Brad Baker on the road to recovery in time for Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 26 2014) - There was good news and bad news for Brad Baker when it came to his plans upon returning home from the Superprestigio in Barcelona, Spain, a couple weeks ago.

Baker would be back in Washington for a short time before heading to Hawaii to enjoy the holidays there with family, which was the good news.

The bad news is that his time in paradise would be spent recovering from the dislocated shoulder suffered in a practice accident at the prestigious short track exhibition race that featured some of the top riders from various forms of motorcycle racing around the world.

There aren’t many better places to spend some rehab time, but, of course, spending time in Hawaii without much use of one arm wasn’t what Baker had in mind.

It could have been worse though. The 2013 Grand National Champion and Factory Harley-Davidson rider suffered road rash, nerve damage, a dislocated shoulder and what he says was a minor head injury in the fall, but his 2015 plans are not in jeopardy.

“I plan on winning Daytona,” Baker said. “I’ll be ready to go, just like I was before. There’s really no doubt there.”

Baker said there’s very little strength in his left arm right now, that he can barely move it, and wouldn’t have been able to even put his hand on the handlebar in Spain without help.

“If there was hope, I would have be on the motorcycle,” Baker said. “The reason I couldn’t ride is because I couldn’t, not that I chose not to ride.”

And while he’s not taking anything away from the injury, he still considers himself lucky, especially considering the lack of long-term implications.

“It’s not bad at all,” Baker said. “I got really lucky actually with the way my shoulder popped out. What happened to it was really the best case scenario when it comes to a dislocated shoulder.”

Baker was noticeably disappointed when he had to watch the Superprestigio on the sidelines. In January, he beat MotoGP superstar Marc Marquez in the event. This time around, Marquez barely edged current Grand National Champion Jared Mees.

Baker wasn’t happy about letting down the fans he’s gained in Europe from competing in the Superprestigio previously, but he’s also upset about missing out on another great flat track opportunity – the Troy Bayliss Classic in Australia.

Standout road racer Troy Bayliss, is a staunch supporter of flat track, like Marquez, and his event helps raise its stature down under.

“Troy Bayliss has been an amazing racer, and he’s been a pioneer in the sense that he’s making flat track bigger in Australia. I want to help and be part of his efforts making the sport bigger over there.

“It’s the opportunity of a lifetime for any 21-year-old to go to Australia and do what they love for two weeks.”

Mees will travel to Australia in Baker’s place for the event. He’ll be joined by fellow GNC stalwarts Sammy Halbert and Henry Wiles for the race, which is scheduled for Jan. 17.