RJ: Mike, obviously you are sitting out right now with the hand injury. Where are you at in your recovery?
Mike: Right now I’m about six weeks out from the initial injury. I ended up dislocating the wrist. They operated, put a pin in it, fixed some ligaments, and put it all back together. The ligament damage is what takes so long for recovery. I should get the cast off maybe next week.
Then I’ll start rehab, and it’s hard to tell how long it will take after that.
RJ: Are you keeping in shape with running or cycling?
Mike: Yeah, I’m doing my cardio work. I try to do all that I can so I don’t lose any muscle or fitness. But it’s not the same without the bike and doing things for real.
RJ: What are you focusing on while you are not able to race?
Mike: I’m focusing on the outdoor series, since supercross is almost impossible. Best-case scenario is I can ride for the first time after Salt Lake City. There isn’t much sense in making the last round in Vegas. It’s better to prepare for the Nationals.
RJ: How hard is it to sit and watch? You were coming on strong in supercross. Everything was coming together: fitness, speed, starts, equipment, …. and now this. What does it do to you emotionally?
Mike: It’s tough. Real tough. The first two weeks I was really bummed.
I was feeling good in supercross. I was looking forward to having a good series. When it gets cut short the way it did, it even effects the Nationals. It’s always hard dealing with a serious injury no matter what time of the year it happens.
Now I’m working toward the future, getting my speed back, and let’s see what happens.
We have a really good formula with the Factory Connection/Amsoil/Dr. Martens team. We all work well together. We all rode together this past winter. Our Hondas are great.
RJ: You and Travis had the run-in, and you got hurt. I had a little run-in with Danny Storbeck that got my wrist hurt. And I know what I said to him at the time. What did you say to Travis?
Mike: I expressed my disappointment. That’s the ‘G-Rated’ version (both laugh). I wasn’t mad … I didn’t really know what happened. I just knew he was involved in it, and I was hurt. I knew it wasn’t intentional. But at the time … he was the first guy to take things out on. If it weren’t for him maybe I wouldn’t be here (with a cast) right now.
Of course I’m disappointed in what happened and how it happened. But that’s racing, and I have to move on from that experience.
RJ: When you got hurt, so many fans were disappointed too. They wanted to see you out there winning. They relate to you being on the circuit for a long time, and being a former National Champion. What can you tell them?
Mike: It is so great to have so many people behind me after all the years. The win at Anaheim was cool. So many people were so happy.
Obviously I’m disappointed too, but it’s not the end. I’m giving it another shot. I know I’ve got some good rides in me.