So, do you REALLY want to be a professional motorcycle rider?

So, do you REALLY want to be a professional motorcycle rider?





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Dr. Jose Borrero & Dr. Margarita Borrero.


Riding motorcycles is fun. But it can also be dangerous. If you do it long enough, chances are you’ll get hurt. Just ask any of today’s top riders! ALL of them have had injuries at one time or another.



This article shows photos from a surgical procedure: WARNING: Some of these pictures are VERY GRAPHIC! Viewer discretion is advised.



The most common injuries in motocross happen to the knee, ankle, collarbone, and wrist. The photos below show part of what Rick Johnson went thru with a wrist injury. You might think ‘Oh, a simple wrist injury’. But this type of injury can ruin a career as it did for Rick.



The surgery shown was a five hour procedure done in 1991. It involved taking bone from the hip, along with metal parts, and inserted into the wrist. The ‘dead’ wrist bone came out like wet tissue paper. The photos were taken by John Fritz.



Rick’s injury happened at the first national in 1989. It was at Gainesville Florida. In practice, Rick rolled over a double jump to try and stay low and keep up his speed. Danny Storbeck hit it fast and doubled it, and then landed on the back of Rick’s arm. That pushed Rick’s arm underneath the handlebar, breaking the wrist in several places, and dislocating several bones.



The first surgery was done that night in Gainesville. The doctor did a great job of putting Rick’s wrist back together. But Rick had a strong desire to get back on the bike as soon as possible to salvage the season, and try to please his factory, sponsors, friends, fans, and family.



Rick made a mistake. He came back too soon. He did win some races that year, but it wasn’t his ‘normal’ season. The next year he came back expecting to be 100%. He was taking anti-inflamatories to try and keep his hand in shape, along with seeing doctors all over – San Diego, Wyoming, Colorado, Los Angeles, and more. Every doctor said the same thing – ‘Your wrist is junk. You need to stop racing.’ And they all recommended the surgery that’s shown here that fuses the wrist together.



Rick continued to ride and race. But he had problems with pain, swelling, and not having the ability to control what his hand did. The final straw was at the San Diego supercross in 1991. Rick lost grip with his throttle hand, and shot off the track. He decided he had done all he could to improve that wrist. It was time to retire from professional racing.



Rick hooked up with Dr. Jose Borrero. Dr. Borrero is one of the top wrist surgeons in the world. He looked at Rick’s wrist and felt the area. He knew that the wrist had already started ‘non-union’. Non-union is when the bone is trying to heal, but it never calcifies and gets hard. The bone continues to stay soft. It’s a painful condition, and the area has no stability.



After retiring from racing, Rick didn’t ride for a few years. He did do motocross schools with Yamaha, but he didn’t ride at all. He struggled mentally with not being able to enjoy something that had brought him so much joy every day of his life. The emotional pain was now much harder than the physical pain. Many people think motorcycling is just a young person’s sport, and you’ll eventually grow out of it. But the emotional difficulty of being one of the sports top riders, and then suddenly having to stop is tough.



Fast forward a few years now …. Rick still loves motorcycles and enjoys riding today! He’s got quite a few bikes …. Honda CR 125’s, Honda CR 250’s, a Yamaha YZF, and a couple of Harleys. He doesn’t have the mobility in the wrist area, but he can ride pain free, and loves it.



Rick credits Jim Autio with his ability to ride and enjoy motorcycles today. Jim is the founder of BIONX. It’s a nutritional supplement that helps the body in many ways, including tissue repair. Check out BIONX by clicking here. If you ever purchase any of their products, reference code 1008 or Supercross.com Many top riders, Olympic athletes, cyclists, and triathletes use and endorse the product. (We’ll have more on BIONX in the future.)



Would Rick Johnson change anything that happened to him? Absolutely not! Professional motorcycle racing has provided him with so many things in life that he cherishes. Friendships, life experiences, feelings of success, and failure, and much more.



Motorcycles are fun. But use good judgment in what you do. Injury can happen.











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Power tools are not used only in the garage. Here they are taking bone from Rick’s hip to place in his wrist.



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Close up of the hip area.



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Putting the bone from the hip into the wrist.



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Completion of the wrist.



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Waking up, but still out of it.
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Another shot of the hip area.



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Inside of Rick’s wrist. Nice!



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Closing up the wrist with staple gun.



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Five hours later, the surgery is over.



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Rick riding his CR 125 at Lake Perris Motocross Park in late 1999.



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Rick and Jeremy McGrath at Lake Perris Motocross Park in late 1999. Jeremy broke a bone in his wrist in 1998.



