News 15 Sep 2016

Stapleton set for return following injury setbacks

Privateer supercross effort confirmed for Victorian contender.

Image: Jeremy Hammer (Foremost Media).

Image: Jeremy Hammer (Foremost Media).

Following a string of injuries in the past year, Geran Stapleton will make a fulltime return at this weekend’s season opening round of the 2016 Australian Supercross Championship in Jimboomba, Queensland.

The 24-year-old’s injury woes began back in December last year at Melbourne’s season finale of the 2015 supercross series where a crash saw Stapleton unknowingly fracture his coccyx bone.

“It all started when I crashed at the Melbourne supercross round last year,” Stapleton told “At the time I didn’t know it, but I had fractured my coccyx bone, I finished out the round but it was really hurting. I got scans the Monday after the race and they didn’t show up anything bad and I had already booked to fly to American that Tuesday, so I went.

“I was riding over there for a month and I ended up crashing at Lake Elsinore and dislocating my knuckle, it didn’t bother me too much, it was just really swollen. I then went to Anaheim 1 and during the heat race I cased the triple and dislocated it again, but this time it actually broke my hand in two spots.”

Forced to have the hand repaired, Stapleton returned to Australia for surgery and continued to search for answers to cure his lower back pain before a drastic solution was undertaken.

“At that point my lower back was still really painful and I came home to get my hand fixed,” Stapleton said. “I continued to see doctors about my lower back and they tried everything including injections between my vertebrae’s, nothing would work, so the last resort was to have the last two vertebrae removed.

“After I got that done I couldn’t lay on my back for over a month, then I slowly started to move around more and then got into the gym about two months after that. I finally got back on the bike at the end of July, so that’s where I’ve been for the last seven months or so basically.”

Without a solid return date, Stapleton opted not to reach out for support early on, admitting he is using foam to pad the tender area in order to contest the upcoming series.

“The only reason I’m back riding now is because I’ve actually got a square piece of foam, around an inch thick, stuffed down the back of my skins so I can ride,” he explained. “We didn’t want to talk to too many people and promise things when we weren’t actually sure when I’d even be back riding.

“So for supercross this I’ve got my tattoo artist, Levi Barnett, helping me get to the races, he’s the main sponsor on my bike. Krooztune are also behind me doing my suspension and Tim Vare from Eight11 is building my engines. I’ve got a good little program, not too much support, but at least I’ve got really good bikes and Levi and his brother Reg are really helping too.”

Claiming fourth overall in 2015, Stapleton plans to build as the series moves on and expects to work his way back into the top five before the Sydney season finale on 12-13 November.

“I can count on one hand how many times I’ve been back on a supercross track due to the recent weather in Victoria, so if we can get through this first round a solid top 10 finish, I’ll be happy,” he added. “I’d like to slowly build off that and I can’t see why I wouldn’t be in the top five by the end of the year. Seven months is a long time off, I didn’t forget how to ride, it’s just my bike fitness and trying to get back into the swing of things.”

Jimboomba’s season opening round will mark Stapleton’s second race back from injury after a surprise return at Coolum’s final round of the 2016 Motul MX Nationals where he placed seventh in MX2.