Bad news for Rockstar Energy Drink Husqvarna's Thad Duvall, who is expected to be a contender for a variety of off-road championships this year. After taking second overall at the Grand National Cross Country season opener last weekend in South Carolina, Duvall suffered a bad crash at Saturday's U.S. Sprint Enduro Series opener, at the GTR Complex also in South Carolina
Duvall hit a tree hard and had to be taken from the track in an ambulance. Thad posted details on the injury on Sunday night:
Thanks to everyone reaching out. Unfortunately I clipped a tree wrong with my foot peg an it shot me into another tree stopping me instantly. Resulting in a collapsed lung, broken collarbone and some fractured ribs in my back. I wanna say a huge thanks to @r_sipes for staying with me. Billy and the @ussprintenduro handled it so well and I’m thankful with the crew I had out in the woods taking care of me. Fall 7 times get back up 8, we will be back 💪🏻
The GNCC series continues this upcoming weekend with the Wild Boar GNCC in Florida, and then races again with The General GNCC in Georgia the following weekend.
Duvall was hoping 2021 would be the year he would finally capture that elusive GNCC Championship. Duvall had battled Kailub Russell for the #1 plate for years, but now Russell is no longer competing in the series. If Duvall misses the next two races, which seems likely considering these injuries, it would likely end his title hopes.
Ryan "The General" Sipes, now competing on a Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull GasGas, actually sacrificed his race at the U.S. Sprint Enduro to attend to Duvall in the woods. As such, the series decided to average all of Sipes' test times for the day to give him an overall score, instead of letting one test (which he sacrificed) ruin his entire weekend.
Meanwhile, Steward Baylor, in his own return from injury, logged the win at the Sprint Enduro and should be good to race next weekend's GNCC in Florida. Stew missed the GNCC opener due to a big wound suffered at the AMA National Enduro opener. His doctors recommended taking extra time to heal to prevent infection, so he missed the GNCC last weekend. With Duvall now out, Steward's title hopes get a boost.
Also interesting: the Baylor brothers (Steward and Grant) have combined to sweep the openers of three off-road series this year, in National Enduro, GNCC, and Sprint Enduro.