Motocross

Daryl Hurley out for six months

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Daryl Hurley. Photo: Garry Morrow
Team Shift Motul Suzuki rider, Daryl Hurley has suffered a season-ending knee injury, putting an end to his dominating run and quashing title aspirations in two championships on either side of the Tasman. Before his devastating injury, the 29-year-old was well on-track to achieve victory in an incredible four national championships in two different racing disciplines, across two countries in a single season. Having already collected both the 2005 Australian Motocross Championship crown and the New Zealand Supercross title, Hurley currently holds a significant lead in both the Australian Supercross Masters and the New Zealand Motocross Championships. Preparing for reconstructive surgery on his injured knee, the distressed Suzuki star announced that he will not ride again in the 2005 season, and has conceded defeat in the Australian Supercross Masters and New Zealand Motocross series; titles that otherwise would almost certainly be Hurley's. The Suzuki hero's injury also prevented him from representing his country in the prestigious Motocross Des Nations in France, last weekend. "I was practicing and I slid out on a slow, second-gear turn‰Û_ it wasn't much of a fall, but the handlebars collected my knee and damaged the ligaments, even though I was wearing knee braces," Daryl Hurley said. "I've been injured before, but the thing that makes it so hard to take this time is that I was winning races and two more championships were well within reach. "I've never had any problems with my knees, so this is pretty disappointing." Piloting his Suzuki RM-Z450 to victory in the 2005 Australian Motocross Championship crown and honoured with the WEM 2005 Rider of the Year award, Hurley stamped his authority across the Australian off-racing scene all season and appeared invincible prior to his injury. Kicking off the five-round Supercross Masters with victories in the opening two events and maximum points aboard his RM250, Hurley tightened his grip on the championship and extended his advantage in the latest event at Sydney's Superdome. In his homeland, the Kiwi rider had already won this year's NZ Supercross series and was enjoying a comfortable lead in the Motocross Nationals, after dominating all three races of the latest round. Forced to withdraw from all competition, the Suzuki champion must now sit on the sidelines and watch as his rivals in Australia and New Zealand inevitably overtake him in both series. Hurley anticipates making a return to racing in the second quarter of 2006. "This will keep me out for at least six months before I'll be able to get on the bike again, but hopefully I'll be able to start other fitness training before then so I can be ready to return sometime early next season," Hurley concluded.

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