The 2017 season has claimed another training victim. This time, Jack Miller is the victim of misfortune, the Australian breaking his right leg while out trials riding in Andorra.
Miller was relatively fortunate, in that he suffered the injury at very low speed, putting his foot down trying to save the front end from washing out. However, his foot got stuck, causing the tibia to fracture just below the knee. He was taken to the Dexeus Institut in Barcelona, where a plate and eight screws were fitted, to pin the bone fragments back together again.
Miller already has some movement in the leg, promising a speedy recovery. However, he will not be fit in time for the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi on 15th October. Miller has chosen to focus instead on his home Grand Prix at Phillip Island a week later, and is concentrating his efforts on recovering for that race.
The Marc VDS Racing team is unlikely to field a replacement at Motegi, with the prospect of Miller making a return at Phillip Island. The press release from the team appears below:
Training accident rules Miller out of Motegi
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS MotoGP rider Jack Miller will not race in the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi, after fracturing the tibia in his right leg in a training accident on Friday.
Miller was training on a trials bike near his European base in Andorra and fractured the top of the tibia when he put his right foot down to save a slow speed front-end crash.
The Australian immediately travelled to the Hospital Universitari Dexeus in Barcelona, where he underwent surgery on Saturday morning. A plate and eight screws were inserted to stabilise the fracture.
Miller already has some mobility in the injured leg, but will head back to Andorra today to start an intense program of physiotherapy designed to get him back on the bike for the Australian Grand Prix, which takes place at Phillip Island in just over two weeks time.
"Obviously I'm both disappointed and frustrated to have to sit out the Japanese Grand Prix through an injury sustained while training, especially as it wasn't even a crash! We were out trials riding and I put a foot down when I lost traction from the front tyre. Nine times out of ten that would have been the end of the story, especially at such a low speed, but this time I must have caught my foot on something and ended up fracturing my right tibia close to the knee. The injury has been stabilised with a plate and screws and I already have some movement, but it's clear that I won't be fit for Motegi. However, I am determined to be back on the bike at Phillip Island and that's what I'll be working towards now with the physiotherapist."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"Jack was extremely unfortunate to end up with a fractured tibia from such a seemingly innocuous incident; it was just bad luck. The timing is also unfortunate, as we're about to head overseas for three races in as many weekends, but Jack is adamant that he will miss only next weekend's Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi. His aim is to be back on the bike for his home race at Phillip Island and the prognosis is good. He will work now with a physiotherapist to increase mobility in the injury and, together with his doctors, we will make a decision on whether he is fit to ride in Phillip Island immediately after the Japanese Grand Prix."