Saxo Bank rider Stuart O’Grady is recovering well with the help of fellow Australian and 2007 MotoGP champion Casey Stoner, according to the South Australian’s brother Darren. O’Grady suffered a frightening seizure and collapsed before Sunday’s final MotoGP round in Valencia, Spain, after being taken on a ‘hot lap’ aboard the Ducati two-seater MotoGP bike – a specially-built replica of Stoner’s machine.
He was taken to hospital where he remains under observation, although brother Darren told Cyclingnews that a visit from Stoner was welcome relief for the man affectionately known as ‘Stuey’. “He just told me it’s one of the bonuses [of being in hospital] - Casey Stoner’s come in with a pile of Maccas,” said O’Grady.
Darren, himself an elite rider who has ridden the Crocodile Trophy in the past, explained that Sunday’s medical scare could be related to the head trauma Stuart suffered during an attack in Toulouse, France, before the Sydney Olympic Games. Two months after the attack he had a focal seizure before a race on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia and it appears this latest episode could be linked.
“That’s what they suspect it could be, and the nature of a lap on the back of the MotoGP bike has just upset it. It’s potentially a bit of relapse,” said O’Grady.
It was certainly unexpected, although O’Grady explained that there could be an upside to the episode – a potential long-term solution could be identified. “In all optimism we hope that it’s something that will be treated and it might actually be a good marker of where he’s at with the condition so we can stamp it out once and for all,” said Darren.
Like a number of Australian professional riders, the 2007 Paris-Roubaix champion is a massive motorcycle racing fan. Former World Superbike Champion Troy Bayliss is one of the Australian’s ‘Monaco crew’, along with Columbia-HTC sprint ace Mark Renshaw.
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