.
My first race of the season was Rnd 1 & 2 of the AORC at Bulladelah. Being a hot humid and dusty race, I started out a bit steadier than I wanted with a 4th outright and 2nd in class in the cross country, then a 6th outright, 1st in class for the sprint. That's not how I'd expected to start the season so I decided to race a few of the NSW offroad rounds and local mx races to pick up on my racing speed. It was working well and I went into the next two rnds of the AORC feeling more confident.
The first day I won the E1class in the cross country, but that arvo I became pretty crook - throwing-up and everything - so I was just in survival mode the following day. I managed to salvage a few points in the sprint .
From there I had a week to recover and head to Alice for Finke, which turned out to be the most full-on experience I've had out there. You may have read my story in ADB mag, but long story short, I won my 4th Finke title but only after having the battle of my life with Toby Price on the first day - until I crashed and remounted with a busted-up hand! A few kilometres later I find him on the side of the track with an expired engine. It turns out he cooked a main bearing.
This left it up to me to suck up the pain and keep pushing through the last 80km of day one ... if I wanted any chance getting that Finke #4. It was a tough decision to get up and race the next day, especially when I had my other team mate Jarrod Bewley hunting me down ... but how do you pull out of a race when you're winning it? So I rode another 240km back to Alice with what I later found out was a broken hand and several torn ligaments.
It was great to get the win again after my DNF last year, but the reality of it all set in pretty quick as we're only half way into the season and my hand was f&$ked. I didn't waste another second and flew straight to Brisbane to see a specialist doctor and get my hand fixed up. After two days in Hospital, I came out in a medicated daze and my forearm was braced in this robotic looking cast. I got on a plane home and was recollecting how much had happened in the few days before, but the real concern now was to rest up and heal.
So it's been pretty ordinary to say the least over the last few weeks. I've had several x-rays and had the pins from my wrist removed. The docs say I'm making great healing progress so I'm looking forward to being able to start the rehab process on my wrist. It's pretty limp and I've lost a lot of range of movement but everything is in tact now which is the main thing. One thing I did enjoy believe it or not was actually getting to spectate at the A4DE in Mackay recently. I went along to help out my team and I really enjoyed the chance to watch (and hopefully learn how to go as fast as) Toby in the bush. I could really see how he does it now, so I just hope I can incorporate that into my own racing. Good news is I've had my hand out of its cast for one week and go back to Brisbane for my final X-ray next week. Hopefully I get the ok to ride again, because it's starting to get to me ... I'm hangin just to go for a trail ride!
Anyway, Ill keep my blog up to date a lot more as there is a lot going on with my recovery and up and coming races so next week ill let you know how the throttle hand is coping.