Swedish racer Filip Backlund has decided to sit out the 2017 MCE British Superbike season following the injuries he sustained in a serious crash in the final round of 2016 at Brands Hatch.
Backlund was involved in a serious incident in the opening race of the weekend with fellow rider Howie Mainwaring-Smart, with a trackside official also sustaining a head injury.
Having spent the winter months recovering from his head injury, he has decided that he’ll give racing a miss in 2017 and is undecided about the future beyond that.
“The final race was four months ago but it’s only been since Christmas that I’ve been able to do some short walks, three times a week of just 20 minutes each,” Backlund explained in a statement announcing his news.
“This is hard for someone who is always in the gym. For two months straight I couldn’t do anything physical and during that time after the crash it was worrying as I had issues with speaking, lost my balance and had memory problems. Things have improved, but I realise things will not be right to race in 2017.
“I’ve been racing for 23 years and you think that the worst thing that can happen is that you could be paralysed, but you can overcome that, as many amazing people have.
“I guess it’s that ‘superhero’ mentality that bike racers have: you break a bone, they plate it or pin it and you race a week or so later. You smash your head and suffer serious concussion and there is no simple fix; it’s time that’s needed. It’s one of those occasions as a racer that we realise we are not super-human and I guess it’s a bit of a wake-up call.”
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