News 25 Jun 2024

Improved strength after arm-pump issue results in Budd turnaround

Botched botox procedure revealed as cause of early season troubles.

Image: Foremost Media.

A strength issue that surfaced following an attempt to alleviate arm-pump through botox severely affected Rhys Budd in the first half of the ProMX season, finally subsiding entering Murray Bridge and enabling him to race to a fourth-place result. He was tied for third, only bumped off the podium on countback.

After finishing third as a rookie in MX2 during 2021 and then climbing to earn national number two in 2022, Budd was fourth last year prior to switching to the Raceline Husqvarna Racing Team when Serco Yamaha closed.

It’s been a mixed season to date for the 23-year-old while adapting to the FC 250, his lone podium of the year coming at Horsham’s second round, before Gillman (13th) and Maitland (ninth) proved troublesome. He managed to turn things around in South Australia with 3-5 moto finishes for fourth overall on Sunday, which came after the effects of botox in his forearms began to fade, and his strength increased.

“Basically, I’ve just struggled with arm-pump for years and years, and when I was training back in Sydney with Jamie Horner a few years ago, he got me to try botox in my arms to reduce the arm-pump,” Budd told MotoOnline. “I’ve been getting it for quite a few years, I think 2018 was the first time I tried it, so it’s been five or six years now, and it’s always been good and worked pretty well.

“I got it again at the beginning of this year before the races, but I was still struggling really badly at the first few rounds, then at Horsham, it was really bad – I could barely hang on. After Horsham, I decided to get a little top-up and try to get it injected into a few different muscles, but they must’ve hit something. I’m not exactly sure what went wrong, but it weakened my hands and my arms.

“I had feeling, but I had no strength, like I couldn’t hold onto the bike, I couldn’t use the clutch. I’d get whiskey throttle from my hand slipping off the grip… It was scary and a pain in the arse, but there was nothing I could do about it. It was just something that had to take time to wear off, that’s where I’m at right now, and it’s pretty much worn away. It’s just a waiting process, so it was nice to have some strength back at Murray Bridge and actually have a crack.”

Budd is currently positioned fifth in the championship standings with three rounds remaining in Queensland, which is where he’s trains out of as part of Ford Dale’s FD Elite program on the Sunshine Coast. A return to the top three in the standings will be a stretch – currently 39 points outside of P3 – but the chance to win a round for Todd Waters’ factory-backed Husqvarna team is a target he will be eager to deliver before the season’s out.