MotoAmerica: Paasch Breaks His Back Training On Motocross Bike (Updated)

MotoAmerica: Paasch Breaks His Back Training On Motocross Bike (Updated)

© 2023, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

Two-time Daytona 200 winner Brandon Paasch broke his back Thursday morning while training on his motocross bike at Orlando MX Park in central Florida.

“It’s a local track I’ve been training at all winter on my KTM 250,” Paasch exclusively told Roadracingworld.com. “Obviously, I know the layout pretty well. When I usually go there it’s all deep and rutted up, but when I went there today, it was all freshly prepped. I also had a new sand tire on the back compared to what I’ve been running.

“I went out first lap and rolled everything just like I always do to check everything out and make sure nothing’s changed. Second lap, coming around I hit the big double in the middle the same as I always do. It’s usually the top of fourth gear wide open.

“As soon as I took off I looked down and was like, ‘Oh, f***!’ I knew I was overshooting it. I landed flat from probably 50 feet in the air. I rode it out. I rode back to my van and pretty much slung my leg over the bike and laid down because I couldn’t stand up or sit up or anything and just waited for the ambulance to show up and take me to the hospital.”

 

Brandon Paasch in the hospital in Florida. Photo by Darian Briody.
Brandon Paasch in a Orlando Regional Medical Center in Florida. Photo by Darian Briody.

 

At the hospital, Paasch was diagnosed with a compression fracture of his L3 vertebra in his lower back.

“I’m still in the hospital right now,” said Paasch. “I don’t think it’s going to require surgery. So that’s a positive. And I still have feeling in my legs and I can move my feet everything. So, I got pretty lucky, I guess. I’m just waiting for one more X-ray and hopefully get a back brace, and they’re potentially going to send me home tonight if everything checks out.

 

A scan of Brandon Paasch's spine clearly shows the fracture in his L3 vertebra. Image courtesy Brandon Paasch.
A scan of Brandon Paasch’s spine clearly shows the fracture in his L3 vertebra. Image courtesy Brandon Paasch.

 

“Obviously, I’m sad and a bit down about it because it’s something so stupid. It could have easily been avoided and it should have been avoided. But sh*t happens. I made a mistake.

“Now, it’s full focus on recovery and figuring out what we need to do to get back and when we can race again. That was my first thought. As soon as I was getting put into the ambulance, ‘Where does this leave us for Road Atlanta? How long is it going to take recovery-wise?’ That’s where my head’s at. I’m keeping it positive and looking toward the future in a good way and hoping we can come back stronger and still fight for some race wins this year.”

After unsuccessfully defending his 2022 Daytona 200 crown on a TOBC Racing Triumph 765 earlier in March, Paasch has been preparing for his second season racing an Altus Motorsports Suzuki GSX-R1000R in the 2023 MotoAmerica Stock 1000 Championship and Superbike Cup.

 

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