For the second time this season the factory Red Bull IceOne Husqvarna team find themselves searching for a substitute racer in the MXGP class of the FIM Motocross World Championship after the long-term injury to Australian Todd Waters while training two weeks ago.
The rookie crashed in the same pile-up that hospitalised Max Nagl and Mike Kras and it likely to be on the sidelines until the end of the 2014 campaign where it is hoped he might be able to climb back on the FC450 for the final few rounds.
“I don’t think Todd will be out for the whole season,” commented Team Manager Antti Pyrhonen. “Of course it was an unfortunate injury but if there is any positive involved then it was a clean fracture and four hours after the accident it was already fixed and had been operated on. The next day he was out of the hospital.”
“It just takes natural bone healing time and it is difficult to say how long that will be but normally it is two-three months and then he can start training,” the Fin continued. “It will then be a few weeks before he has the condition to start thinking about racing. The goal is that he can return by the end of the season and get on a good level to start working for next season.”
20-year-old Pascal Rauchenecker stood in for Tyla Rattray when the former world champion was cast out of Grands Prix in Qatar, Thailand and Brazil with a broken finger. The Austrian, who is committed to the ADAC MX Masters German Championship, rode the FC350 at Si Racha and Beto Carrero.
Pyrhonen and the team are now searching for somebody to work alongside Rattray. “We are rushing for a substitute but the accident was too close to Valkenswaard. We are discussing what we can do right now,” Pyrhonen commented in Holland for round six last weekend.
“When Pascal came to us in Thailand and for Brazil it was such short notice for him and it was great for our team that we could count on him because the bikes and material were already overseas and at the events. He was a great substitute and did a good job at his level. He is young and was trying his best. We cannot find a guy who will run top 10 in MXGP…we need to see what else we can find.”
When asked if IceOne would consider a third rider who could fill a substitute or testing role for 2015 Pyrhonen was unsure. “That would be a good plan but our goal is to try and be up the front, so to find someone who is happy to be back-up is not easy,” he opined. “The good guys all want to make a proper deal and for the whole series. It means a three rider programme. We cannot go into the season afraid of injury. However, there have been so many injuries that it would be good to have some sort of Plan B.”