There was a lot of excitement about the return of Triumph to desert racing with the new Scrambler 1200 XE. Evoking memories of Steve McQueen and On Any Sunday, stunt rider Ernie Vigil was set to compete in the Baja 1000 from November 14-18th, 2018. But now a Vigil injury delays the Triumph Scrambler desert racing return, as a practice accident resulted in broken bones.
After several months of training and preparation, things were all set for the new Triumph Scrambler 1200 EX to head into the desert in a few days. But a practice accident on his own 450cc dirt bike has left Vigil with serious injuries to his left ankle.
So rather than swap in a last-minute replacement for the gruelling event, Triumph has said they’ll honour the commitment shown by Vigil to the project by delaying their desert racing efforts until he’s able to ride again. As a result, they’re now working towards riding in the Mexican 1000, which covers many of the same terrain and challenges, in April 2019.
Ernie Vigil said; ‘’While waiting for my Scrambler 1200 to clear customs at LAX, I went on a training ride with my 450 dirt bike for some last minute conditioning. Unfortunately I tucked the front wheel when pushing a hard turn . The bike flipped me over, landing on my ankle snapping the bone at both the tibula and fibula.
I’m absolutely devastated for the team and the effort they’ve put in in getting the bike over and ready, and also for everyone who supported me in training for this race.
Fortunately the break was clean and I had a very successful surgery. I’m going to return home to Albuquerque and expect to be laid up for around 4 weeks until I can start my rehabilitation, but I expect to make a full and quick recovery. I can’t wait to get back into training for the Mexican 1000 in April.”
Paul Stroud, Triumph’s Chief Commercial Officer said: ‘’Whilst sad we are not going to see the Scrambler in action just yet, we are very glad Ernie is on the mend and are fully committed to seeing the new generation return to the place it all began with him at the controls. We wish him well in his recovery and look forward to the Mexico 1000.”
It’s a shame we’ll have to wait to see how Ernie Vigil and the lightly modified new Triumph Scrambler 1000 XE perform in a challenging desert endurance race. But it’s good news that Vigil will make a full recovery and Triumph are sticking by him while he goes through his rehabilitation to ride in April.