Sebastien Tortelli update
We ran into Seb practicing at Glen Helen Raceway. We asked him to give us an update, and here’s what he had to say:
This past week I got back on the bike for the first time in a long time. I had a knee injury that kept me out of supercross. Actually, I injured my ACL and PCL (Anterior Cruciate ligament and the Posterior Cruciate ligament) back in January of 2003. I had it fixed twice, but unfortunately it was not fixed properly. I’ve been out a full year. With the initial injury, it’s not so much pain, but a lack of stability in the knee area.
The more I stayed out of racing, the more my desire to come back. I enjoy pushing myself hard, training, practicing, and now hopefully back to racing.
Over the past few months, I’ve trained as hard as I can to get back in physical shape before getting back on the bike. Right now, my plan is to return to professional racing at the Red Bud national motocross on the Fourth of July. I’ve got a month to get ready, but I’ll see how everything feels as I work towards that goal. I might do a tune up race at Mammoth, but Red Bud will be a tough first race back, because it’s a sandy, rough, and fast track.
I’ve been racing almost 20 years. Racing is my life. It’s what I know, and what I love. Being off the bike for so long, I can now really appreciate racing even more. One of two things will happen when a professional racer has a lot of time off from racing due to injury. Either they will become comfortable in not racing, and be that much closer to retiring, or they still want to race. If you still want to race, hopefully it will increase the desire to come back and go thru the pain of training and such.
1995 was my first year professionally, and my first in the Grand Prix series. It was also the first year I came to America to train and ride. I learned a lot, and started riding supercross. I’ve come to the United States ever since. In 1996 I won the 125 World Motocross Championship. In 1997 I did a few supercrosses here, then I went back to Europe to ride the 250 class, but got hurt. In 1998 I won the 250 World Championship.
Now, I’m going to ride as much as I can. It’s one thing to be in shape physically, but another to be in shape for racing professionally. Youdefinitely get a different kind of training and beating on the bike – your hands, arms, legs, back, neck, …. it’s a much more violent way of getting shape. That’s part of racing motocross.
I love racing. It’s what I have in my heart, and I’m lucky enough to be able to show that on the motorcycle. Training is part of it, but racing is the best. You are behind the gate and you’ve got at least 20 other guys that you want to try to finish in front of.
Some might say I’ve had some rough times lately, but I’m back healthy now and that’s all that matters. My desire is up, and I’d like to go out and race to the best of my abilities.