Former MX2 champion could be sidelined for half the season.
KTM Motocross Racing Team’s Ford Dale has been forced out of next weekend’s opening round of the Monster Energy MX Nationals following a practice incident in Queensland.
The 2012 MX2 champion will be sidelined for at least the first four rounds of the 2014 season, suffering facial lacerations and a broken left arm at Caloundra.
Once the threat of infection has diminished, the Queenslander hopes to go under the knife next week to have the break plated.
“Physically I’m still a little sore, but I’m not doing much to aggravate it,” Dale commented. “Mentally though, I’m gutted. I’ve been working my butt off and everything has been going to plan, but just a little mistake means I’m out of the first few rounds of the motocross championships.
“[It] is a massive blow because it was my goal to win this year. It’s tough and I guess I’ll be moping around a bit for a couple of weeks but it could have been a lot worse and in fact I look a lot worse than I feel. But as soon as I’m ready I’ll come out swinging.
“It’s a negative and it does suck but the team has been very compassionate towards me because they know how much I wanted it.”
Team manager Rob Twyerould said it was disappointing news for the team, but they have elected not to replace Dale on the second factory KTM alongside returning South Australian Kirk Gibbs.
“Ford was 27 minutes into a 30-minute moto when he hit a puddle that he’d been riding through and must have hit it just millimetres different and the tyre slipped and it threw his weight forward as he went off the jump,” Twyerould explained.
“He went over the handlebars and landed on all fours and on his face which he cut up quite badly. He broke his radius above the plate that was already in there. It was a big impact, and the bone almost broke the skin.
“He has a lot of lacerations so there’s a worry about infection for now, but he’s hoping to have surgery next Thursday to remove the existing plate and replace that with a new one. He’ll be out of action for a minimum of eight weeks.
“He’ll miss the start of the national season and probably come in at Wanneroo, but we’ll assess at that point whether it’s worth doing that or just making a plan to bring him back strong for the final five rounds.
“The nice thing is that there are a few triple moto rounds in there to provide good point-scoring opportunities, so he can go in there with a nothing-to-lose attitude and go for round wins.”
This year’s MX Nationals series will commence on 30 March at Broadford in Victoria.