On Instagram, Bar X/Chaparral/Ecstar Suzuki’s Derek Drake has announced a rare heart condition. After struggling with his fitness since turning pro, Drake will undergo surgery in hopes of finding the conditioning that has eluded him in 30-minute motos. He has not announced a timetable to return.
After collecting the coveted AMA Nicky Hayden Horizon Award at Loretta Lynn's in 2018, Drake turned pro with the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull KTM team at the opening round of the 2019 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship. He finished 20th in 250 Class points of his first full season. The California native made his AMA Supercross debut with the team in 2020, finishing with a season-best seventh at the Oakland Supercross, but then had some lingering health issues near the end of the Pro Motocross season that impacted his physical strength. Drake signed with the Bar X/Chaparral/Ecstar Suzuki team for 2021 but unfortunately suffered a compound fracture to his femur in December 2020 in a practice crash. He would come back to race two rounds of Monster Energy AMA Supercross in April before returning to the gates for the Pro Motocross opener at Fox Raceway at Pala. Through three rounds of the championship, Drake sits 23rd in points. Now, Drake has announced details of his rare heart condition and his plans to undergo heart surgery.
Below is Drake’s full post:
Alright time to set the record straight. Since I can remember I’ve had to manage and live with a rare heart condition. I never knew this condition would affect me so much when it came to my fitness and health as a pro athlete. The last 2 years Ive been training and suffering everyday and I’ve been getting no where I just thought I needed to train harder, and I just buried myself. In amateurs I could get by because the longest motos we had to do were 20 minutes at LL. But as a pro athlete It’s holding me back from getting to the level of fitness I know I need to train at and be consistent with. I decided to put my health first and this month I plan to undergo heart surgery in hopes that I can move forward with ease and heal my body properly. I am taking some time off to get better and I will be back.
I can’t thank my family and inner circle enough for going above and beyond for me I couldn’t be doing this without them.