Fernando Alonso undergoes surgery for fractured jaw; expects return for F1 season

Fernando Alonso jaw surgery
Mario Renzi - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images
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ENSTONE, England — Two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso should fully recover from surgery on a fractured upper jaw following a cycling accident, his Alpine F1 team said Friday.

Alonso was taken to hospital after an accident in Switzerland on Thursday and he will remain under observation for a further 48 hours.

“Looking forward, after a few days of complete rest, he will be able to progressively resume training,” Alpine said in a statement. “We expect him to be fully operational to undertake preparation for the season.”

Alonso tweeted an upbeat note to his fans Friday morning.

Preseason testing begins at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir on March 12 and the first race will also be held there on March 28.

The Spaniard has won 32 F1 races, with 97 podium finishes. He is returning to F1 this year after retiring at the end of his final season with McLaren in 2018.

Alonso, 39, won his two world titles with French manufacturer Renault, which was re-branded as Alpine for 2021.

According to the La Gazzetta dello Sport in Italy, Alonso was taken to a hospital after the incident. The newspaper reported he was hit by a car while on a training ride near the city of Lugano. According to a Friday report from Autosport, police in Switzerland released a statement that Alonso hit a car that was entering the parking lot of a supermarket.

Alonso finished 21st in the 2020 Indianapolis 500, his second start at Indianapolis Motor Speedway after leading the race as a rookie in 2017. With a two-year commitment to Alpine, Alonso said in August that he wouldn’t be able to consider racing again at Indy until 2023.

Alonso, who will race alongside French driver Esteban Ocon next year, had quit F1 to focus on winning motorsport’s triple crown.

Having already won the Monaco Grand Prix, he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race but still is hunting the Indianapolis 500.

Alonso, who is widely considered among the world’s most talented drivers, has 97 podium finishes in F1. He is sixth on the all-time victory list, but his last came at the Spanish GP seven years ago with Ferrari. He finished runner-up in the title race three times with the famed Italian manufacturer before joining McLaren in 2015.

Supercross: Husqvarna’s Jalek Swoll and Malcolm Stewart out with injury

Swoll Stewart injury
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Jalek Swoll and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna teammate Malcolm Stewart sustained injury in separate crashes late last week. Stewart missed Anaheim 2 and Swoll will not mount up for the 250 East season opener in Houston on February 4.

“Spent all of yesterday in the ER and today getting surgery so haven’t been able to make an update post,” Swoll posted on Instagram. “Spiral fractured my humorous yesterday and was lucky enough to get into surgery today. Absolutely heartbroken that I couldn’t show all the hard work me, [Mike Brown], [Aldon Baker], and [Joel Perez] were working on truly felt like this year was going to a big one with massive improvements we made but I guess it just wasn’t my time.”

The team announced on Instagram that Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken bone in his arm, sustained in a practice crash on Friday. After missing the division opener, no further timeline has been given for his return.

Swoll made eight starts in the 250 West division last season with a best finish of fifth. In 2021, he scored his first SuperMotocross win in the outdoor Pro Motocross season at High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania.

Stewart missed Anaheim 2 due to a practice injury. Likewise, the team did not announce a timetable for Stewart’s return.

He showed a lot of speed in the first two rounds before accidents eliminated him from contention in both rounds. He finished 16th at Anaheim 1 and 15th in San Diego, putting him in a points’ deficit that was already going to be difficult to overcome.

Stewart entered the 2023 season with a ton of confidence and believed all he needed was to stack his chips the right way to get this year’s championship.

Husqvarna is now represented by RJ Hampshire in the 250 West division and Christian Craig in 450s.

Hampshire had a rough weekend in Anaheim 2 and finished 11th in the overall standings after scoring a last place result in Race 2 with a bike sidelined by crash damage and a 13th in Race 3 after another fall.

Craig has not yet scored a top-10 on his 450 with a best of 11th at San Diego and Anaheim 2.

The news of these two injuries comes on the heels of the Pro Circuit Kawasaki team losing three of their four 250 riders.

Last week, Pro Circuit Kawasaki announced Seth Hammaker would miss the season opener with a wrist injury. Almost immediately, it was announced Jo Shimoda would also miss the 250 East opener with a shoulder injury.

Chris Blose will serve as a replacement rider in the 250 East division with Carson Mumford scheduled to replace the injured Austin Forkner in the West.