May 11, 2001
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Thanks to Sears Point Raceway officials, there were seven additional sections of Air Fence at the AMA National to supplement the AMA's three pieces, but not everyone who needed the Air Fence found it. On the first lap of the Pro Thunder final, Ducati 748 racer Scot Dormier had a moment in the Carousel.<BR><BR>"The front started pushing," said Dormier. "I cracked the throttle open a little early in an attempt to get it back. With a relaxed stance on the bike and a little rear bias through throttle control, the save was looking good. That was until the new wider line caused by pushing the front took me over some of the ripples. Both the front and rear started to slide, and I held it up with my knee. I thought it was gonna make it, but the track won. The bike finally let go, and I went sliding."<BR><BR>Although Yoshimura Suzuki's Aaron Yates walked away from his 100+ mph head-first impact into Air fence in turn 10, Dormier was not so lucky. "I saw the haybales coming up fast," said Dormier in a May 10 e-mail to Roadracing World May 10. "I knew broken bones would not be avoided. While I wasn't happy about it, I was relieved to be hitting legs/feet first. After hitting, the pain was intense, but limited to my left leg and ankle. I scraped my way as far off the track as possible without moving my left leg, and proceeded to be extremely happy that I hit feet first. Any other way would have meant a much worse fate. Air Bales might have been nice here though! I may have walked away."<BR><BR>The Pro Thunder race was red flagged as there was no way to get medical attention to Dormier safely. Dormier talked about his injuries, saying, "The damage was a dislocated ankle and broken talus bone in my ankle/foot. Before surgery there was an 85 percent chance of requiring a fusing of the ankle. Afterward, and after a screw to hold the bone together again, the odds look much better for a full recovery. In six to eight weeks we should know more."<BR><BR>According to Henry Gray's "Anatomy of the Human Body" (1918), the talus is the second largest of the seven tarsus bones in the foot/ankle joint. The talus supports the fibula leg bone and interacts with the tibia, fibula, calcaneus, and navicular bones. <BR>