Whatever unfair advantages Hansen had gotten were quickly wiped out in that crash. For once, he was given a test, and he withstood that test. Hansen broke his hand that afternoon, but he won the race that night. Two weeks later, with his hand in even worse condition, he soldiered on for some points in San Diego. He took on surgery during the break in West Regional Lites action and came in healed up as the series resumed in Seattle, only to crash in the whoops, again, in fashion eerily similar to the Anaheim spill that started this whole mess for him.
Hanson suffered a practice crash in Seattle and reinjured his hand.
Photo: Garth Milan
Hanny’s two months of recovery went down the drain in an instant. He would have to ride through pain, again, with shoulder and hand injuries. He fought gamely to finish sixth, the same finishing position he snagged in San Diego.
If you’re fretting over Hansen’s 2011 season—wondering why he’s deserving of a shot with Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki, or, even, why he’s even still in the Lites class after nearly a decade as a pro, there may be less reason to be upset now. The sport just insured Hanny’s reprieve won’t come without the proper sacrifice and pain. Even if you don’t think he deserved another chance or another opportunity, if he finds a way to win this championship, it would be hard to argue that he didn’t earn it.