SBK, Cortese: “I’m very thankful to still be alive, but I want to go back to racing”

“I was very close to being in a wheelchair and I really miss racing. I’m 31, not too old, so if I come back with competitive machinery, then I will”

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A complicated winter for Sandro Cortese is about to end. The German rider, in fact, is still recovering from the bad injury he suffered last August, when in Portimao he fractured a vertebra and tibia in a collision first with Mercado and then with the barriers of the Portuguese track. But now the worst seems to be over.

“I had a tough end to last year, with many months in recovery and rehabilitationsaid Cortese  to the official World SBK website - and also at the beginning of this year. I could not do a lot of sport but now, more and more, I can train again. I still need to have another operation to take out the plates, possibly in April. I had a check in December and everything looks good, but I wasn’t 100% recovered. The doctors said I need to come back at the end of February or the start of March and then we can make an appointment for the operation to remove the plates. The plate isn’t painful but, in some positions, it can be uncomfortable.”

Cortese is therefore aiming for full recovery even if for this season it will be very difficult to see him racing in the world championship.

“Looking at the racing, it will be very tough to race this year; all of the good spots are taken and now, I will concentrate on my full recovery and see what the future brings. I’m very thankful to still be alive, to walk normally and to enjoy normal life again. Of course, I really miss racing and I wish everything had happened differently but when you have such a hard time and a big accident, you are just thankful to be normal again. I was very close to being in a wheelchair and to realise this made me forget about other things.”

Fortune in misfortune, therefore, even if the dream of returning to competing at high levels is still there for the 2012 Moto3 and 2018 Supersport World Champion.

“My wish is to jump back on a bike with a competitive team. I’m 31, not too old for racing, so if I come back with a competitive team with competitive machinery, then I will. I am not the type of rider to just ‘be there’ in the paddock; if I come back, then I want to be at the front and fight for top positions. Racing is very quick, one minute you don’t have anything and then the next, you get a chance that you didn’t expect. My goal is to get back 100% fit again and if the opportunity comes, I’ll take it.”

In any case, during the injury Sandro seems to have found some strong support from his loved ones.

 “The most important people around me were my girlfriend, family and friends; we spoke mostly every day when I had the downs. They were with me in every moment. Very soon, I realised that I don’t have to be upset about what happened. When I was in the hospital and I saw what could’ve been the end result, like in the wheelchair for the rest of my life, I took the positives of my situation. I had the chance to get fit again, to walk again and to do the things I love again in the near future. When I spoke to my family, they just said to be thankful.”

 

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