To My Fans and Supporters:
I have spent most of the last month in and out of my doctor’s office getting tests done, trying to figure out what is going on. Each weekend I head to the race excited to get out there and get some wins on my Monster Energy Kawasaki, ready to defend the number 1 plate that is on my bike, knowing that I have worked hard during the week, on and off the bike. The team and bike are prepped and ready on race day and then I’m unable to race like I normally can. Where is that fight that I normally have?
For most of this outdoor season I have been frustrated and questioning every part of my program, wondering why I am unable to race to my full potential. It’s tough knowing you’re better than what your performance and results show. It’s embarrassing riding with the #1 plate on and not battling at the front! I don’t take it lightly and I knew I had to get to the bottom of my issues.
Many people have commented that it’s due to my role as a new dad, but that’s not it. Tate makes me want to race harder. I want my son to be proud of me and I want to teach him that by working hard you can achieve your dreams. My friend Andrew McFarlane passing was another reason that I may not be riding to my full potential. That I’m keeping it safe. That’s not it either. I have always rode within my safety zone and I know Andrew is up there pumping me up to get some holeshots and win some races like he always did. These two reasons alone make me want to race harder and give it everything I have, to be an example of hard work to my son, to live life to the full and be thankful for doing what I love to do and that is race a motorcycle! I’m not ready for retirement; I want a few more championships indoors and out!
So finally with all that said, I got my results back from the doctor. I have Epstein Barr virus. I know some other riders have had it and I never thought I would be sitting here saying the same thing. It explained my fatigue issues on the track. I knew it wasn’t my fitness, but I was struggling to finish motos. It just got to a point where it was dangerous for me to be out there. My doctor, team and I have decided that I need to be off the bike for a while to try get this handled. I am really disappointed to be out again. This year has been a personal worst for me. I have often been referred to as “Mr. Consistent” but this year has been far from that.
I want to apologize to my fans for not being able to race for you and I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and sticking by the 22 this year. From the worst times come the best times. And I will be working hard to kick this illness so I can get back on track and winning races as soon as possible.
EDITORS NOTE: WHAT IS EPSTEIN BARR?
According to the CDC: Epstein-Barr virus, frequently referred to as EBV, is a member of the herpesvirus family and one of the most common human viruses. The virus occurs worldwide, and most people become infected with EBV sometime during their lives. In the United States, as many as 95% of adults between 35 and 40 years of age have been infected. Infants become susceptible to EBV as soon as maternal antibody protection (present at birth) disappears. Many children become infected with EBV, and these infections usually cause no symptoms or are indistinguishable from the other mild, brief illnesses of childhood. When infection with EBV occurs during adolescence or young adulthood, it causes infectious mononucleosis 35% to 50% of the time.
Symptoms of infectious mononucleosis are fever, sore throat, and swollen lymph glands. Sometimes, a swollen spleen or liver involvement may develop. Heart problems or involvement of the central nervous system occurs only rarely, and infectious mononucleosis is almost never fatal. Although the symptoms of infectious mononucleosis usually resolve in 1 or 2 months, EBV remains dormant or latent in a few cells in the throat and blood for the rest of the person’s life. Periodically, the virus can reactivate and is commonly found in the saliva of infected persons. This reactivation usually occurs without symptoms of illness.
Persons with infectious mononucleosis may be able to spread the infection to others for a period of weeks. However, no special precautions or isolation procedures are recommended, since the virus is also found frequently in the saliva of healthy people. In fact, many healthy people can carry and spread the virus intermittently for life. These people are usually the primary reservoir for person-to-person transmission. For this reason, transmission of the virus is almost impossible to prevent.
The clinical diagnosis of infectious mononucleosis is suggested on the basis of the symptoms of fever, sore throat, swollen lymph glands, and the age of the patient. Usually, laboratory tests are needed for confirmation. Serologic results for persons with infectious mononucleosis include an elevated white blood cell count, an increased percentage of certain atypical white blood cells, and a positive reaction to a “mono spot” test.
There is no specific treatment for infectious mononucleosis, other than treating the symptoms. No antiviral drugs or vaccines are available. Some physicians have prescribed a 5-day course of steroids to control the swelling of the throat and tonsils. The use of steroids has also been reported to decrease the overall length and severity of illness, but these reports have not been published.
It is important to note that symptoms related to infectious mononucleosis seldom last for more than 4 months. When such an illness lasts more than 6 months, it is frequently called chronic EBV infection. However, valid laboratory evidence for continued active EBV infection is seldom found in these patients. The illness should be investigated further to determine if it meets the criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS. This process includes ruling out other causes of chronic illness or fatigue.