Peter Lenz is a young rider who we at MotoGPMatters.com have been following with great interest over the past few years. Though he may be only 12 years old, the young American has been regularly riding against and beating riders far more experienced and on far better equipment than himself. From all we have seen of this young man, he is a real star of the future.
So it was with some trepidation that we learned that Peter sustained serious injuries in a crash at Portland International Raceway, in Portland, Oregon. Lenz suffered brake failure on his first lap out of the pits, and slammed into a tire wall, breaking his leg in two places, his arm, and severing a nerve in his arm. He has since been operated on several times to fix the breaks, and the nerve has been reattached, and Peter now faces several months of rehabilitation to recover.
According to his father, Michael Lenz, speaking to Roadracing World, Lenz came away from the crash with surprisingly few injuries, a testament to the high quality safety gear the youngster wears. Without it, Peter's father believes the accident could have been much, much worse. The only bright side to the crash for the Lenz family is that the crash both demonstrated that the safety gear worked, and that it had an immediate effect in the paddock, with other riders going straight for their previously ignored chest protectors.
You can read more about the crash and its impact over on Roadracing World, while you can follow Peter's progress on his Facebook fan page. And if you want to be involved with a young racer who - injury and bad luck permitting - seems destined to be a huge star on the international stage in the next few years, then get in touch with Peter's father Michael via their website.
If you'd like to see just why we think Peter Lenz has a big future in motorcycle roadracing, check out the videos below: