GEICO Motorcycle Road Racing’s Dane Westby was released from Halifax Medical Center Friday afternoon in Daytona Beach, Florida, but the Oklahoma rider will not take part in today’s Daytona 200. Westby’s team has enlisted former Daytona 200 winner Steve Rapp to ride in his place, but Westby is hoping to recover from his injury in time to ride at round two of the AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike Championship, May 31-June 2 at Road America. Westby crashed his Honda CBR600RR twice during the opening Daytona SportBike practice Thursday at Daytona and during the second crash he suffered an internal injury – a bruised and slightly lacerated spleen. Westby was hospitalized and held for observation overnight Thursday night, but he was released Friday and returned to his motorhome at the Speedway. “They had a red flag in between my two falls,” Westby told Roadracingworld.com. “I really cruised around [fast] on the red flag, and one of the corner workers was reprimanding me a little bit. So I was trying to go ultra slow. I guess I let the tire cool down, and when I went again I didn’t push it in the infield. And as soon as I got over there [to the chicane], it seemed like I was going sighting-lap slow, I wasn’t even on the brakes going in there and whoosh! “And I held onto the bike, the right handlebar, and [the bike] caught and the tank got me in the stomach when it flipped over. I was like, ‘I’m not really crashing. This isn’t happening.’ “At first they were telling me I wasn’t doing anything for eight weeks, which was freaking me out. Then another doctor said it would only be six weeks. But Josh Hayes is helping me get in touch with some doctors, and I’m going to go see them after we get out of here. I should be ready to go for Road America. I’m just really bummed that this happened and I can’t ride here.”
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