Nathan Crawford out of Coolum decider – MX2 Title now wide open

Nathan Crawford
Nathan Crawford
Nathan Crawford ruled out of Motul MX Nationals decider after lacerating spleen and damaging kidney

MX2 Red Plate Holder and Husqvarna Factory Support racer Nathan Crawford will heartbreakingly see his 2016 Australian Motocross Championship aspirations amount to nought after he suffered internal injuries in a practice crash earlier this week.

The exciting Queensland teenager, who won last weekend’s round of the championship at Echo Valley, took a handlebar to the abdomen in the crash and sustained lacerations to his spleen and kidney.

“I copped a handlebar in the stomach,” said Crawford, “I felt pretty winded but started to get all the oxygen back and noticed a little bit of pain down near the left side of my tummy, right down near the bottom. When I got home I ended up peeing a lot of blood.

“At the hospital I got all my scans done and basically they’ve told me I’m not well enough to ride, and I definitely feel that physically I’m not strong enough at the moment in the tummy area to ride somewhere like Coolum. I don’t even think I could go for a jog right now so racing’s out of the question this weekend.”

Nathan Crawford
Nathan Crawford

It’s a heartbreaking blow for the Husqvarna FC250 rider, who after just last weekend regaining the championship lead, and holding an 11-point lead going into his favourite track of the season, would likely have assumed strong favouritism to take the title.
Crawford however, remains philosophical about the situation.

“It’s tough. I put in everything this year, and obviously I do 100% every year but this year was just going really well. I showed lots of promise all year and put myself into a really good position going into Coolum. But as tough as it is not to be able to race and to give up the championship, obviously my health is a lot more important than that trophy.

“The CT scan showed that I lacerated my spleen and my kidney. Obviously it’s pretty severe; the laceration to my spleen is dangerous, but the one to my kidney is the one they are most cautious about. They don’t want me doing any more damage there.”

Nathan Crawford - MX Nationals 2015 - Round Five - Coolum
Nathan Crawford – MX Nationals 2015 – Round Five – Coolum

Crawford as been advised that the recovery period before he can participate in ‘contact sports’ could be around six weeks, which may rule him out of the first round of the Australian Supercross Championship.

“My main concern now is getting healthy and getting back there for supercross. I’ve been told it’s six weeks before I can do any contact sports, so I might be missing the first round, but I’ll be definitely there for the second and the rest of the season.”

Husqvarna Australia has thrown its support behind the injured Crawford, “This is a devastating blow for Nathan,” said Husqvarna Australia General Manager Jeff Leisk, “after he had positioned himself perfectly to win his first senior Australian Championship. We are all right behind him and wish him a speedy recovery.”

“We wish Nathan all the best,” said Marketing Manager Brendan Drage. “His dedication to be the best this year has been a pleasure to see. And he’s such a fighter that I’m sure this won’t hold him back for long.”

Nathan Crawford
Nathan Crawford

Asked if he had a tip for the title which would be decided in his absence, Crawford chose KTM’s Caleb Ward; “Caleb, all day,” He said. “As far as I’m concerned, I don’t think anyone’s going to beat him around there this weekend. I would have liked to, but seeing as I’m not going to be there, hopefully he goes 1-1. And if I get out of hospital in time I’m going straight up there to watch.”

With Crawford out, the Motul MX2 Championship opens up once again, with Jed Beaton and Caleb Ward separated by only eight points with one round of racing remaining.

The tenth and final round of the 2016 Motul MX Nationals is set to be held at Coolum Pines MX Track, this weekend August 27-28.

MX2 Championship Points after round 9
  1. Nathan Crawford 574
  2. Jed Beaton 563
  3. Caleb Ward 555
  4. Jayden Rykers 479
  5. Wilson Todd 444
  6. Dylan Wills 429
  7. Hamish Harwood 398
  8. Joel Wightman 383
  9. Kyle Webster 324
  10. Wade Hunter 324