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Written by Guest Writer, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

They say that desperate times call for desperate measures. So I guess you could say I had fallen on desperate times when, a little over a week ago, when I found myself googling, “How to get rid of bad luck”. None of the suggestions looked promising and some of them looked downright frightening… (Just google “slump buster” for example).

paris You could say it all started at VIR last year, when a nasty turn one pile-up in the Race 2 of Daytona Sportbike left me with a broken tibia and fibula. Despite my efforts to race three weeks later, the incident derailed my USGPRU 250GP championship charge. Prior to the incident, I was one point from the lead. I tried to soldier through with my titanium rod and screws, but it wasn’t in the cards.

I spent the whole off season furiously trying to train myself back to good form, but the pain just wouldn’t go away. What made it difficult was that I am married to Josh Hayes. I mean, I watched this man set lap records with broken bones. I just tried to grit my teeth and get through it.

So when we showed up at Daytona, and despite being slower than last year, I found myself in 10th with only 10 laps to go, I thought things were going to be ok. The good feeling was short lived though, and I soon found myself kissing away not only my top ten finish but also a large chunk of one of my fingers.

Not long after that had healed up, we discovered that the reason my knee had been hurting was that the titanium rod in my tibia was slowly sawing its way through my patellar tendon. That meant another mid-season surgery to yank it out and more rehab.

One thing after another… freak mechanicals, stupid crashes, slower lap times, you name it. I found myself wondering what it would take to catch a freaking break.

I truly thought things were turning around, when Kyle Wyman and I found ourselves leading our class in a four hour endurance race by well over a lap, with only 20 minutes to go. I’d been training my butt off, finally was starting to feel strong again, was getting close to old lap times, and voila! We were about to collect a trophy and some much needed Yamaha contingency money. But it wasn’t meant to be… a mechanical ruined what seemed like a sure victory. That was when the googling of “hex breaking” and “good luck charms” began…

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t head into this past AMA weekend at VIR with a bit of apprehension. But suddenly, things just started working out… I guess some things just take time. This past weekend I definitely didn’t set the world on fire, but something was decidedly different. My crew and the folks from Ohlins finally got me comfortable on my R6. For the first time ALL season, I was turning better lap times than I did last year. A pair of 16th place finishes isn’t exactly something to write home about, but I’m finally feeling hopeful! I can’t wait to get back to training to be even better at New Jersey…

My Dad was asking me what broke the curse… and I can’t help but wonder if maybe one of my guys really did “take one for the team”.

Melissa Paris

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