Sep 13, 2012
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Tommy Hayden on the AMA Pro Daytona SportBike podium earlier this season. Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy of AMA Pro Racing
Injuries Force Tommy Hayden To Sit Out Next AMA Pro Road Racing Round
Cypress, CA September 13, 2012 After being unexpectedly launched from his #22 Yamaha Extended Service/Graves/Yamaha YZF-R6 by water and dirt on the track at New Jersey Motorsports Park during AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike Race Two, veteran rider and fan-favorite Tommy Hayden will be unable to participate in The Big Kahuna Miami scheduled for the weekend after next at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Unfortunately, Tommy suffered a concussion in the violent crash, along with a third-degree separation of the AC joint in his right shoulder. On Sunday night following the incident, Tommy and his wife Christie changed their plans to return home to Owensboro, Kentucky, in order to fly directly to San Francisco to see well-known orthopedic surgeon Dr. Arthur Ting for evaluation and treatment of Tommy's injuries.
On Monday, Tommy had surgery on his injured shoulder, which included the insertion of a screw in the joint to repair and stabilize the damage. While being evaluated, Dr. Ting also discovered that Tommy had fractured two bones in his right foot, due to the crash. In addition, he was given a CT scan to determine the severity of his head injury. Thankfully, there was no intracranial hemorrhaging, and the effects of the concussion should subside.
As is often the case with concussions, Tommy experienced a lot of nausea, which occurred while he was on the six-hour plane flight to San Francisco, causing the 34-year-old rider even more discomfort than he had already been experiencing.
When asked about the incident, Tommy said, "At the very last second, I saw that something was on the track, but my front wheel was already almost there, so all I could do was hope for the best at that point. The water and dirt caused my rear tire to break loose, and I don't remember much of what happened after that, but I went down really hard on the top of my head and my right shoulder. I didn't even know I'd broken bones in my foot till Dr. Ting discovered it."
Commenting further on the situation, Tommy said, "It sucks when you crash, and it isn't your fault. I don't know if the cornerworkers didn't see the water in that corner or not, but hopefully, somebody's looking into that situation and comes up with a plan so something like that doesn't happen again. I'd heard that someone ran off the track on the lap before, and there was a bunch of water and dirt that got flung onto the track in that corner. I'm really not sure why no one saw that. Four riders went down in a split-second, and it shouldn't have happened."
Regarding the fact that Tommy won't be riding at Homestead-Miami Speedway in less than two weeks, Keith McCarty, Motorsports Racing Division Manager for Yamaha, said, "All of us on the team feel bad for Tommy, and we wish him well. As I said before, it was an unfortunate incident that should not have happened. Hopefully, Tommy will be able to come back strong at the final round in New Orleans."
Cameron Beaubier, Tommy's teammate and rider of the #6 Y.E.S./Graves/Yamaha R6, was also caught up in the incident. He said, "I saw the dirt and water on the track out of the corner of my eye, but it was too late. My bike snapped sideways, and I slammed right into Tommy's bike. Before I knew it, I was cartwheeling onto the track."
As far as injuries go, Cameron fared a little bit better than Tommy. He banged his right shoulder, right knee (the one that he broke earlier in the season), and foot hard on the track surface, but he doesn't think he suffered any broken bones. "Right now, I'm just really sore but, if things don't improve in a couple of days, I'll go and get myself checked out," Cameron said. "That was the biggest crash I've had so far in my career."
For more news, results, and other team info, be sure to check out Yamaha's Facebook page.