News 21 Oct 2014

Knee injury spells end to Sutherland's supercross hopes

Raceline Pirelli Suzuki rider facing six-month recovery period.

Image: Marc Jones.

Image: Marc Jones.

Raceline Pirelli Suzuki racer Nick Sutherland has been sidelined for the remainder of the Penrite Australian Supercross Championship after suffering a left knee injury at Phillip Island.

Sutherland was 10th in the standings following Bathurst’s opening two rounds, but exited Phillip Island early after jarring his knee multiple times during Saturday’s round three practice and heat races.

After undergoing X-rays and an MRI earlier today, Sutherland is facing a complete knee reconstruction that could see him recovering for up to six months due to multiple torn ligaments, as well as cartilage and bone marrow damage.

“It was during qualifying Saturday morning, I was going for my first hot lap and I caught my leg in the corner after going across the start line – I twisted in sideways,” Sutherland told MotoOnline. “I tried going for another hot lap and did the same thing again in the same corner.

“I ended up just quitting on the rest of qualifying and tried to get sorted for the heats. I got my knee heavily taped from the guys at RACESAFE and I had no dramas in the first heat, apart from my tip-over. I had another good start in heat two and the corner after the triple I grabbed my foot again and that was the last straw.

“I went back to the RACESAFE guys, got their verdict on it and they are all but certain I will be needing a knee reco to have it all fixed. I’ve actually just finished having X-rays and an MRI this morning.”

The injury has come as an untimely blow for Sutherland, who had recently made the switch to Raceline Pirelli Suzuki prior to Coolum’s MX Nationals round and had quickly gelled with the RM-Z250. Before that Sutherland missed much of the outdoor season with an unrelated knee right injury.

“My plans from now is have my knee fixed and realistically it’s like a six-month recovery at the least,” Sutherland added. “I want to make sure it’s healed properly, maybe do a few MX Nationals and 100 percent do Supercross next year. I felt like on the weekend down at the Island I was just starting to get back to my best.”

Sutherland’s surgery isn’t due to be scheduled for a number of weeks until swelling from the injury subsides.