Dynamic Australian youngster, Darcy Ward is likely to miss two months of competition after the spectacular crash that eliminated him in the second round of the Swedish Speedway Grand Prix at the weekend having suffered a fractured shoulder blade.
He will this week see a specialist in the UK to determine whether surgery is required or not on the injury. Initially it was thought they would operate on him in Sweden, however his British team manager, Neil Middleditch convinced Ward to make his way back to Bournemouth and have the injury assessed by local medicos.
Ward suffered the crash on his 21st birthday. He has been the revelation of the 2013 Grand Prix season so far, however this is the third major crash he has sustained since the beginning of the season, each time suffering minor injuries.
He is likely to miss the next four Grands Prix in Prague, Cardiff, Gorzow (Poland) and Copenhagen. It has decimated his chances at taking the World Championship on debut – which was highly likely upon entrance to the Ullevi Stadium on Saturday – Ward was sitting second on the points ladder.
Upon his return, he is convinced he can have a hand in the outcome of the World Championship:
“There’s not much I can do. Obviously I’m not going to be a title contender now. So we’ll just have to focus on trying to get back at 100 percent and doing my job for my teams,” said a frustrated Ward.
“When I’m fit, I’m going to come back and be an upsetter. I’m going to be stealing the points from people that need them.”
Meantime, triple World Champion, Nicki Pedersen has vowed he will compete in the Czech Grand Prix despite breaking his hand in the high speed incident with Brit, Tai Woffinden in the semi-final.
Miraculously, Pedersen got back to his feet, led much of the semi-final re-run and then finished third behind a determined Emil Sayfutdinov and Australian World Champion Chris Holder in the decider.
“My hand is broken. They say it’s going to take four weeks if it’s going to heal up properly,” said the nuggetty Dane. “But I want to ride in the Prague Grand Prix – that’s the target. I’m trying to see if I can get a brace made, so that I can race for the World Championship. If I don’t get to Prague, I will be racing for the top eight and it will be pointless to do anything.”
The ultra-aggressive rider knew something was wrong immediately after the crash but battled through with the thought of keeping his World Championship fires burning:
“I know I can race through the pain. I haven’t heard of that many guys get third place with a broken hand. But I knew there was something wrong, otherwise I wouldn’t have been in pain like I was.”
With Pedersen sitting fifth on the points ladder heading into the Prague event on May 18, it promises to add to the intrigue of what has been a stunning Speedway Grand Prix World Championship so far in 2013.
Here is video of the accident