WSBK: Sylvain Barrier out indefinitely after car crash

BMW Motorrad Italia rider suffers major facial injuries requiring temporary medically induced coma

BMW Motorrad Italia rider Sylvain Barrier was involved in a serious car crash earlier this week and is out indefinitely from the World Superbike Championship. The Frenchman, who was promoted to the top class on an S 1000 RR EVO after seizing the SuperStock 1000 championship with the same manufacturer in 2013, was hospitalized in Lyon, France, last Sunday in a medically induced coma, from which he recovered Tuesday morning.

According to sources inside the team, the 25-year-old rider fortunately did not suffer neurological damage, and he was immediately able to speak and recognized his family members. He was then moved to a specialized maxillofacial clinic to reduce the facial traumas he suffered. His prognosis, however, remains reserved and recovery times, while not disclosed, are likely to be from two to three months. The circumstances of the crash, says a note from BMW, are still under investigation.

The accident leaves the team in search of a temporary substitute, as Barrier was the only rider in its roster. "We have all the time to think this through," said Piero Guidi, technical and logistical director for the team. "At this moment, our focus is on Sylvain's health. Many of us are on our way to France to see him."

Previously, Barrier had already missed the opening round in Phillip Island due to a crash sustained during the pre-race tests, in which he fractured his pelvis. Local rider Greg Allerton replaced him for the Australian round, finishing 11th and 15th in the two races. The next round of WSBK is scheduled for April 13 in Aragon (Spain).