Stuart O’Grady will be released from hospital in Spain later today after undergoing tests following a seizure suffered on Sunday. The Australian was attending the Valencia round of the MotoGP championship when he experienced a frightening seizure.
O’Grady explained that the ‘hot lap’ he had just taken aboard the Ducati two-seater MotoGP motorcycle with Randy Mamola may have triggered the episode. "When the ride finished of course I could feel my heart rate soaring, my blood pressure rising, but I didn't give it much more thought," he said. "But then I started having blotchy vision and 20 minutes later I had a seizure and collapsed.
"It was possibly the extreme 'hyper tension' or maybe an old scar on my brain from one of my previous crashes but there's no use speculating or guessing, it's happened and that's that."
The Saxo Bank professional has endured life-threatening crashes during his career and is regarded as one of the toughest riders in the peloton. Despite the medical side effects of his close encounter with motorcycle racing on Sunday, the Australian remained typically upbeat about the experience. "The ride around the Valencia circuit was unbelievable," said O'Grady. "I've jumped out of planes, been in a Russian fighter jet, a V8 Supercar, the works - but the twin seater Ducati blows them all out of the water!
"I have never come close to the experience of hanging on for your life. The braking on those bikes had my feet coming off the rear pegs, and my butt way off the seat, the acceleration meant I needed my full strength to hang onto the machine and not get flicked out onto the track in front of 90,000 fans," he explained. "It was something I will never forget and would do again tomorrow if my body could handle it."
Despite the serious nature of O’Grady’s collapse, the South Australia took a light-hearted approach to the matter. O’Grady said he’s even accepted the new nickname David Millar, who was with O’Grady at the MotoGP round, has given him.
"I think I'll stick to my 'little pushie' where we only hit 80 -100k an hour," O'Grady said. "I'll leave those MotoGP bikes to the legends that are riding them.
"I'm now the 'One Lap Wonder'," laughed O'Grady. "I can live with that.”
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