Regis Laconi

Regis Laconi To Ride At Magny-Cours

The tragic accident which came so close to crippling Regis Laconi at Kyalami generated a huge wave of sympathy. The Frenchman had a huge crash on his very first lap during World Superbike practice at the South African track, was knocked out and cracked his C3 and C5 vertebrae. Only surgery to insert a plate to fix the vertebrae in place prevented further injury to Laconi, and after a long and grueling rehabilitation period the Frenchman is almost back to full fitness.

To celebrate his return to rude health, Laconi will take to the track aboard his #55 DFX Ducati, and do three laps of honor at the Magny-Cours circuit at 11:15 am local time, 45 minutes before the first World Superbike race is due to start. The ceremony is meant as a gesture of thanks for the support his fans and friends inside and outside the World Superbike paddock have shown the Frenchman, and also as a sign that Laconi is determined to make his way back into racing. 

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Regis Laconi Recovering Well, Walking Without Assistance

Excellent news from South Africa, where Regis Laconi is recovering in Sunninghill Hospital after the horrific crash at Kyalami, which saw him fracture to vertebrae in his neck. The Frenchman's DFX Corse team issued a press release on Sunday saying that Laconi is making remarkable progress in his recovery, and has even walked without assistance during his physical therapy sessions.

The doctors are now optimistic that Laconi will be able to return to his native France very soon, and Laconi is scheduled to fly straight to his home in Aix en Provence on Tuesday, June 2nd. The doctors feel that Laconi will no longer need to stay in a specialist clinic for his recovery, as originally planned, but will be able to recover at home instead. The Frenchman still has a long way to go before he is back to full fitness, and will still need several weeks of absolute rest for the remains of the intercranial hematoma to disperse.

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Laconi Improving Slowly, No Paralysis Symptoms

Regis Laconi's condition continues to improve, as he recovers from the surgery required after his horrific crash at Kyalami. The Frenchman is awake again after surgery, and has already exchanged a few words with the medical staff at the Sunninghill Hospital in Johannesburg, where he is undergoing treatment. More importantly, Laconi is moving all of his limbs independently, confounding earlier reports that the Frenchman had shown signs of paralysis in his left leg.

The reports of Laconi's recovery was also confirmed by Ducati boss Davide Tardozzi. In a post on Ducati's blog, the Italian refuted earlier reports of Laconi's paralysis. "I spoke this morning to his technical chief who has remained in Johannesburg to support his rider and fortunately the rumours that have spread in the press about Regis' loss of mobility in his left leg are wholly untrue. Regis is a wonderful man who has always given 110%," Tardozzi wrote.

In defense of the press, the reports were more than rumors. MotoGPMatters.com received confirmation from three independent sources that Laconi had signs of paralysis. Of course, the problem is that all of those sources came from inside the World Superbike paddock, and as anyone who has ever had the privilege of spending any time there will be aware, that paddock is a like a miniature Italian village, where everyone knows everyone, and what's more, where everyone gossips with everyone. Try as we might, it is not always easy to distinguish gossip from distortion from fact.

If Regis Laconi's recovery continues as it is, the Frenchman is due to be flown back to France for further treatment in a specialist clinic in France. Once again, we send our best wishes to Regis Laconi, and wish him a speedy and full recovery.

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Lanzi To Replace Laconi At Miller WSBK Round

More news of replacements at the US round of World Superbikes at Miller Motorsports Park. After Regis Laconi's horrific crash at Kyalami, an incident in which the charismatic Frenchman fractured two vertebrae and leaves him likely to be out of racing for remainder of the season, speculation naturally turned to who would replace Laconi at subsequent races.

With a host of talented riders currently available due to a dearth of sponsorship, forcing teams to pull out of already signed deals, the list of possible replacements for Laconi is long. The two prime candidates for the ride are former BSB champion Gregorio Lavilla, who filled in for the injured Brendan Roberts at Kyalami, and the Italian Lorenzo Lanzi, who was scheduled to race a KTM for Stefano Caracchi in the Italian Superbike championship, but withdrew after Lanzi claimed he was close to securing a ride in World Superbikes.

It now looks like Lanzi will be getting the ride. According to GPOne.com, DFX Corse manager Daniele Carli told the Italian TV program "Paddock, Uomini e Corse" (Paddock, Men And Racing) that he was already engaged in contract talks with Lanzi to take Laconi's place. Lanzi is very familiar with the Ducati 1098R, having raced one for the R.G. team last year in World Superbikes.

This does not mean that Gregorio Lavilla is definitely out of World Superbikes, however. Rumors have been growing that Guandalini Racing want to drop their current second rider Brendan Roberts, the reigning Superstock 1000 champion having difficulties adapting to the World Superbike spec version of the bike he won his title on last year. According to the paddock gossips, Lavilla is still very much in the frame for Roberts' ride.

