Simon Crafar seriously injured in off-road crash

Former British GP winner undergoes nine-hour operation to insert metal plate in fractured vertebra

FORMER WSBK and Grand Prix 500 racer Simon Crafar has been seriously injured in Romania while out riding an enduro bike.

It's reported he was hit by a car and has suffered a fractured vertebra. The New Zealander had to undergo a nine-hour operation to put a metal plate in. At the moment it appears that Crafar can move his legs, his wife is with him and he has already returned to Barcelona.

Forty year-old Simon Crafar was born at Waiouru in New Zealand. He was one of the stars of World Superbike during the ‘90s, taking part in 123 races. His best season was 1997 (photo) when he finished fifth overall on a Kawasaki. Crafar had one pole position and seven podiums to his name (twice second, five times third), but never actually won a World Superbike race. He went very close in race 2 at Sentul (Indonesia), but was taken out on the last lap by John Kocinski, who won the title that year.

Crafar is also remembered as the man who won the 1998 British GP at Donington on the Dunlop-shod Yamaha-Red Bull 500 run by Peter Clifford, finishing 11 seconds ahead of Mick Doohan. He has also worked as an Ohlins suspension technician and was currently in charge of the Redbullromaniacs hard endure team.