Daytona 2001 Photo Feature

Daytona 2001 Photo Feature


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Overview of Daytona supercross track
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Brown, Pastrana, Vohland celebrating
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Brown, Pastrana, Vohland
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250 start
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LaRocco, Carmichael, Lusk
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KTM’s Brock Sellards (yes, the track has grass!)
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Balls of Steel performers
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Daytona is many things, including lots of Harleys
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Mike Brown
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250 winnner Ricky Carmichael
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The sandy white beaches of Daytona
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Daytona Beach pier
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Coming into Daytona International Speedway
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Tim Ferry after a fall
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Honda’s exhibit
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Jeremy McGrath
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Jeremy McGrath
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Grant Langston – he rode a 250
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Grant Langston after a fall
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Mike LaRocco
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Mike LaRocco
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Mike LaRocco
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Ezra Lusk
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Ezra Lusk
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This is what Bike Week is like away from the race track!
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More ‘scenery’
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More
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More
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Jeremy McGrath – the champ didn’t look at home in the sand
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Nick Wey
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Nate Ramsey
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A start
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Another start
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Another start
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Bike Week scenery
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Travis Pastrana
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Travis Pastrana – he won the 125’s easily
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Tallon Vohland
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David Vuillemin
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Nick Wey
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Kevin Windham
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Kevin Windham
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Ricky Carmichael – dominated the 250’s
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Damon Bradshaw returned to racing – at least for a while. He rode practice, but did not race
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Travis
 




Photo credits: LV, TFS

Interview: Privateer Power – Erick Vallejo

Interview: Privateer Power – Erick Vallejo





Interview: Privateer Power - Erick Vallejo - Photo 1 of 2







Birthday: March 20, 1979



Hometown: Monterey (Mexico)



AMA National number: 179



Favorite music: Pop/Rock



Favorite TV show: Martin



Favorite food: Mexican



Hometown while in the USA: Tustin (California)



Years racing: 16



Favorite track: Budds Creek








FRIENDS & FAMILY: I have a younger brother who is 12 years old. An older brother who is 23. And a sister who is 25. Of course there is my mom and dad too. I have a girlfriend, and we’ve been dating for five months now. Her name is Elvira, and she’s 18 years old. She lives back in Monterey. I have a pet dog (German Sheppard) named Goliath.



There are a lot of people that have helped me get here today. South Bay Motorsports, Pacific Collision Centers, Shoei helmets, AlpineStar boots, Troy Lee Designs, Bridgestone tires, Pro-Circuit Racing, Dragon, Tag Metals, SunStar sprockets, and CruiseAmerica. There are also people behind the scenes that help a great deal. Steve from Pacific Collision Centers, Troy Lee, Mitch Payton, my mom and dad especially, and Marc Burnett. Marc is the main guy that’s helped put all this together for me for this year. I’d like to thank him so much. He called me up before the season started and said ‘Hey, I can help you with your racing’. Like I say, he’s helped me so much and has really put all this together for me.





PAST, PRESENT, & FUTURE WITH RACING: I got into racing because my dad always liked motorcycles. He started my older brother first. And then I just followed along. My dad bought me my first bike. At first I was scared to race, because the first time I did I crashed. Then I didn’t ride again for a month. When I was younger, I was also into basketball and soccer, but not so much anymore.



When I got to the top of the 80cc class, both my day and I thought ‘This is where this racing will stop’. I was a good amateur rider here in the US. I moved up to 125 Intermediates, and I started making some good results.



Interview: Privateer Power - Erick Vallejo - Photo 2 of 21997 was my first supercross race as a pro. I finished 14th. My dad was really happy, and that’s when we decided we would keep on going. My best finish so far was fourth in Houston in 1999. Last year (2000) was a very up-and-down year for me. And this year hasn’t started out as we all would like. Right now, my confidence is building up, so I feel very good about the rest of the season.



Racing is pretty much full time, 7 days a week. If I ever can get one or two days off, I try to just rest.



One big advantage that a lot of the top factory riders have is their own supercross tracks. I think it makes a difference when you can practice on a supercross track whenever you like.



My racing goals over the next five years are to hopefully get on a factory team. And I’d like to have a few wins. But I also have plans outside of racing. I plan to have my own business back home, and that’s something I’ve been working on as well.





TRAINING: I ride three or four times per week. The best time riding is when I get on the bike and don’t think too much and just try to have fun. I try to run every day. I do weight training before the season starts, but once it starts I lay off the weights. I ride my mountain bike every day, and always do something that works on cardiovascular.





EDUCATION: My best times in school were as a senior in high school. I went to my first two years of high school in Houston (Texas), and the last two years I went back to Monterey. Right now I’m still continuing my education. I’m working towards a Business Administration degree, and that will be my career after racing. I like school. It’s fun, and I have a lot of friends there. It’s very different than this racing environment.







Special ‘Thanks’ to Miss Elissa O’Keefe for her help putting this together.



Lights! Camera! Action!

Lights! Camera! Action!

Here are photos from the first race of the year at Edison International Field in Anaheim California. Jeremy McGrath was the winner in the 250 class. Ernesto Fonseca was the winner in the 125 class. It was a sell-out, with 45,050 people in the stands.



