Jack Miller has broken his right leg in a motocross training incident. The Australian was riding at the Bellpuig motocross track in Spain on Sunday, when he landed heavily, fracturing both the fibula and tibia down near the ankle joint. In a post on Instagram, Miller explained that he had been forced to shut off the throttle when another rider lost control on the up ramp of a triple jump. He had not crashed, but the impact of the landing had caused the damage to his ankle.
Miller was taken to the Dexeus Institut in Barcelona, where he was examined by Dr. Mir, and then had both the bones in his leg plated with screws. Examination after the surgery confirmed that it had been successful.
The injury to Miller does mean that his participation at the first test of the year at Sepang is in doubt. In a press release issued by the team (shown below), Marc VDS team manager Michael Bartholemy stressed the importance of waiting until the Australian was fit enough to ride. Miller himself was more bullish about the chances of riding, posting on Twitter that the "right foot to ride is way overrated" and joking that he uses too much rear brake anyway. The issue for Miller would be risking further injury, and whether he can put enough weight on the leg to help push on the pegs through the turns.
Normally, missing the first test of the year would be a major setback, but missing Sepang this year may be less of a problem for Miller. At the moment, it is unclear exactly what spec bikes the Honda satellite riders will have at the test, and the engineers will have their hands full just trying to get to grip with the new electronics. There is a lot of base set up work that needs doing, which the Marc VDS team will be able to do with Tito Rabat. The situation should be a lot clearer by the following test, at Phillip Island on 17th-19th February, giving Miller a better chance of being fit, and riding a Honda RC213V which is much closer to the final race spec for 2016.
The Marc VDS Racing press release on Miller's crash is shown below:
Jack Miller injured in training accident
Gosselies, Belgium – 19 January 2015: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider, Jack Miller, was injured in a training accident at the Bellpuig motocross track on Sunday.
Following a detailed examination and x-rays at the Hospital University Quirón Dexeus in Barcelona, Doctor Xavier Mir confirmed that Miller had sustained fractures to both the tibia and fibula in his right leg in the accident.
The 21-year-old Australian had surgery this morning to stabilise the two fractures with compression plates and screws. Doctor Eugenio Gimeno carried out the procedure and the postoperative x-rays confirmed that the surgery had been successful.
Miller will remain under observation in the Hospital University Quirón Dexeus for the next 48 hours as he recovers from the surgery.
A decision as to whether Miller will participate in the first MotoGP test in Malaysia will be taken nearer the time, in conjunction with the rider and his medical team.
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Jack was unfortunate to sustain an injury so close to the start of pre-season testing, but riders need to train and there is always some risk when you train on the MX bike. The good news is that the injury is not quite as severe as we first thought and that the surgery was successful. For a normal person the recovery period after such an injury would be long, but racers aren’t normal people and I’m sure Jack is keen to get back on a bike as soon as possible. What is important now is that we monitor his recovery and that he rides again only when he is fit enough to do so, even if that means him missing the first of the MotoGP pre-season tests in Sepang.”