A bright rookie MXGP season for Wilvo Forkrent KTM’s Jake Nicholls looks to be over after the British rider suffered a near-catastrophic finger injury in the fifth round of the Maxxis British Championship last Sunday.
The title contender had the small digit on his throttle hand ripped apart in an accident with former champion Brad Anderson starting the third and final sprint and required swift surgery on his hand.
Nicholls now needs five to six weeks recovery time with a stabilising mental frame around the finger after the insertion of cables and pins.
It means the Red Bull UK supported racer will be looking at a tight schedule to be able to consider re-appearing on his 450SX-F for the remaining Grands Prix of the year. The Brazilian and Mexican meetings that round off the MXGP campaign at the beginning of September might be his best bet.
“I passed Brad Anderson around the outside before a step-down and he came across and took my wheel,” explained the 24-year-old of the accident at Whitby.
“I think I got my hand caught in his front wheel. It was a mess. I was lucky that people around helped get me in the best place and with the best attention as quickly as possible. For a while I was really scared I was going to lose the finger but thankfully the doctors made a good assessment and I had the surgery.”
“I’ve been better!” he commented this morning (Wednesday). “I think it will be around five weeks until I get can take the support away and then my main focus will be on physio to build movement and flexibility back into the finger.”
Nicholls’ setback is a blow for the Wilvo Forkrent crew who saw their rider fighting for the British title and also scoring top 10 finishes in the premier class of the FIM series.
The team are allegedly set for another season with the Brit in 2015 although whether Matiss Karro will continue as team-mate or the rumoured link with Romain Febvre (Nicholls’ former team-mate in the Jacky Martens set-up in 2013) comes off remains to be seen.
“It is hard to say really,” Nicholls said on the timeframe for a racing comeback. “It is a shame the year has taken a turn like this but my priority now is that I get some use and feeling out of the finger for the rest of my life rather than rushing back just to make one or two races at the end of the season. The recovery might go really well, so we will have to see but I know I have to work on the knuckle and the feeling with my whole hand.”