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Mar 9, 2002

Anthony Gobert Will Race Sunday, Aaron Gobert Won't Race For A While

Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By David Swarts<BR><BR>According to Yamaha Team Manager/Crew Chief Tom Halverson, Anthony Gobert will race in Sunday's Daytona 200 and Aaron Gobert will remain in the Intensive Care Center of Halifax Medical Center for "at least a couple more days".<BR><BR>Fighting a nasty case of food poisoning himself, Halverson admitted that he had not seen Aaron Gobert but had received reports from Gobert's mother, Sue Gobert, and from Aaron Gobert's girlfriend, Melanie, who are both by his side at the hospital. At 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time Saturday, March 9, Halverson said that Anthony Gobert was in Yamaha's hospitality suite at the Speedway watching the AMA Supercross race.<BR><BR>When asked to clarify the wide range of reports concerning Aaron Gobert's condition, a pale Halverson took a deep breath before starting the list of injuries.<BR><BR>According to Halverson, Aaron Gobert has a badly broken right leg (both tibia and fibula) which was operated on late Friday night/early Saturday morning by a local doctor; a broken ankle on his left leg that did not require surgery; two broken vertebrae that have not caused paralysis or required him to be fitted with a head-immobilizing device called a "halo"; a broken collarbone, but Halverson did not know which side; and "a lot of bad abrasions". Halverson said that both of Aaron Gobert's lungs collapsed from multiple rib fractures but both had been re-inflated.<BR><BR>"This morning he was breathing on his own, conscious and talking a little bit," said Halverson of Aaron Gobert.<BR><BR>When asked what happened in the crash that took out two of his team's Supersport riders, Halverson relayed what he had been told by Anthony Gobert. Halverson said that Anthony Gobert told him he knew that Aaron Gobert was going to crash coming out of the chicane. Anthony said that he was set up to pass Aaron on the inside but decided to go around the outside, between Aaron and the wall, at the last moment and didn't make it. <BR><BR>According to what Halverson said he saw watching a videotaped replay of the race, Tommy Hayden practically crashed trying to avoid hitting Aaron Gobert but unavoidably ran over the 21-year-old Aussie.<BR><BR>Aaron Gobert was unconscious at the scene but regained consciousness and became combative (typical of riders with serious concussions) when he regained consciousness in the emergency room. Doctors then sedated Aaron Gobert brother before diagnosing and treating his more severe injuries.<BR><BR>Meanwhile, Anthony Gobert suffered a deep puncture wound near his neck, which exposed the collarbone. Halverson reported that medical personnel were more concerned about a possible spinal injury and put Anthony Gobert in a neck brace and on a back board before addressing the puncture wound. This resulted in early reports of a suspected compound collarbone fracture. Halverson stated firmly that Gobert did not break his collarbone. While Halverson spoke, the Yamaha crew was practicing pit stops behind the team's garage.<BR><BR>Of his visit to Halifax Medical Center, Halverson said, "They didn't have enough staff. As long as you were alive and breathing, they pretty much left you alone. Anthony was alone in a room for a long time before he was seen by a doctor. That's pretty weak if you ask me."<BR><BR>Because of so many injured Bike Week streetriders, Halverson likened what he saw at the hospital at 9:30 p.m. Friday night to a scene out of a war movie. "There were two chaplains there from the MRO and another from the Speedway, and they looked really worn out."