Hodgson Out of Fontana: Updated!

Paul Carruthers | March 18, 2009

Neil Hodgson remains in the Loma Linda University Medical Center in San Bernardino, California, after suffering a collapsed lung, cracked ribs and a dislocated left shoulder in a motocross accident on Sunday, March 15. He’ll remain in hospital until doctors can get his lung cleared.

“I can’t believe it,” Hodgson said from hospital today. “I’m lying on the track and literally I could not breathe, I couldn’t move and I just thought, ‘What happened?’ I went down so hard.”

The crash occured at Racetown 395 in Adelanto, California, when Hodgson couldn’t avoid hitting a downed rider off a jump.

“It’s so unlucky,” Hodgson said. “I always ride at 80 percent and I never do anything stupid when I’m motocrossing, and then this happens. You just never know. The day before I was riding in a pack of 100 cyclists going down a hill at 50 mph… “

Hodgson will remain hospitalized until doctors at Loma Linda can get his lungs to clear.

“I’ve got a tube in the lung now,” Hodgson said. “Unfortunately, I can’t cough because of my ribs so I can’t get it to clear. And they won’t let me leave until that tube is gone.”Hodgson will be replaced by former Corona Honda rider Jake Holden for this weekend’s second round of the AMA Pro Road Racing Championship at Auto Club Speedway.After being released, Hodgson plans to visit Dr. Thomas Bryan, an orthopedic surgeon well known in the motorcycle racing community.Holden was involved in a protracted contract dispute with the team at the end of the 2008 season and into 2009. The team was late on payments to Holden, whose management believed that voided his contract. He was later paid in full, with interest, according to Saunders.”It was all handled by attorneys and it was resolved,” Saunders said. “It wasn’t an issue of hard feelings with Jake (Holden). He and his management were trying to do what they could and we were doing what we had to and that was the end of it. It doesn’t change my impression of what a good rider he is and the fact that he’s got all the gear and it’s all the right gear for us. We know he goes well at Fontana.”Holden won his first Superstock race for the Corona Extra Honda team at Fontana last year, then followed it up with his second win in the next race at Infineon Raceway.”Jake goes really well at Fontana and he’s been a team member and we obviously like to work with past team members if we can, rather than trying to bring in people from outside,” Saunders said.Hodgson now has a battle on his hands to be fit for the following round at Road Atlanta on the weekend of April 4-5. Part of the decision will depend on whether he needs surgery for his dislocated shoulder and part on his lung injury. Doctors often counsel patients against flying with serious lung injuries.

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.