TOKYO, JAPAN, SEPT 30 - Eric Bostrom flew to his California home on Monday to continue his recovery after a near death experience in Saturday's AMA American SuperBike race at Barber Motorsports Park.Bostrom was in fifth when he was knocked down by Jordan Suzuki's Brett McCormick in the final corner of the last lap of the race. Bostrom's right thigh was sliced open by the jagged remnant of the footpeg of his Cycle World Attack Racing Yoshimura Suzuki. He was also temporarily dazed by the Suzuki hitting his helmet. After what his brother Ben said was about a five minute delay, an ambulance arrived and he was transported to Trinity Medical Center in Birmingham where doctors needed 102 stitches to close the wound.Bostrom spent Saturday and Sunday nights at the hospital before flying home on Monday. The Monday flight was made more comfortable by sponsor Sho-Air, the international freight forwarding company, which upgraded him to first class. Sho-Air (https://www.shoair.com/) came into the project after it had begun, but their support allowed the team to buy a second Suzuki GSX-R1000, as well as race in more events. Rumors at Barber were that the team was considering full-time sponsorship of Bostrom on Kawasakis in 2011. In an e-mail, Eric said company president Scott Tedro has "been waiting on me 24/7 as I try to follow the doctors' orders and stay off my feet."A photo of the injury http://plixi.com/p/47504497 on Ben Bostrom's Twitter feed www.twitter.com/benbostrom shows the severity of the injury. The football-sized wound tore away a large skin flap from the muscle and the first five days are critical in the skin re-attaching."To have this stage of recovery go wrong can lead to a skin graft nightmare as well as many extra months of recovery," Bostrom said. "The medical staff at Trinity hospital in Birmingham was incredibly warm and helpful. Best of all, I was having flashbacks of 'Days of Thunder' when I met my young attractive doctor," Dr. Elizabeth Shannon Martin, "and she began probing into my leg to decide what her surgical procedure would require, I was thinking, "Is this for real? The bike must have hit me in the head harder than I thought."Doctors told Eric that had the laceration cut into his femoral artery-it missed by two centimeters-he could have quickly bled out, something Eric himself was aware of. Eric said the "most critical part of the surgery was to sterilize the wound and stitch it together in a way that would promote blood flow, thus giving the flap the best possible chance to take. Dr. Martin arrived the following morning for a check-up, she told me she was very proud of her work and the rest was on me not to foul it up. I immediately asked if racing that day was out of the question. Her great attention to detail has been confirmed by my doctors out west, I am so grateful. This will equate to getting back on two wheels sooner."Having cheated death, Bostrom is eager to get back to racing, though under his own power this time."The SoCal Cyclocross season has begun, and in the immortal words of Martin Sheen in 'Apocalypse Now', ‘Every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker. And every minute Charlie squats in the bush, he gets stronger.'"

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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.

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