Canadian Superbike champ and FIM World Superbike contender Brett McCormick has been home in Canada and on the mend from his injury at Assen on April 22.
His team will be travelling to Miller Motorsports Park in Utah this weekend for the sixth round of the World Superbike Championship, and McCormick will travel to the event to cheer on his teammates. The Effenbert Liberty team recently took a few moments to catch up with Brett, and ask their rider about the status of his rehabilitation and his plans for getting back on the motorcycle, here is what Brett had to say:
Effenbert Liberty (EL): How are you?
Brett: “I am recovering really well so far. I’ve kept my spirits up through the whole thing and trying to stay positive in every moment. I still spend most of the day with a smile on my face, so I can’t complain too much!”.
EL: Which kind of rehabilitation are you doing?
Brett: “So far my rehabilitation has been really relaxed. I still have the neck brace on at this time so I can’t do any rehab regarding my neck, but the break in my thumb is healed up and I’ve started to work with it to get it back to 100%. I’ve been able to move around easily for a few weeks and there isn’t much pain in my neck break anymore so I can do everything normal day to day except training. Also, my doctor told me it wouldn’t hurt my neck to do stationary bicycling so I’ve done a bit of that to keep myself active”.
EL: How do you spend your days in Canada?
Brett: “Since I’ve been back in Canada I spend most of my days catching up with friends and family while I heal. I’ve watched more movies in the past few weeks than I normally would in a few years. Each day my neck feels better so each day I’m able to do a little bit more”.
EL: Looking back Assen, what do you remember about your crash? May you describe the dynamic of the incident?
Brett: “I remember pretty much everything until I fell off of the bike in my crash. I remember turning in and seeing a red and white bike come up the inside just before the apex. I didn’t hear Carlos (Checa) coming because that’s a pretty fast section and our bikes sound the same, so I didn’t expect to see anyone pass me there. I thought we might touch if I stayed turned in so I re adjusted my line, but it’s such a fast corner I ran out of track. At this point I knew I was in trouble and thought maybe if I made it across the astro-turf I could save it, but I wasn’t so lucky”.
EL: What was your first thought after the crash?
Brett: “I got knocked out in the crash so when I woke up everything was pretty blurry. I would say the first thing was relief that the injuries I had didn’t seem life threatening, and I was able to move and feel all my body”.
EL: When the doctors told you that your fractures were quite serious, how did you react?
Brett: “When I found out I had a broken neck I was fairly freaked out at the start, but it didn’t take long to accept it and realize I was extremely lucky. As soon as the doctors saw the X-ray of my neck they knew the break was stable, and I wasn’t in risk of having any complications or paralysis, so that made everything a lot less stressful for me. All I could do was accept the circumstances and start healing”.
EL: What did you feel and think when you have known that the Team Owner Mario Bertuccio has made public his decision not to replace you because, quoting his words that have been publish all over the world “the fourth bike belongs to Brett”?
Brett: “When I read Mario’s statement and talked to him it really hit home with me how amazing the people involved with our team are. I’ve said from day one that it feels more like a big family than a race team, and this is a perfect example of that”.
EL: After what is happened to you, what do you think about the current safety level?
Brett: “I think the safety level in our gear is unreal right now. The Alpinestars gear and Shoei helmet I was wearing in my crash did their job amazing, and without the level of safety our gear has these days I don’t know if I would be sitting here right now. The tracks World Superbike races on are the best in the world, and their safety is top notch also if obviously everything has room for improvement! My crash might have been avoided without the fake grass along the edge of the track, but I think the series is already addressing that issue and making changes for the future”.
EL: This is your first year in Sbk, which is your feeling with the bike and, till the Holland Gp, with the team?
Brett: “Moving into Sbk this year was a big step for me, but it has been awesome so far. The Liberty Ducati’s are some of the best prepared bikes on the grid, and that’s all because of the team behind them. I’m really impressed with everything so far – the management, the mechanics, the hospitality. Nothing gets overlooked, and that’s a pretty cool thing to be involved with and experience. The bike was a lot for me to learn, but I think my crew and I were making big steps everytime we got on the track. It sucks to have a serious injury interrupt all of it, but it makes me hungry to get back out there”.
EL: When will you come back on track? And when you will come back, which will be the realistic targets for you?
Brett: “With a broken neck it’s tough to judge the healing time because every case is so different. I’ve been getting checkups every week and I’m healing up really good. I hope to get the brace off in a couple of weeks from now, and after that hopefully be able to race within a month. I could be back by the end of July if everything goes perfectly, but I think August is more realistic. When I come back as long as physically I am back to normal, I’d like to pick up where I left off and keep working our way towards the front. In Assen I was getting closer to the top 10, so hopefully I can pick up from there once I’m back”.
EL: After such a big crash, what does push riders to ride again? Where do you find the strength?
Brett: “I think anybody who’s raced a motorcycle could understand why we get back on the bike after a bad injury. It’s something I’ve grown up doing it and it’s in my blood. I love being on the bike, and there is literally no better feeling in the world than putting together perfect laps. For me the strength comes from wanting to get into that zone again. There’s nothing in the world I want more than to do laps again”.
EL:Plans for the future (season 2013)
Brett: “Next season I want to be battling at the front of the pack in Sbk”.
EL: In this period many fans are really closer to you……may you tell us a thought for them?
Brett: “I can’t thank everybody enough for the love and support throughout all of this. It’s been surreal how much support I’ve received from people all around the world, and every message means the world to me so thank you all!”
EL: Which was the most beautiful post, mail or message, that you have received in this period?
Brett: “Every message I’ve received has been amazing, but the one that sticks out for me is the picture the team sent me with all of them standing around my bike rebuilt in Monza”.
EL: You will be at Miller for WSBK race, how does it feel to meet your team, and breathe again the racing atmosphere?
Brett: “Coming down for the Miller race is going to be a lot of fun for me. I’ve been recovering for a month now, and I miss the racing scene so bad! I can’t wait to see all of the team and be down to cheer the guys on for the racing weekend”.
Follow all of the World Superbike action from Miller Motorsports this weekend as Inside Motorcycles’ own Patrick Lambie will be reporting live from Utah.