Our man across the water, Transmoto's European Correspondent, Jonty Edmunds, caught up with Australian Enduro star Ben Grabham to have a chat about his recent accident, and what he has planned ahead.
After winning the Australian Quit Forest Rally in March, KTM's Ben Grabham arrived at the Condo 750 focused on repeating his recent success. However, what followed was a horrific crash that has since ruled the two-time Australian 4-Day Enduro winner out for the rest of the season.
While leading the second day of the 800km race, the KTM rider collided with a kangaroo at over 150km/h and suffered fractures to his collarbone but more importantly his vertebrae in the T4-T9 region.
Now with three months of recovery under his belt and his goal of competing in Dakar 2013 very much in focus, the Australian plans his competitive return to racing at the Merzouga Rally in Morocco next November.
We caught up with the Australian champ to find out more...
How is your recovery going since the accident?
My recovery is going to plan. It's been three months since the accident and so far I am healing up well. At the moment it's just a time thing as I need to wait until my back is fully healed before I can push harder.
Have you been able to start training again?
I have started light training - mainly light weights and slow cycling until my back gets stronger.
Why have you chosen Merzouga Rally?
I see it as the perfect opportunity to prepare for the next year's Dakar Rally. Apart from the events I have done in Australia I have never raced any other rallies so I need to get as much experience as possible that might help me in the Dakar. At Merzouga I will be racing with the KTM 450 Rally so it will be a good chance for me to have a race on this bike before Dakar.
What are your expectations for the Merzouga Rally?
I'm guessing I won't have got much seat time before the race so I will be just looking to finish and learn as much as possible. We don't use GPS here in Australia so this will be all new to me.
You can read Part 1 and Part 2 following Ben Grabham's accident for more.