Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Blake Young has been forced to withdraw from the fifth round of the AMA Pro Road Racing Championship at Infineon Raceway because of the finger injury he suffered at Barber Motorsports Park nearly two weeks ago.Young lost half of his left pinkie when he crashed in turn five of Sunday’s race at Barber. The pace car was brought out to slow the field while Young was transported by ambulance to the infield medical center. Surgery was performed on the pinkie nine days ago in Louisville, Kentucky.This morning Young discovered that the finger wasn’t flexible enough and that any attempt to race could aggravate the injury by breaking the stitches.”It’s just not ready,” Young said while the American Superbikes qualified at Infineon Raceway. “I think I’m going to hurt it. Even doctors think it’s pretty iffy if the tissue’s really soft, stitches in, putting a lot of pressure, really swelled up. It’s just one of those things. I’m here, I want to be here, I want to ride. I don’t want to lose any points. I want to race. It’s as simple as that. It sucks.”With 12 turns and several elevation changes packed into the 2.32-mile road course, Infineon Raceway is one of the more physically demanding tracks on the calendar. Had the race been at Daytona International Speedway or Road America, tracks with long straightaways that allow some time to rest, Young might have been able to ride.”This is one of the hardest tracks to come back to from an injury,” Young said. “I mean, you got a place like Daytona, that would’ve been great. Elkhart, another one. You know you got those big long straightaways. Let that thing kind of ease up. Even with numbing it…it hurts before you numb it and your body’s telling you, ‘Hey, it hurts. You’re not supposed to be doing that.'”I think you just can’t rush it. It’s kind of out my hands now. We did everything preparing. Got back on the bicycle, got off the pain-killers, finished off my antibiotics. Got back riding. Felt good. I feel physically fit, good. Did everything I just possibly could to try to come back to race. But, it’s just something that I think’s going to take time. It’s really hard for me to understand. That’s why Kevin’s [Schwantz] here to tell me, ‘Hey, easy, easy, easy.’ But it’s tough. I’m just a 21-year-old kid who wants to go out there and ride. It’s tough sitting here. We tried and I know I’d be mad at myself if I didn’t come out and at least try. I’d rather be here than sitting on my motor home going, ‘Man, I wish I was out there’ and I think I can do it.””We’re coming back for Elkhart,” the Wisconsin native continued. “I’m looking forward to that. I’m going to do nothing but just train up to it and try to come back and hopefully do everything possible the doctors say to do with this thing and try to get it healed up as quick as possible. That’s what I’m looking forward to now. I’m already kind of over this weekend. After seeing with the only little range of motion that I have with it and the glove, it’s kind of a bummer. But I’m getting over it and we’ll just have to work on it for Elkhart. I think we’ll be good. I mean, the new bike and we got some new things to test. It seems like every weekend we come to the track we’ve got more and more stuff to test. So I mean, Tommy [Hayden] and Mat [Mladin] will be testing it this weekend and we’ll be ready to go for Elkhart.”
Blake Young Out of Infineon
Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor
Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.