On September 10, 2020, a rare and short year, with few races, with grand prizes without an audience, the driver Ana Carrasco (Cehegín, Murcia; 24 years old) suffered an accident at the Estoril circuit during some tests. "A silly fall when entering the gravel." The dorsal vertebra was fractured. “The first thing that crossed my mind after the accident was if I could race in Barcelona, there was a week left. As they gave me information, I began to realize that I was not going to be able to run that or any other race, ”the driver now recalls, the first FIM World Champion. It was in 2018, when he beat 40 other pilots, almost all men , in the SuperSport 300 category. Today, five months later, he returns to pilot his Kawasaki Ninja 400. Today, a long scar, which has no qualms about showing , runs through his column to remind him how lucky he has been.
More information Ana Carrasco: “Driving like a woman is to win ” Ana Carrasco, first
motorcycling world champion The medical report upon arrival at the Quirón Dexeus Hospital in Barcelona still produces chills:“ Fracture of the spinal column, which (…) affects the entire vertebral body causing loss height of about 50%. Magnetic resonance imaging is performed to assess neurological involvement and a small displacement of two millimeters is detected at the T4 level that invades the bone canal, but without affecting the spinal cord ”. Dr. Maite Ubierna performed surgery to stabilize the fractures and allow early mobilization.
Carrasco, pure vitality and optimism, faced the recovery process from the beginning as one more task. Even if it wasn't. She left the hospital with six kilos less when her usual weight is 57. And she hosted her parents at her home in Barcelona: “I couldn't live alone. I needed help because I could do practically nothing. " And they, delighted to take care of the little girl in the house, the toughest and most stubborn of the three brothers, the one who as a child slept with her motorcycle tucked in the room.
“I never doubted that I would run again. They told me that it would take between three and five months to be able to begin to be well and lead a normal life; in the end, we have shortened the deadlines a lot ”. Five months have passed and a second operation to see her riding a motorcycle again.
She had already suffered injuries before: in the elbow, clavicle or shoulder. The latter, in 2015, ended up leaving her out of the Motorcycle World Championship, where she competed in the Moto3 category. “The doctor told me that it would take two years to recover. It was like telling me to forget about riding a motorcycle again ”. But Carrasco rarely gives his arm to twist: “If all the years that have gone badly I had thrown in the towel , I would never have been a world champion. In this sport we are used to hurting ourselves, but a back injury always scares a little more. ”
He has returned to training. And to smile open-mouthed. Like when a few weeks ago, after riding a go-kart for a couple of days with a small motorcycle, he planted himself at the Montmeló circuit. "I had doubts about how I could go with the Kawasaki, which is a much bigger bike and has more speed." But it went very well. “I shot at the same times as a year ago. And the sensations were good. I continue to have pain and work with the physio, but I am fast, which is the important thing. ”
He got back on the bike this week in Navarra, although he is still in the process of rehabilitation. “I do a lot of swimming, I work on mobility, and I do strength exercises to strengthen my back and neck, which is what I wear the worst.”
With his sights set on the next SSP300 World Championship, Carrasco avoids looking back. “If you think a lot about the bad, the damage that you could have done to yourself, in the end you stay there. The only way is to think about what to do to recover, be better and come back as soon as possible ”. You acknowledge that you have not talked to anyone about the risk you took. “Not even with my family. From the beginning I have understood this risk as part of my job, I have understood that I can hurt myself a lot and that a fall can have difficult consequences. But I was lucky. ”
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