Brett McCormick arrived in the United Kingdom from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on Tuesday, July 31, eager to continue his rookie campaign in the eni Superbike World Championship at the next round at Silverstone, August 3-5.
The reigning Canadian Superbike Champion suffered serious injuries at round three of the SBK tour at Assen in the Netherlands at the end of April. Since then McCormick has been recuperating at home in preparation for a return to his Effenbert Liberty Ducati team.
“It’s been a long wait, but I’m satisfied with everything, and I’m 100% ready to get back in action,” confirmed McCormick from his hotel in Milton Keynes while watching Olympic coverage. “My neck is good, my hand is solid, and I’m really looking forward to getting up to speed at Silverstone and returning to the series.”
McCormick was airlifted from the Netherlands to Canada via Lear Jet Air Ambulance, and then required an operation to his broken right thumb. Four pins were placed in his thumb and later removed, but the bulk of his rehab has centred on his broken C5 vertebrae, and accompanying severe whiplash injuries.
McCormick was hurt after tangling with reigning World Superbike Champ Carlos Checa in tricky damp conditions during race two action at Assen. Checa had pitted to change tires mid-race, and was attempting to unlap himself from the charging McCormick when the incident occurred.
“I started riding the road bike (bicycle) about a month after the injury, had ongoing physiotherapy for my neck, and just worked at my recovery, tried to be patient,” continued 20 year old McCormick. “For the last three weeks I’ve been back on my Blackfoot-supplied motocross bikes (450 and 250cc displacement), I’ve been riding at our sand motocross circuit. I feel like my riding has never been better, and I’m really ready to get back on the Ducati.”
Local witnesses report that McCormick has ridden multiple 30 minute motos in recent days, and also competed in several club races, the former M/X ace winning multiple times. As well, McCormick has cycled his recovery by playing golf on his days off from dirt bike activity.
While McCormick has not been able to weight train during his recovery, he reports that his slightly reduced weight has not affected his stamina – quite the reverse, in fact. The only down side to his dirt bike recovery regime were serious blisters on his hands, the legacy of his enforced layoff while his neck recovered.
After promising outings at Imola and Assen, McCormick aims to regain his form on the world tour as soon as possible. “It’s tough sitting while everyone else races, but that’s a part of racing, and it’s important to be fully fit before you get back on the bike. I have the required clearance from my doctors, and that allowed me to get started with my M/X program – it really helps to do some real riding.”
“I had a chance to look around Silverstone a bit today, and the facilities here are pretty epic – the track didn’t seem foreign, and I’m looking forward to learning the layout,” explained McCormick of the famously flat Formula One and MotoGP venue that served as an English Air force airfield during World War Two. “I’m realistic about getting back to speed against the best riders in the world, but I’m ready to go and can’t wait to road race again on Sunday.”
Catch all of the coverage from Silverstone as Inside Motorcycles’ Colin Fraser report live on Brett’s progress this coming weekend.