CORONA, Calif. -- GEICO Honda rider Zach Bell will miss the remainder of the 2012 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship series as well as the Monster Energy Cup in mid October after suffering compression fractures in both his T3 and T4 vertebrae. The 18-year-old rookie was injured during an accident in the second moto of last weekend's Unadilla National in New York.
"I came off the track and I really wasn't hurting that bad," Bell said. "I really thought it was just a muscle strain or pull. We went home and got some initial x-rays and they didn't see anything. We had another doctor look the next day and he saw the fractures."
The highly-touted Georgian had just joined the GEICO Honda team following a brilliant amateur career, capped by being named winner of the prestigious AMA Racing Motocross Horizon Award at the Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. Bell ended his amateur career by winning all three 250 A class Motos.
In his brief pro career, Bell recorded a pair of holeshots and led a handful of laps in two out of the three motos he contested before getting injured.
"I'll use a back brace and they say a couple of months of recovery time," Bell said. "I really don't feel that bad at all. I want to ride Steel City. But I have to do the smart thing and listen to the medical professionals."
Doctors expect a full recovery for Bell, who will use a back brace for 8-12 weeks. No surgery will be required.
Since graduating from the amateur ranks, Zach has had some impressive moments, including taking the holeshot in his very first pro race: