Mariñelarena: Recovering a life and a dream

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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Alex Mariñelarena continues to recuperate in Spain after the shocking incident he suffered during a private pre-season test at Paul Ricard. Having been previously placed into an induced coma, life now continues step-by-step at home in Navarra. The 21-year-old discusses his convalescence with motogp.com

The objective for Alex Mariñelarena is to remount his motorcycle and to continue competing, but there is no fixed date on that at present. For now, the task is to get better following an accident that sent shockwaves down the MotoGP™ paddock.

"One day, I just woke up in a hospital in France (the Saint-Anne hospital in Toulon) and my mother was there," Mariñelarena recalls. "She started asking me if everything was feeling okay. All I remember is leaving home on 26 February; I can’t remember the accident, I can’t remember anything from the two days before nor anything for 16 or 17 days afterwards. I can’t remember a thing.

"When I woke up, I saw that my arm was in a bad way so I obviously knew that I had had an accident, but I imagined it must have happened a day or two before. When they told me it had been 20 days, it really hit me. ‘Was it really that bad?’ I asked. But of course they would explain everything and then plenty of doctors would be coming to see me; then I began to realise what had happened and that for me it hadn’t been anywhere near as bad as for my family or for the people in the team."

Once he was well enough to be moved to the Clinica de Navarra back home in Spain, Mariñelarena also learned of injuries to the head and shoulder plus various fractures in his right foot.

"That’s right," he continues. "When I had that accident, there was real worry amongst everybody about those head injuries. The impact I had was so strong that I lost consciousness. The head injuries were obviously by far the most worrying ones. Since I have returned home, I have been able to recover and rest even more and I have a rehabilitation programme going. We’re working very hard in particular on the topic of balance. I am also using a machine to help fuse the fractured bones back together and I am doing shoulder exercises in order to gain more movement with it.

"It has been great to see that riders from all three classes of the World Championship have been sending me nice messages and I would like to say thank you to everybody who has been getting in touch through Facebook and Twitter. I love receiving messages from people I don’t actually know – it makes things easier for me."

The recovery may be a slow and frustrating process, but the target is clear.

"From the moment I was first able to get back up out of bed, I have had the same goal in mind," Mariñelarena begins to sum up. "Bikes are the target. Racing in the World Championship was always a dream of mine. I was living that dream but, due to circumstances, I have had to stop which is a shame. However, I hope to see this as a blip along the way and I want to continue as normal. I hope to be back one day."

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