Five months on from a horrendous testing accident at Imola, Joan Lascorz has been reflecting on the crash which he says has brought an end to his career as a motorcycle racer and his subsequent road to recovery.
The Spaniard crashed his Kawasaki ZX-10R at the high-speed Piratella bend before hitting a concrete wall at close to 200 km/h. The impact caused a dislocation of the C6 vertebra which produced a total assignment of the spinal cord, an injury that doctors have said is irreversible. Lascorz has a quadriplegic paralysis and no mobility in his legs, abdominal area or fingers but does still have mobility in his hands, neck, arms, shoulders, elbows and wrists as 100% of his mental faculties.
Looking back on the moment itself, Lascorz remains disappointed with the safety levels of the Imola circuit in the area that he crashed but will remain eternally grateful for the medical care he’s received since the incident.
“What happened to me is a shame. I’m not sure if it was bad luck or that conditions in Imola were not suitable for a 240 HP bike. In any case, it is undoubtedly a full stop for my career as a SBK racer, and a period in my life. It’s a very difficult situation and I have to be very strong to go ahead. I want to thank for the endless support I’m getting: all motorcycle riders both in SBK and MotoGP, and all the other categories. I also want to thank all the racing fans, and the amateur and professional bikers that have shown me examples of their affection. Albert Llovera, Filippo Preziosi, Oscar Lanza, Isidre Esteve and Pau Bach visits and conversations have been invaluable to me.”
“I want to thank the countless doctors and nurses that have taken care of me, from the SBK Clinica Mobile, at the Maggiore Hospital in Bologna. Thanks to the UCI and the spinal injuries unit of Vall d’Hebron and here in the Guttmann: In all these places, I have been treated like a king.”
“Thanks also to the Catalan and Spanish Federation of Motorcycling and all the support I am having from Panthera wheelchairs, and above all, to all my family, my father Juan who is having a tough time, almost worse than me, my mother Maribel, my brothers and sisters, uncles, cousins, friends and teammates they have all been at any time with me.”
Lascorz has been rehabilitating at the Institute Guttman in Spain but it’s hoped that he will be able to leave in mid-September and concentrate on a new chapter in his life.
“Once out of the Guttman, I will deeply rethink my life and look for economic resources to suit my situation since it is not that easy. I will have to find new goals to continue enjoying life, but certainly not with the same intensity as it has been. Sometimes I feel a great sadness for how quickly it changed, all because of that wall. And I have many thoughts in my head about what happened. Sometimes I think with optimism and what the future holds.”
“I have to do a lot of re-learning. It was not easy to reach the level I was at and it was the result of much effort by all those who have made it possible. From when I stopped delivering pizzas at age 18 with a 50 cc bike and began my career as a rider… It’s a very sad injustice but I have to face it in the best way possible. It is a type of injury that not only keeps you away from racing, but marks you for life and that’s something I’m going to live with forever.”