The Russian Motocross of Nations team could lose the presence of leading rider Wilvo Nestaan Husqvarna Racing’s Alex Tonkov after the rider suffered third degree burns through a collision with new MX2 FIM Motocross World Champion Jordi Tixier in Mexico last weekend.
On the first lap of the second moto Tonkov hit a jump take-off at good speed while holding a close second place behind the Red Bull KTM rider. Tixier admitted that he missed a gear in the approach to the leap and Tonkov could not avoid the back of the race leader as they both collided on landing.
Tixier somehow remained onboard the 250SX-F but Tonkov crashed and caught his right arm in between the rear wheel and the swingarm of the 911 machine and was dragged several metres by the first race winner who was desperate to escape and secure enough points over Jeffrey Herlings to win the championship. “Jordi missed something and I’m not sure what happened because he went to the inside whereas I went right to the outside,” Tonkov remembers. “I saw he was on the front wheel and casing the jump but I was already in the air. I couldn’t do anything.”
“I caught my hand in his rear wheel and because he was on the gas and the wheel was spinning it started to burn my arm and my back,” he added. “Sh*t happens. I’ve had no luck this season. I wanted to win that second moto. I was feeling so good in the first moto but I went down with Thomas Covington on the first lap. I came back from last to eighth so I knew my speed was good.”
Tonkov was treated at the circuit on Sunday afternoon. “I was given a lot of painkillers but I know a lot of pain is coming and I have to fly back to Belgium. It is a bad situation and I might miss the Nations because they say the skin needs two weeks to heal. It would be dangerous if an infection sets in.”
The 21-year-old – who will ride the factory Husky again in 2015 – maintained his sense of humour however. “At least I have the champion’s signature on my back now!”