Motorcycle rider, 13, suffers ‘traumatic injuries’ in pre-race crash at Indianapolis

By Michael Marot, AP
Sunday, August 29, 2010

Motorcycle rider, 13, seriously injured at Indy

INDIANAPOLIS — Race officials say rider Peter Lenz has sustained “traumatic injuries” after crashing during a warmup lap for a junior series motorcycle event at Indianapolis on Sunday.

Lenz, a 13-year-old rider from Vancouver, Wash., fell and then appeared to be run over by the motorcycle driven by Xavier Zayat of Flushing, N.Y.

Medical workers placed Lenz in a neck brace, put him on a stretcher and appeared to be doing chest compressions. U.S. Grand Prix Racers Union officials said Lenz was transported to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis and that there would be updates on his condition later Sunday.

Speedway officials said Zayat was not injured.

The crash briefly delayed the start of the USGPRU race. The two MotoGP races, in the 125cc and Moto2 divisions, both started on time.

The USGPRU, established in 2002, sanctions races around the country to help prepare riders ages 12 to 18 for motorcycle racing at higher levels.

But their races are not typically held in conjunction with MotoGP events, and Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials declined to comment about holding this event at one of the world’s most historic tracks. A USGPRU spokesman did not immediately respond to an interview request from The Associated Press.

Indy’s slick, bumpy 2.621-mile course has been tricky this weekend — even for the world’s best riders.

Reigning world champ Valentino Rossi has fallen four times since practice opened Friday, including a spill Sunday morning during a 20-minute warmup session. Pole winner Ben Spies and points leader Jorge Lorenzo also acknowledged Saturday, after qualifying, that the track was difficult to drive.

According to Lenz’s entry on the USGPRU website, he has been racing for six years and has won nine national championships and nine regional championships. He lists his profession as kid.

will not be displayed