After coming off perhaps his best season to date as a pro rider, Kaven Benoit took some much deserved time off during the months of October and November. With incredible performances at both the 2016 Rockstar Energy Drink MX Nationals and again at the MXoN in Itlay, Benoit needed some time to recoup and regroup. The plan was to begin riding in late December at ClubMX in South Carolina, before embarking on some early season Supercross races, which included, Germany, Daytona, and maybe even the Toronto SX. Unfortunately, those plans will have to be put on hold now as last weekend in Dortmund, Germany, Benoit suffered a crash that sadly resulted in a badly broken ankle. After a long trip home, and surgery on Wednesday, Benoit has now started the long healing process which could take up to eight weeks. We caught up with Canada’s new number three rider to see how he was feeling.
MXP: I guess I’ll begin with the million dollar question Kaven, how are you feeling?
KB: Not too bad, some moments have been worse than others. Now that I’ve had surgery it’s feeling a little better, but obviously everything is still pretty sore.
I’m assuming that the surgery went well and they were able to repair the damage?
I wasn’t able to speak with the doctor after the surgery, but the nurses said everything went well. They plated and screwed the broken bones, and now all I have to do is wait for it to heal. I’m supposed to see the doctor in a few weeks and at that point they’ll tell me how long this will take to fully heal.
Racing is obviously risky at the best of times, but it had to be tough getting injured so far away from home?
It really was a nightmare as I was over in Germany all by myself and had to deal with everything. The doctors in Germany were good and they prepared me the best they could to travel home. But, just being by myself was tough, not to mention that I had to first fly back to South Carolina to meet my Dad and then we drove home. So, while the crash was bad, the ordeal afterwards made everything a lot worse.
That does sound like an awful situation. Well, I’m glad you made it home and got the care you needed. There is never a good time for injuries to happen, but does this derail some big plans you had for the next few months?
Yes, for sure! My plan was to race in Germany last weekend and then head back down to ClubMX to not only do some outdoor training, but to also keep riding supercross as I really wanted to race a few events in the next few months.
I was talking to JSR just prior to Christmas and he was telling me how much you wanted to race SX this spring. This injury is very unfortunate Kaven! I guess it’s all about making sure you heal up and you’re ready for Kamloops in June?
Yes, it’s not good at all. I had some really high hopes for SX in the next few months as I felt really good on those types of tracks.
Prior to Germany, how long had it been since you were back on the bike?
I took a lot of time off after the season to get my mind and body ready for 2017. I actually hadn’t
been back on the bike that long as I was coming off a small injury I suffered in late December while riding at ClubMX. I was riding on their outdoor track and I had a crash and ended up breaking one of my toes. It wasn’t too bad, but it did interrupt my preparation for Germany. I came home over Christmas and let my toe heal, and then headed back down to ClubMX for a week of SX riding before heading over to Dortmund. I felt good, I mean my fitness wasn’t where I wanted it to be, but I felt great on the bike.
I’ve seen you ride SX, you’re a very good SX rider.
Thanks, yes I’ve always felt good on those types of tracks. It’s too bad, but I’m done trying to race SX. I feel like it’s something you have to do all the time and I just don’t have the time to do it anymore. I’m just going to focus on racing outdoors and hopefully everything will be okay.
Well, you certainly don’t have to try and race supercross anymore. You make your living racing outdoors, and besides, SX is a young man’s game and you’re not 21 anymore.
No I’m not! You know, I’ll be okay, I’ll heal up soon and then I’ll begin my preparation for this summer.
You’re coming off a great season last year. As you head into 2017, will you be racing the same bike and riding for the same team?
Yes, I feel very good about 2017. We’ve made a few small changes to my bike, but other than that, it will be the same as last summer. I had a great race in Italy also, which gave me a lot of confidence, so I think everything will be good.
Well Kaven, I know I speak for everyone when I say that I hope you heal up quickly and we can’t wait to see you back on the bike.
Thanks Palms, these next few weeks will be a little tough. However, after that I’ll be fine. Thank you for calling.