250 Results:



1. Jeremy McGrath – YAM

2. Ezra Lusk – HON

3. Ricky Carmichael – KAW

4. Mike LaRocco – HON

5. Travis Pastrana – SUZ

6. David Vuillemin – YAM

7. Stephane Roncada – KAW

8. Kevin Windham – SUZ

9. Nick Wey – YAM

10. Mike Craig – HON

125 West Results:



1. Ernesto Fonseca – YAM

2. Danny Smith – SUZ

3. Justin Buckelew – YAM

4. David Pingree – KTM

5. Ivan Tedesco – HON

6. Shae Bentley – KAW

7. Rodrig Thain – SUZ

8. Tyler Evans – HON

9. Casey Lytle – KAW

10. Andrew Short – KAW




JEREMY MCGRATH: Made a few mistakes in his qualifier and in the main. But once he was in the lead he pulled away to win convincingly.



EZRA LUSK: Away from supercross for one year. A very strong showing. Looked good.



RICKY CARMICHAEL: He wanted to win, but rode smart to make the podium. It’s a long season. Expect Ricky to win some too.



MIKE LAROCCO: Steady. Consistent. Hard charging as always.



TRAVIS PASTRANA: Fan favorite. First time on the 250. Looked very impressive in his qualifier, coming from back in the pack to finish second behind Lusk in heat 1.



DAVID VUILLEMIN: One of those nights where things didn’t go as planned.



STEPHANE RONCADA: Also first time in the 250’s. Gained valuable experience for the series. Leader in the main early on.



KEVIN WINDHAM: Looked great in winning heat 2 over McGrath. Poor start in the final.



NICK WEY & NATHAN RAMSEY: Both made their first showing for Yamaha of Troy in the 250 class. Will switch to 125’s for the East events.



SEBASTIEN TORTELLI: Did not race, he injured his shoulder in daytime practice.









Click on the images for a larger view…



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Action! Ezra Lusk and David Vuillemin. MC, Windham and RC. Ricky and Kevin twice.





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Danny Smith





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The pits – Kawasaki big rig, Jeremy McGrath mascot, Suzuki truck and pit area, and David Vuillemin & friends.





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Mike LaRocco





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Travis Pastrana





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Nick Wey on a YZ 250





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Kevin Windham





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Shae Bentley





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Justin Buckelew





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Ricky Carmichael





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Ernesto Fonseca





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KTM’s factory bike, and the KTM Jr. Kids being stars for a day.





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McGrath silenced critics in round 1!





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Ezra Lusk





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McGrath, Lusk and Carmichael on the podium.




Interview: Ryan Hughes

Interview: Ryan Hughes





Interview: Ryan Hughes - Photo 1 of 1You are not riding right now, what happened?



RYAN: I had to get my wrist fixed. I had the doctor go into the wrist that I broke at the beginning of the 2000 season and take out a few pieces of metal and make it pain-free. It’s a good time for it since I’ll be racing the four-stroke outdoors. I won’t miss any races.





How did this new relationship with American Honda come about?



RYAN: I was having a few problems over in Europe. After the Motocross des Nations I came back to the US and started checking around to see what type of responses I could get. They came back positive, and Honda stepped up with this offer for me. I was actually surprised how good their offer was. I just couldn’t pass it up. And to come back and race in the US ….. it’s good!





So what is your deal with Honda?



RYAN: Of course it’s racing, but it’s more than that. It’s development and testing of our new bikes – four strokes, two-strokes, 125’s, everything, along with racing the nationals. It’s like two jobs in one. For me, it’s great. I won’t be racing supercross, so I’ll just be doing 12 races. At this point in my career, doing 28 races in a year is pretty tough. Possibly I can extend my career a bit more now.





What is the difference between racing in the US and racing in Europe?



RYAN: There is a lot of difference. Racing in Europe, the language is one big thing. The tracks are different too. The tracks are a lot smoother, faster and less technical. The tracks in the US are fast too, but they have more technical sections and more jumps. You have to have a different technique, but I feel that if you are fast, you’ll be fast anywhere.





What is the most embarrassing moment you’ve had on a bike?



RYAN: It’s not just one moment. I have to group them all together, and it would be getting hurt so much on bikes. Not any certain moment, just getting hurt is embarrassing. I want to succeed so bad, and I want to win so bad, and then you have to report to people that this is broken, or I have this injury …. it’s tough. That’s part of the racing life though.





What do you want to tell everyone in Europe?



RYAN: I’m going to miss all the friends we made in Europe. Some of the people I was involved with there just didn’t do business right. So I feel it’s not my fault that I’m not racing there. Yes, motorcycling is my dream, but it’s also a business. I can’t go thru what I went thru this year during next year. I had planned to race there again, but the business side of things didn’t work out.





The 2000 Motocross des Nations was …..



RYAN: A dream. A goal. An accomplishment of a lifetime.



I’ve been trying very hard since I was a kid …. it was one of my goals. My two goals were to win a des Nations, and a series championship. I’ve accomplished one of them. It means a lot to me.





You have a lot of fans that are kids. What do you want to tell them?



RYAN: Each day is a new day. Work hard at it. You’ll get out of life whatever you put into it. If you put in 50%, you’ll get 50% out. If you put in 100%, you’ll get 100%. Work every day, and make your life your dream. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t try too hard. Accept whatever happens to you on the track, whether it’s bad races or injuries. Make every day count.


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