There are many conflicting and confusing bits of news coming from Italy regarding Joan Lascorz’ condition following his 200km/h crash at Imola and none of them are sounding good - from that his life is still a risk and is on life-support, to he is now a tetraplegic because a bone fragment cut his spinal cord, but we’ll base our news on statements from the team.
The Spanish rider was airlifted to the Ospedale Maggiore in Bologna where he underwent a six hour long spinal surgery. The first news was that he had fractured his C6 vertebrae, while in an statement issued by the Provec Kawasaki team last night reported that he had fractured his T6 and also had fractured his collarbone and scapula.
The team issued another press release this morning about the rider’s condition stating that surgery was terminated at 11pm to correct and stabilize the factured vertebrae and that Lascorz was still sleeping this morning. He’ll be undergoing another CAT scan later in the day to re-evaluate the extent of the injury and are in contact with doctors in Barcelona, as they will be transferring Lascorz to Spain as soon as it is feasible.
Kawasaki has announced that their rider line-up will not change in 2012, thus confirming Tom Sykes and Joan Lascorz for the upcoming World Superbike championship.
While Lascorz was anticipated to remain with the Superbike team after Kawasaki decided to get more actively involved in the championship and decided to assign the factory effort to Spanish Provec Motocard.com run by Guim Roda and drop Paul Bird, so the British rider’s future was slightly less certain, but the negotiations now have confirmed a much rosier 2012 for Sykes.
“I’m very happy to be continuing with Kawasaki and the Ninja ZX-10R in 2012. I believe the bike has good potential and we saw some of that come through in 2011 with a race win in Germany and Superpole at Misano. These are the kind of results I am looking to achieve in the coming season on a regular basis and I really believe we can do this. I have a lot of confidence in Kawasaki and the team around me, so if we can improve a couple of points with the set-up of the bike on the track which I feel are restricting performance this would be a big step forward for us in the final results. I am looking forward to re-starting our test programme again very soon, ” said Sykes.
Right on schedule, Joan Lascorz finally got his long awaited debut test (a couple of demo laps in Qatar doesn’t count) on the 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R at the Almeria race track in Spain, despite wind, cold temperatures and rain disrupting the three day test session.
The Spanish rider was seriously injured during the Supersport race at Silverstone, is almost back to full fitness according to his team, but he admits he’s just lacking some strength that he’ll get back as soon as possible which will make riding easier in taking the bike to the limit.
“I felt very good at this test but I must get a little more strength back to push the bike to his limits. My first impression of the bike is very positive and it delivers power in a good way. On the first day I made a few laps, on the second day a few more and on the last day I felt much happier, and did even more laps than before. I had a much better feeling from the bike also. For the moment I have to ride around my lack of strength but otherwise it all went OK. I have a few weeks to go before the Sepang test so I am working on improving my condition to let me go faster on the bike. For sure I will be ready for the first race.”