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AMA Suzuki Superbike Racer Goes Down Hard and Fast at Auto Club Speedway

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Superbike racer Ben Thompson just finished AMA Superstock practice at Auto Club Speedway when everything went crazy. He moved from his Superstock bike to his Superbike in Fontana, California for another practice round.

KWS Superbike racer Ben Thompson's gear before the crash
KWS Superbike racer Ben Thompson's gear before the crash
Thompson was doing a fast lap on his fifth lap of a six lap session. He got to the last turn just before the front straight and decreased the radius, got off the gas and started to step out sideways but hit the sealer strip and was launched off his bike at 140 mph.
Ben Thompson at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California
Ben Thompson at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California

Ben Thompson is recovering from surgery in San Jose, California
AMA Suzuki Superbike Racer Ben Thompson is recovering from surgery in San Jose, California

“The rear spring compressed because it was sideways,” said Team Manager Chip Spalding. “It uncoiled and punched Ben out of his seat. He landed on his head and back, slid and tumbled on the top of his hands. He destroyed his Superbike.”

The K&N Engineering sponsored racer was coming off his first top five AMA finish last week for Millennium/KWS Suzuki at Barber Motorsports Park. He also had the seventh quickest time in Superstock practice before the crash.

“I was at the end of a really good lap when the rear end just snapped sideways,” said Thompson. “When I hit the sealer strip it just launched me. This was the biggest crash I’ve ever had. I really want to thank Bell Helmets, Fieldsheer Leathers and Puma Boots for keeping me safe.”

Thompson went to a local hospital, was bandaged up and headed back to the track. “All weekend long people kept coming up to him to shake his hand,” said Spalding. “He’d try to bump fists with the fans instead but that hurt too. Ben had a hole in his hand, you could see the tendons.”

Thompson went to San Jose on Monday for surgery and is recovering. “Falling off is part of racing,” said team owner Kevin Hunt. “Every once in a while you are going to fall off and get hurt. We are very lucky Ben was not hurt worse given the severity of the crash.”

KWS Suzuki will hold off for now as to whether Thompson will be able to race at Infineon.

Also check out K&N's video on KWS Racing.  Follow KWS Superbike throughout the racing season at the K&N news site. Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.

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K&N Engineering, Inc., with headquarters in Riverside, California, has been the world's leader in performance filter technology since 1969, serving the needs of the automotive, motorcycle, marine, industrial and military markets. K&N is heavily involved in nearly every form of motorsports from off-road and powersports to drag racing, stock cars and road racing. For more information about K&N Filters, please contact K&N Engineering, Inc., P.O. Box 1329, Riverside, CA 92502-1329, (800) 213-4182 for a dealer near you, (800) 858-3333 for technical service/questions, (951) 826-4001 Fax, e-mail tech@knfilters.com, or visit www.knfilters.com.