Between the  Motos: Kyle Chisholm

Between the Motos: Kyle Chisholm

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Yamaha-backed Kyle Chisholm has been on the sidelines for a long time now trying to get better from a devastating crash he had in supercross. The #11 rider is finally looking to get back riding soon, but he’ll most likely miss the outdoors and return in 2014. We have a tendency in the this sport to forget those riders that get hurt and with that in mind, we wanted to catch everyone up on what life is like on the disabled list.

Racer X: You were with JGR Yamaha when you crashed in St Louis. What did you do and how was the recovery?
Kyle Chisholm:
Yeah, back at St. Louis I had the crash there, like second half of the main. Kind of did a pretty good one on myself there and ended up on my right ankle. I tore some ligaments, nothing too major, basically like a bad sprain so normally a four or five week deal. So needless to say that part healed up good. So that was all good. And then on my left ankle I broke the bottom of my leg right above my ankle. I had to have surgery, have a plate and screws and stuff in there. And then on my left knee I tore the PCL and meniscus and as well I got a scratch and a little tear in the MCL as well. So, PCL, meniscus, MCL. And then kind of on top of all that I tore a couple little muscle things around my knee.

Nothing that had to be repaired but just kind compounding injuries and everything. So just kind of had some pain, muscle stuff in my leg—the top part. And then also because I broke my leg and [hurt] the knee on the same leg it kind of made rehab and everything take a little bit longer than if the injuries were individual. So I had a little bit to go through here but things are looking up now. Everything’s getting a little better. Just trying to do my rehab and get back out there.

The prognosis is 100 percent recovery?
Yeah, it should be good. I actually had to go back in and have it fixed up again. They did the original surgery on my leg and my knee and then about a month ago, which was about two months after the first surgery, they went back in and just cleaned my knee up. They didn’t have to repair anything. Just scoped it and cleaned up some scar tissue. I had a lot of scar tissue from being made immobile for, like, six weeks after the first surgery. Since then, which was like three or four weeks ago, it’s been 100 percent better. Now I’m able to be doing more rehab and functional stuff. I’m able to strengthen it and be on my feet now instead of in a wheelchair like I was for the first couple months.

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Chisholm was injured in St. Louis during his fill-in role with JGR Yamaha.
Simon Cudby photo

Did you basically fall out of the air when you collided with Goerke?
Yeah. We were kind of battling for a few turns, for half a lap. It was the beginning of the race, only the second lap. We were kind of swapping back and forth, passing each other. And I got to the inside of him before that triple, and I guess [Jake] Weimer… So we were basically side-by-side and I think Weimer or somebody didn’t jump the triple in front of him. I don’t think he did it on purpose or anything like that, but just made a bad decision. Instead of not jumping the triple he kind of swerved at the last minute. As soon as I was taking off for the triple I knew it wasn’t going to turn out very good. We just collided. He was maybe not even a half a bike length in front of me. So when I hit him I hit him right at the foot peg because he kind of came across. When we hit in the air it just knocked the front end out from under my bike.

So I ended up basically bailing off the front of it and landing on my feet. And right before I hit the ground my bike kind of nailed me right in the back. I kind of had some numbness and tingling in my legs at first so they were kind of concerned about that but everything checked out okay. So that was a good relief.

First, your Jeff Ward team folds on you in the fall. So then you go to the Velocity 3 team and that’s a cluster from the start. It folds early in supercross. JGR picks you up for a fill-in, and this was your first race for them. And never mind the injury; it’s been a terrible year for you anyways!
Yeah, it sucks. It’s definitely not the way we wanted to go, but I try to look at, at least for myself, none of it was really any of my fault. You have to swallow it one way or the other, but it’s not like I’m out there racing and just sucking on the weekend; it’s a terrible year. I just had a bad off-season last year and the whole Jeff Ward thing kind of fell apart. That would have been an awesome team to stay with. With Dean Wilson supposed to be coming on board, I think it would have been a really good deal, but it fell apart. And then that whole Velocity deal happened and fell apart.

And then JGR stepped up when Josh Grant got hurt, which obviously sucked for him, but for me it was an awesome opportunity to be there. To only get one race in with those guys and not even get to finish it definitely stings a little bit to have that opportunity and then not be able to have the chance to really do anything with it. But looking back now all I can do is get myself better and try to get back into that position.

Are you going to be back this summer at all?
Originally I was hoping to be back by midway through. I ended up getting my knee cleaned up a little bit, like I said, a month ago. I’m cleared right now. Basically right now everything’s healed, everything’s good. I’m allowed and able to do anything I can handle at this point. But my leg is still… I was off of it for basically two and a half months, and my leg is about as big as my arm right now. I’ve lost a bunch of pounds since everything happened. So I have some work to do to get my leg stronger and get myself back to where I need to be before I race. Technically I could race now but just kind of taking it week by week and seeing where I’m at. If I make one of the outdoors at the end, that’s great, but I basically just want to get healthy first.

