Superprestigio: Brad Baker Injured!

AMA Pro Grand National Champion will not defend January’s victory in Spain.

Brad Baker crash by Photocall3000

Brad Baker will not defend his Superprestigio Dirt Track title tonight in Barcelona, Spain. The 21-year-old Washington State native crashed during qualifying at the Palau Sant Jordi. He was transported to the well-known Dexeus Hospital, where he was diagnosed with a dislocated left shoulder.

“We were going really good,” Baker said upon his return to the stadium. “I felt the best that I had all day. I was fastest in every session, and I had just laid in a really good time—a 12.0-second lap.

“There were a lot of braking bumps going into turn 3. I just flicked ’er in there, and the rear tire caught a rut and sent it back to the left, over the highside, which planted me on my head. Then the bike came around and landed directly on my shoulder.”

Baker was also knocked out. “I was unconscious for at least half a minute,” he said. “I came to, and it was the weirdest thing I’ve ever done—waking up not knowing exactly what was going on and having to figure things out. I don’t like that feeling.

“Thank God I don’t have any broken bones, and I don’t have a head injury. I don’t feel comfortable trying to ride, so I’m going to sit in the stands tonight and enjoy the show with everybody else.”

During practice, Baker, fellow American Jared Mees, and MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez posted the quickest lap times. “I really liked the track,” Baker said. “It was getting a little bumpy and pretty rutted up, but that’s dirt track for you. At least I went out fastest, not slowest.”

Baker intends to compete in January’s Troy Bayliss Classic in Australia. “I’ve got a trip to Hawaii when I get home,” he said, “so I’m going to lay on the beach and let my shoulder mend. Hopefully, I’ll be ready to represent America and redeem myself, so to speak.”

Asked for his favorites this evening, aside from Mees and Marquez, Baker said, “I thing the Neeves, Tom and Tim, are going really well. They’re pretty consistent, and they can turn good times. Bradley Smith has turned it up quite a bit from January. He may not have the fastest times, but he can click off smooth, consistent laps, and he doesn’t make very many mistakes.

“Nobody was in the same ballpark as me and Jared and Marc. This should be a showdown between both number ones, except it will be Jared instead of me.”