Hayden Breaks Shoulder Blade In Training Accident, Sepang Test In Question

Nicky Hayden's preparation for the 2012 season has suffered a setback. The Marlboro Ducati rider crashed while training on an indoor flat track course, breaking his left shoulder blade and fracturing two ribs. The recovery period for the injury could force him to miss the Sepang MotoGP test scheduled for the end of January. 

The accident is a second setback for Hayden's preseason testing. The American was forced to miss the Valencia post-race test after fracturing his scaphoid during the first-lap crash at the final race of the 2011 season. In a stroke of bitter irony, Hayden had taken to a motorcycle for the first time since breaking his wrist at Valencia, and crashed riding flat track on a special indoor facility, near his and his parents' home in Owensboro, Kentucky. In a fall Hayden describes as "a freak accident" in the Ducati press release, he fell heavily, breaking his shoulder blade and fracturing two ribs.

The good news for Hayden is that broken shoulder blades do not normally require surgery. The bad news is that the recovery period is normally 6 to 8 weeks, with normal functioning usually taking longer to return. With the first Sepang MotoGP test due to start on January 31st, Hayden's shoulder may not be sufficiently healed to take part in testing. That test is likely to be crucial, as a radically revised Ducati MotoGP bike is due to make its debut at the test, built around the data gathered from the Valencia post-race tests, and testing done by Carlos Checa and Franco Battaini at Jerez. Hayden is due to see the US racing fraternity's favorite surgeon, Dr Ting, next week, where he will undergo further tests to see how the injured scapula is progressing. Hayden and Ducati will be hoping that his recovery proceeds as quickly as possible.

Below is the press release from Ducati:


Nicky Hayden's winter vacation was marred on Tuesday, December 27, when he broke his left scapula and fractured two ribs while training near his home in Owensboro, Kentucky. Hayden was training at a private indoor flat track facility, riding a motorcycle for the first time since breaking his scaphoid at the Valencia Grand Prix on November 6. He underwent an X-ray and CAT scan on the same day he was injured, and he has since undergone an MRI. At the moment, there are no plans for surgery, but Hayden will have the scapula reassessed next week by Dr. Arthur Ting in Fremont, California, to see how his fracture is progressing. According to the healing process, the next few weeks will determine whether Hayden will take part in the first winter test session of 2012, which will begin on January 31 in Sepang, Malaysia.

"Obviously, injuries are never good," Hayden said, "but it's part of motorcycle racing. Just like at Valencia, it was kind of a freak accident. I was starting to train again, like I normally do during the winter, at a private track near my house. I came up behind another rider, and he went to move out of the way. I wasn't going that fast, but he clipped my front wheel and I went down and landed pretty hard on my left shoulder, and that was it. It's disappointing, but there's nothing to do about it but heal quickly. Anyway, this doesn't change my expectations for 2012 which, fortunately, is just around the corner."

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Nooooooooo!!!!!!! Argh this is terrible news :( Oh well, it could be a lot worse. Glad his spirits seem to be holding up, and wishing him a speedy recovery.

Quick, stick him in the hyperbaric tank!

Come on Nicky? Don't be like Dani and start having a season full of injuries! Let's hope this is the last set-back for him. At least he won't be losing points for missing test sessions. Speedy recovery, Hayden.

What is it with these guys? When will they learn not to play around with Motocross/flat-track bikes for 'training' in the off-season. Almost every single MotoGP rider has been caught out this way getting injuries that directly affect their ability to test or race their bikes. How come they are so dumb not to get it? This just would not be tolerated by team or personal managers in any other sport. Ride the MotoGP bikes, keep away from all other bikes. Why take the risks? The outcome is inevitable.

correct me if my maths is off, but motogp rides only actually ride motogp bikes about 4.5hrs every race weekend, times that by 18 races and you end up with 80 hours a year that they spend on the bike, plus a few days of testing.
i think its just plain dumbness to think that a rider can maintain and improve their ability without riding other motorcycles, and going at fairly fast speeds.
This is motorcycle racing, accidents happen.

