ASBK Round One winner Aiden Wagner was baulked by a number of riders that left pit-lane right in front of him on Friday as he barreled down the Wakefield Park main straight at full pelt. He was left nowhere to go, it was take out a number of riders from behind at 250 km/h, or head for the dirt.
M.A. officials were apologetic, Wagner’s crew apoplectic. The onus is on the riders leaving pit-lane to check the track is clear, and due to the wall almost all the way to the exit onto the main straight at Wakefield Park, it can be quite hard for riders to tell what is coming down the chute.
The 24-year-old was left with one completely destroyed YZF-R1 as a result, Wagner himself also well battered.
Wagner has a history of shoulder injuries, and that tumble is sending him off to the surgeon for a major repair job.
His shoulder is now so badly damaged it is now even popping out while he sleeps.
Wagner tried to ride the opening Superbike race at Wakefield Park but after three laps his shoulder popped as he hit the brakes for turn one. And that was game over.
We spoke to Aiden at the circuit, his pain, both emotional and physical, clearly written across his face.
Trevor Hedge: I’m here with Aiden Wagner at Wakefield Park, he’s devastated after a crash on Friday, which saw some riders leave pit-lane and join the circuit, while he was belting down the straight, and unless he was going to take them out, he had to take evasive action. Unfortunately that left him on the ground with a destroyed R1 and a destroyed shoulder. He battled on during Saturday, during qualifying, qualifying seventh…
Aiden Wagner: “Yea it popped out [in qualifying], so I came in, popped it back in, went back out and qualified seventh. We tried every different method of taping and whatever we could try, to try and get the thing held in there, but the more it pops out the worse it’s getting and the worse it’s grinding. So yea, the only thing to do is go back to the surgeon.”
Trevor Hedge: You said it was even popping out asleep in bed?
Aiden Wagner: “Yep I was waking up a few times, and it was out, when the muscles relaxed at night. So I had to just put it back in. Really I was just trying to get through the Sunday.”
Trevor Hedge: About six laps in it popped out again?
Aiden Wagner: “About lap three it popped out, and let go, coming through Turn One I felt it pop out under the brakes, so I just had to sit up and wave my other hand to everyone, to say I was pulling out. There’s no other way I can go around it.”
Trevor Hedge: We expected you to be strong this season, with the bike you put together and the overall package and people behind you, you had the speed to challenge for the championship. You did that at Round 1, perhaps Round 1 proved it was worthwhile, coming back and having a crack. Even though like you say, it’s probably season done now.
Aiden Wagner: “That’s it, depending on how good recovery goes with the shoulder, if I can make it back to the last round, or even the second last round, and I can use that for testing for 2020… But I’ve just got to play it day by day, get home see the surgeon, ASAP and just go under the knife as soon as I can. As soon as we get that done, we’ll be on the mend, and can come back stronger and faster. We’ll definitely be back.”
Trevor Hedge: The other thing to take into account, is you’re a privateer effort, family funded with some sponsors. This is going to bugger you for work too, isn’t it?
Aiden Wagner: “Yep, I’m lucky to have a good family around me that I can work between the macadamia farm and soil testing, but I’ll be buggered for work, that’s for sure. I’m just lucky to have the family around me to support me through my recovery and help me to get back onto two wheels.”
Trevor Hedge: Alright mate, hope to see you back sooner rather than later, when you’re ready and strong, and ready to take it to the Superbike field once again.
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