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Chisholm started the season with Velocity 3 Racing, but the team folded during supercross.
Simon Cudby photo

I guess it doesn’t matter, you have no team to go to anyway.
Yeah. Well, I have no team but Yamaha was awesome; they ended up… With the whole Velocity folding, there’s a bunch of stuff that went down that I don’t even really know half about, but with the lawsuit thing I ended up, basically Yamaha kind of got those bikes back and they actually gave me my practice bike, my race bike from that deal. So I have two bikes sitting there waiting for me. Definitely thank Yamaha a lot for...they didn’t have to do that. They’ve been very supportive of everything. At least I’ll have a bike to get out there, but if not I’ll have something to start riding with.

There’s Rock River, they’ll take you. At least you have bikes to get started with.
Yeah. I kind of talked to them before the JGR thing came about. Obviously I wanted to stay with Yamaha and the Velocity thing was only supercross anyway. So I was kind of already wondering about outdoors. Nothing was written for sure or even really talked about in length, but they wanted to help me in some way. So I think that was obviously really cool of them. So I think if it comes down to it we’ll figure something out and I’ll be out there if I can, and if not then I’ll be ready for next year.

Yeah, it sucks for you and Bobby Kiniry; you both were on the Velocity 3 team. But props to Yamaha for somewhat taking care of both of you guys and doing what they can.
It was awesome for them to step up. They did way more than they needed to or had to. It’s nice to be with good people like that. It’s not that it isn’t just them but right now it’s just good to have people like that behind you.

As I’m talking to you right now you’re just coming back from Chad’s [Reed] house watching those guys ride. I would imagine you’ve been talking leg strength with [Michael] Byrne a lot. But what have you been doing? Have you been bored?
Yeah, like I said, the first two months basically I was in a wheelchair for the most part. The right ankle for the first month and a half I was in a boot until that one got better. So in a wheelchair for a while, so it’s kind of not much of anything because at that point you’re in therapy. I couldn’t do anything because I wasn’t able to really move yet. I think I’ve watched every TV show that they’ve ever put on TV and every movie. I tried playing X-Box for a while and Brittany got me the new Tiger Woods game. I think I played those until I don’t want to play anymore. But the first couple months it was like whatever I could possibly do. I don’t read very much but when I was up at the Gibbs place, Joe Gibbs has his book and I actually read that thing. I don’t read very much, but whatever I can do to pass the time.

These last few weeks I’ve been able to be up and about. I’ve been coming out to Chad’s and kind of watching the guys ride. At least I’ve been able to be out of the house and doing rehab and stuff like that. I go to therapy every day and I’m able to actually do stuff now. It’s a little easier now, but definitely watching the guys ride, that isn’t a whole lot of fun. And actually Deano just got down here this week so we’re the cheering squad for Byrner and Chad.

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Chisholm is not expected to return until the 2014 season.
Simon Cudby photo

How are you doing financially? You’ve made some money in your career and stuff but this has to be tough.
It’s tough. It’s not easy at all. Luckily I do have good sponsors behind me. I’ve been with O’Neal for quite a few years and Unit. Everybody, all of my own personal sponsors. I know there’s more on the list; I won’t list them out, but all those guys have been good. Definitely kind of keeping me afloat and everything like that. But no, it’s not easy having medical bills and all that. I have insurance but it doesn’t cover everything and going to see doctors and all that stuff. It isn’t cheap. So I definitely want to get back out there and put food on the table.

Before I let you go give me your thoughts on the Nationals so far? “Team Florida” is not doing so well.
Yeah. I think Byrner and Chad will turn it around here soon. I think the week off here has been good for them. But I’ve been kind of surprised; the 450 Class I was definitely a little surprised with Villopoto winning as much as he had. Obviously you know he’s going to be up there but I think he’s kind of won a little more and a little easier than I thought he would. He’s definitely done really well. Kind of making it boring for me watching! I wasn’t happy to see him crash at Muddy Creek but as a fan right now watching on TV, I was glad he got up and once he got up I was kind of like, all right, this is going to be an exciting moto now that he has to come from behind.

And the 250MX class has been a little more exciting. I don’t think the actual racings been exciting but at least there’s been different winners and stuff like that. [Jeremy] Martin, Cooper Webb and those guys kind of stepping up a little bit. I don’t know if Adam’s [Cianciarulo] racing this weekend or not but it’ll be cool once he gets out there, see how he does. I think it’s been good. I never was one to complain about the TV stuff, the channels and all that. But for me it’s not that hard to figure out what channel something’s on. It’s cool to be able to for the most part watch the races live. I understand it’s a little confusing, but if you’re really a fan of racing and you want to watch it it’s not that hard to look through the guide or look on Racer X or wherever to see when it’s on. It’s been cool. But now I’m just ready to get back out there.

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