Bad luck for Hayden, but how are he and the others supposed to keep in touch with the feel of a sliding motorcycle if they don't ride dirtbikes in the off season.
Many of the Aust and USA riders come from off road backgrounds and use dirtbikes offseason to refresh their skills.
Could be also that they enjoy it as well.
The question is how to do it with minimal risk and a minimum number of other riders being involved would be a start.

Even the european riders (Rossi, Pedrosa, etc) ride dirtbikes because it keeps them in shape. Cross-training is just one of the necessary risks that riders find is worth taking to keep their riding "fitness" up for the race days.

The way to do it, according to Rich Oliver, who was taught this by Kenny Roberts was use little bikes so when you fall, you don't fall very far. Kennny used to use Honda XR 75s on his ranch where many people trained: John Kocinski, Wayne Rainey, Edie Lawson to name a few. Also, that is where Rich Oliver trained and learned to slide (part of the learning process was getting laughed at by Kenny during and after he beat you pointing out all your mistakes ). Rich Oliver went on to be the winningest 250 GP rider in the US series. I recently attended Rich Oliver's Mystery School ( which I highly recommend !) where he teaches you how to slide. It's hard work but a good skill to work on. Rich uses little small TT 125 Yamaha's with a grippy dirt tire on the front and a street tire on the rear to ease sliding ( same setup I believe Kenny used on his XRs). So I think in summary, the pros we love to watch may avoid serious injuries if they stick to smaller, slower bikes for training; it worked for Kenny and everyone he taught ( even Lorenzo in 2007) And stick to bicyles or rowing or running for cardio. I read that the pros like to ride MX beacuse it is such a good work out; but look what happened to Rossi's shoulder after an MX crash!

I've seen a friend badly break her ankle falling off at 5kmph. Christ people tear ligaments getting out of bed. Bad luck is just that - it can happen at anytime on any type of bike. Hayden tagged or was tagged by another rider, so his off was probably more than a simple lowside. Nor do we know what Hayden was riding. It well could've been a XR80 or a little 1960's Ducati Scambler!

As for Insider above. Yeah tell motorcycle racers to stay off bikes. Ha, ha, an old concept, but strangely still one people churn out. What other professional athletes do you know of that don't train directly in their chosen field? If they exist they'll be the ones watching the leaders disappear into the distance. Ridiculous suggestion.

Rich Oliver? Now there's one of the truly nice guys in the sport, glad to read he's still involved. I still remember racing against Rich on Superbikes, here's a link to a photo from Riverside in the early '80's (of course I'm in front of him, he probably has one where the positions are reversed!) http://cycleitalia.blogspot.com/2010/12/still-on-two-wheels.html
And he's right - I learned more fooling around with on XR80's with my friends than I would ever have believed! I'd recommend it as the cheapest way to get better at roadracing there is - and doing it with Rich is probably even better. Nowadays I just get my thrills riding down twisty descents on what the moto guys like to call a push-bike.

Does anybody know what Stoner and Lorenzo do for "Training" on and off the bike? Haven't heard of them getting hurt while training! They are 2 of the fastest men on the MotoGP grid... they may have a secret yet safe training regimen.

I thought Jorge Lorenzo missed the first test of the 2010 season as he was recovering from finger injury sustained in a MX off season crash.

Does anyone know why riders are so secretive about their training other than the typical "biking,rowing & running?" What exactly do they do in the weight room, what exercises,etc.... Every time I've had the opportunity to ask a rider they've given vague answers.
What gives?

Tuning the body and mind to perform some ultimate job. Each to his own. You roll the dice exactly the same as always and they always come up 11. Sometimes they spit snake eyes.
Nick will be okay. How many 10ths it knocks out of him come Sepang is the issue.
Conditioning is a mental thing too.
You can't expect an athlete to refrain from riding any form of bike whilst at the same time expecting him to produce results on a bike 30 days down the road.
Its like handing out speeding fines at the Indy 500.

With just over 4 weeks to go before Sepang 1 starts, Hayden must be bitterly dissapointed to pick up these injuries. I hope he can recover in time, and be fit enough not only to ride, but put the new bike through a decent hard test. But maybe i`m being too optimistic there. If not, i hope Checca is available for the test, which would be far better than using a test rider going round 3 seconds off the pace.