Soomer: “Only the outcome of the fall wasn’t part of the plan”
You can quote the classics to sum up Hannes Soomer’s experience on Saturday. Tommi Mäkinen, four times car rally World Champion has said, “It was a bad race, but the car was good”, and boy, does it apply to this weekend! In the final records on Saturday you’ll find the Kallio Racing driver in the 4th position (1.37,751 s), but he went through a brutal fall the second half of the test, injuring his ankle bones and therefore missing out on the race on Sunday.
“There is nothing unusual about a fall, it happens as you go for the speed,” said Hannes as he came back from the doctors. “But this time it was a bad fall since my front wheel went off after a fast sector, the flight was impressively high and I landed with a crash. It hurt.” In spite of this carousel experience he stayed positive,”After Misano we ripped down everything, to the bones, looking for speed and made great advances together with Marko Rohtlaan. In addition to that the team worked miracles with the engine and that is why I felt right away that the bike was good, it was time to go for it!”
Qualifications proved his words - our Yamaha pilot could start putting a fast lap together only in the second half of the session. “I could not drive a clean lap in the beginning - there was a lot of traffic and on each lap there was some drama queen who eased off the accelerator on the driving line as a sign of a failed move. So I came into the pit earlier and changed tyres. I got back to the track as others were coming in to change their tyres and started pressing froward. The best lap - the first - was wasted since I was on the lawn in one curve and therefore it was not taken into account.
The third lap gave him the 4th time and therefore he was anything but beaten even after the fall. “I made a tiny little mistake every single lap of the second half of the qualification test. I still got the 4th result, losing only 0.53 seconds to the best. This - as well as also how comfortable I felt on the bike - proves we have moved in the right direction. This morning there were only cosmetic changes carried out, we mostly used settings from yesterday and I felt that everybody on the track could be caught.”
What next? In a few days his ankle will be checked in Estonia by the surgeon who operated on him in winter. “Dutch doctors say six weeks of being in a cast should do it, so the worst case scenario would mean back in the saddle in France. That is I would miss two stages. But surgery could speed up my recovery and in the perfect world I could be back in the saddle in Czech Republic in early August. We’ll wait and see what doctors say, we’ll make our plans then.”