On August 15, 2017, Pela Renet had to start a new and tough race. No longer about victories and trophies, but rather for the goal of being able to lead a largely normal life again. In this interview with HartEnduro.at Pela Renet talks about the time after the crash and his life after being a race-driver.

Pela Renet, Dakar 2017

HartEnduro.at: How are you ten months after your Attacama crash? How has life changed for you and your wife?

Pela Renet: I’m fine so far, I can’t complain about my physical condition. In everyday life I can almost live “normally” again. That’s the most important point! My neck is doing better and better, although it is still a bit stiff.  The shoulder is a bit more complicated. I do not have that much mobility, and if I put too much strain on my shoulder, it hurts. When I got out of the hospital, my wife was with me almost all the time for three months and helped me. When I was finally able to cook, shower and put my clothes on by myself she started working again.

HartEnduro.at: How far have you gotten in rehab? Have you ever sat on the bike again?

Pela Renet: I’m still under treatment to get the maximum shoulder mobility back. But we are all very aware that actually we have already reached the maximum. There will not be too much more to gain. I’d really enjoy motorcycling. Just for fun with my friends. But that’s completely impossible still. At the moment I cannot say when it will be possible again. My body is simply not ready to ride a motorcycle.

With one hard hit the career of the Enduro- and MX3-World Champion from France came to an end. Pela Renet crashed on the second stage of the “Attacama Rally 2017”. The list of injuries was long: the most serious were two vertebral fractures in the neck and a complicated fracture of the shoulder.

HartEnduro.at: Your bad crash at the “Attacama Rallye” happened just a few days after your wedding with Johanna. Is that an argument, not to think about racing anymore?

Pela Renet: The accident happened exactly 15 days after our wedding. But our marriage would certainly not be an obstacle to try racing again. Some time after the accident, Johanna said to me, “No matter what people say, if you can and do rally again, I’m 150 percent behind you.” The only reason I don’t do that is because my body does not allow it anymore.

HartEnduro.at: A word to Laia Sanz. She seems to be a kind of guardian angel to you. She was the first on the spot after your crash in Morocco in 2015, then at the “Dakar 2016” and last year in Chile…

Pela Renet: Yes, she was always my paramedic after the three accidents. Of course that’s a coincidence. I just hope that’s not the way she remembers me. But I can only say again: Thank you, Laia!

Abu Dhabi 2016: Pela Renet with Pablo Quintanilla, Sam Sunderland, Toby Price and Laia Sanz

HartEnduro.at: You now have a new task with the Husqvarna Rally Team. Was it logical for you to stay in racing and rallying? Did you also think about other possibilities?

Pela Renet: The doctors knew shortly after my accident that it was unlikely to race again at the highest level. But Husqvarna immediately told me not to worry. No matter if I can drive again or not, they would not let me down. I briefly thought about other options, but my priority was to find a solution together with Husqvarna. I have a really good relationship with the people in the factory, I value the team and the way it works to be competitive. So it was only logical for me to stay with Husqvarna in the racing world.

HartEnduro.at: What is your goal for the team?

Pela Renet: My role is that of a coordinator for the “Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team”. My goal is to share my knowledge and experience with the other riders. I want to help the team to win the “Dakar”. I’m really looking forward to this task. Because I know that if we get the best out of all of us, then we can achieve that goal. (interview: c. panny, hubert lafer)

STORY: Das Interview auf Deutsch

LINK: Pela Renet on Facebook
LINK: Husqvarna Motorcycles

photos (c) Future7Media & Renet & Husqvarna Motorcycles