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Regis Laconi - Operation Successful, But Worries About Left Leg

Regis Laconi's condition continues to improve. Since his horrific crash at Kyalami's Mineshaft turn on his very first lap out of the pits, Laconi has been in Johannesburg's Sunninghill Hospital, where he has been kept under the watchful eye of the medical specialists there. At first, the Frenchman was kept in a medically-induced coma, but he was brought out of the coma on Sunday morning to be assessed before surgery to fix the cracked vertebrae he suffered in his neck in the crash. Laconi responded well to being awakened from the coma, even cracking jokes about the state he found himself in.

With the signs boding well for surgery, Laconi underwent an operation to fix a plate in his neck to stabilize the fractured vertebrae. The operation was lengthy and difficult, but afterwards, Dr. Maurizio Zorio, the surgeon who performed the procedure pronounced the surgery a success, and that Regis Laconi would not require any further intervention. Laconi was then moved to the intensive care unit to recuperate from the operation.

Though the surgery was said to have gone without complications, Laconi may yet be left with a problem. GPOne.com is reporting that according to Laconi's friend and lawyer Paul-Louis Coulignon, there is some paralysis in Laconi's left leg. It is too early to say whether this is permanent or just temporary, this will only become clear in the course of time.

Laconi now begins the long process of rehabilitation. The Frenchman is due to remain in South Africa until the end of the month, after which he will be flown back to Paris to continue his recovery in a specialist clinic there.

Laconi is a deeply charismatic figure in the World Superbike paddock, the kind of person who commands a presence wherever he goes. We wish him a speedy and full recovery, and hope to see him back in the paddock very soon.

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Regis Laconi's Condition Slowly Improving

The good news from South Africa is that Regis Laconi's condition is slowly improving. He has been brought out of the medically-induced coma, and can move all his limbs independently. The team issued the following press release this morning at 9am, which stated the following:

Regis Laconi’s medical status has improved slightly. The French rider, having fallen on entering a fast left-hand curve in the first minutes of the free practice session on Friday morning, is now in intensive care in Sunninghill Hospital in Johannesburg. The process of slowly awakening the rider from his drug-induced coma went well and Regis is able to move his arms and legs without assistance. This positive news means that surgery will now go ahead to insert a plate to support the two fractured vertebrae. After the operation, which will take place on Tuesday 19th May, there will follow two weeks of bed rest in the same hospital. If all goes to plan, at the end of the month and with the help of Europe Assistance, Regis should fly to Paris where he will continue his recovery. The other neurological problems that he suffered as a result of the impact are also being treated with positive results. Daniele Carlo (Team Manager), Lucio Gomez (Technical Director) and the rest of the DFX Corse Team want to once again thank all of those people whose professionalism has helped during this difficult time. Thanks also to the staff of the Clinica Mobile, to the medical personnel of the Kyalami circuit and to the team of doctors at the Sunninghill Hospital in Johannesburg for everything they have done.

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Regis Laconi "Serious, But Stable"

Regis Laconi's horrific crash at Kyalami's frightening Mineshaft corner (a fast left downhill kink) left the French DFX Corse rider seriously injured. Immediately after the incident, he was admitted to the Sunninghill Hospital in Johannesburg, where he was diagnosed with fractured vertebrae and cranial trauma.

After further checks last night, the team issued an update to his condition. Laconi has broken two cervical vertebrae (C3 and C5, the bones supporting the head), severe concussion and a contusion of the lung, and is being kept in a medically-induced coma. Initially, he was scheduled to have surgery to fix the vertebrae, but Dr. Maurizio Zorzi, a senior South African neuro-surgeon decided to postpone any surgery for a few days.

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Regis Laconi Receives Head And Back Injuries In Kyalami Crash

Regis Laconi has been seriously injured in a crash at Kyalami. The Frenchman, riding for the DFX Corse team, had just taken to the track when he crashed in a fast left hander, suffering injuries to his head and torso. It was immediately clear that Laconi was badly hurt, and after the medics had stabilized his condition, he was taken first to the trackside medical center, where it was decided to fly him to the nearby Sunninghill Hospital in Sandton for further examination.

At the hospital, they found suspected fractures in 5 vertebrae, fortunately without any damage to the spinal cord, and a CAT scan showed a severe cranial trauma, though it appears that were no neurological complications. Regis Laconi was moving his limbs, and is currently being kept in a clinically induced coma, and for this reason he has been placed on the danger list. He is due to be operated on early this evening to have two plates inserted to support his cracked vertebrae.

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2009 Phillip Island WSBK And WSS Qualifying - The Perils Of Superpole

The brand new Superpole format adopted by World Superbikes for the 2009 season threw up a great many conundrums at Phillip Island on Saturday, as well as a few surprises. But perhaps most of all, it also threw up confirmation of what some had suspected, and many had hoped.

The format is relatively simple, and borrowed from Formula 1:

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2009 World Superbike Season Preview

After MotoGP went four stroke, there was never any doubt about which was the premier class of motorcycle racing. Coinciding with the flight of the Japanese manufacturers from World Superbikes, the combination of Valentino Rossi's charisma and roaring, smoking, sliding 990cc bikes solidified the series' position as the pinnacle of two-wheeled racing which would brook no competition. But as the Japanese manufacturers started to slowly creep back into World Superbikes, and MotoGP switched to an 800cc capacity, the balance of power has started to shift. 

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