Eastbourne Eagle Bradley Wilson-Dean was taken to hospital with internal bleeding as he crashed in dramatic fashion in the nationwide Fours competition on Sunday at Coventry.
Wilson-Dean was winning the race which was stopped after Sam Chapman fell. Wilson-Dean shut off as the red lights came on but drifted wide into the fence and flipped over his handlebars.
After lengthy on-track treatment Wilson-Dean made it back to the pits but was obviously in pain as he clutched his side as he walked along.
He came out in the re-run and clinched second place but was a shadow of his usual self and was taken to the Princess Royal Hospital after the meeting.
The Eagles were drawn in what was called the “group of death” in the tournament and ended up third with eight points.
Birmingham topped the group with Coventry in second place, Eastbourne third and King’s Lynn last.
It went wrong right from the off for Eastbourne as Richie Andrews crashed on the first bend of heat one and was excluded from the re-run.
Marc Owen took a second in heat three but with David Mason only managing a third in heat four the Eagles backs were to the wall. Mason was an early leader in heat five but was passed by Rob Shuttleworth. Bizarrely both Mason and Shuttleworth fell and were excluded.
Eastbourne’s hopes of making the final had all but gone at this stage and a last place from Andrews in heat six sealed their fate. Wilson-Dean ran another second place in heat seven and looked far from comfortable.
In the final race Owen flirted with the lead but eventually had to settle for third place.
Eastbourne scorers: Wilson-Dean 4, Owen 3, Mason 1, Andrews 0. Birmingham went on to win the final in a run-off after they and Coventry tied on 15 points. Kent were third on 13 and Rye House fourth on four points.