2. Conor Cummins
Injury Sustained: Broke five vertebrae, shattered left arm, torn ligaments and dislocation in knee, fractured pelvis, bruised lungs
Raced In: British Superstock Championship
Complex Says: After the first couple laps of the 2010 Isle of Man TT Senior race in June that year, Conor Cummins was just starting to get into the groove and push a little harder. This was after a restart provoked by fellow TT racer Guy Martin's gigantic fireball of a crash during the first start. Then Cummins' rear tire let go through a 150 mph corner, launching him into a slide and down a mountain. His bike bounced down with him. (You can see footage if you type “conor cummins crash” in a YouTube search.) Thankfully, bike and rider stayed separate, so the injuries weren't worse. “Worse” is a relative term--he now has steel rods holding his spine in place, and they have to stay in for a couple of years.
Still, Cummins was determined to get back to racing. Recovery was long, but he got back on a bike in March 2011 and competed through the whole season of the British Superstock Championship. As of the end of the season, he says he's finally starting to feel back to normal, and looks forward to regaining his speed from 2010 in 2012. Had he not crashed out at the 2010 TT, he looked to be in serious contention for a win. Sure, he wasn't back riding too quickly against doctors' wishes. With injuries that bad and a crash that scary, it's amazing he's competing at all and regaining his old form. We're pretty sure we couldn't do that.