250 Words: Houston

January 27, 2009 11:23am | by:

  • Christophe Pourcel
After seeing Christophe Pourcel at the 2007 Paris Bercy Supercross, I distinctly remember thinking that his motocross career was over. He was making his first public appearance after a severe hip injury at the Irish GP. The best of the new generation of French racers, he looked emaciated and fragile, having lost a lot of weight as a result of the crash. He could barely walk, and he had an embarrassed look in his eyes. Maybe it was because at that point he was so messed up that he reportedly couldn’t control his bladder. I felt horrible for the kid because he had such an amazing career ahead of him, having already signed a deal for 2008 to move to America and race for the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki team, where his almost-as-fast older brother Sebastien planned to eventually join him. The whole thing was pretty much over...

Man was I wrong about that! On Saturday night in Houston, in his first race in nearly a year and a half, Christophe rode 15 near-perfect laps to claim the East Region opener in the Monster Energy/AMA Supercross, repaying Mitch Payton and his team for holding his ride for him, his family and fans for supporting him, his agent Russ Stratton and everyone else who stood behind him when he was down and almost out for good. Pourcel looked like he’d never been off the bike, which makes one wonder just how good he would be right now if he hadn’t spent the better part of the last 18 months either in a wheelchair, on crutches or in rehab.

{LINKS}Granted, GEICO Powersports Honda’s Brett Metcalfe was right there with him, with Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Nico Izzi, and Pourcel’s own teammate Austin Stroupe not far behind, and one race does not a series make. It’s just that with Pourcel having overcome so much, it’s hard not to be happy for the guy, especially when you consider that Pourcel has likely been looking forward to this race for longer than anyone.

Bon retour aux USA! *

(* Thanks to LeBig for helping me out with my high school French!.)