Felipe Zanol on the road to recovery

Dakar contender Felipe Zanol regains consciousness after 10 days in coma following accident.
Felipe Zanol celebrates after winning Rally dos Sertões 2012 in Fortaleza, Brazil on August 28th, 2012
Felipe Zanol wins the 2012 Rally dos Sertões © Marcelo Maragni/Red Bull Content Pool
By Tim Sturtridge

Brazilian biker Felipe Zanol has woken from an induced coma following an accident during pre-Dakar testing. Felipe had been carrying out final pre-Dakar tests with Honda Team HRC in the Mojave Desert when he suffered a head injury.

Following an anxious wait for news concerning the condition of the 2012 Rally dos Sertões champion, there was finally some good news out of the hospital in California.

A short statement on the official Facebook page of Honda Team HRC confirmed that Felipe had regained consciousness and was able to recognise his family at his bedside.

“Felipe Zanol has woken up in the hospital where he is being looked after in the United States! We recently received the news directly from his mother, Dora Zanol. She said Felipe was able to recognize his wife Luciana and his friend Ricardinho.”

Felipe finished 10th on his debut Dakar 12 months ago to be the highest placed non-European biker and the 31-year-old was widely considered as podium threat for the upcoming edition of the desert classic.

There has not yet been confirmation from Honda Team HRC that Felipe is out of the Dakar Rally that commences in Lima, Peru on January 5th. However, fellow Honda rider Sam Sunderland who suffered fractures to his left arm and wrist the day before Felipe's accident will not be participating in the 2013 Dakar Rally.

This double dose of bad news comes as Honda prepares to re-enter the Dakar Rally after an absence of 23 years. The Japanese manufacturer claimed four consecutive wins from 1986 to 1989 and is hoping to return to the top of the leaderboard in 2013.

Força, Zanol!! Estamos com você

Felipe Zanol competes during the 4th stage of Rally dos Sertões in Carolina, Brazil on August 23rd, 2012
Felipe Zanol races the 2012 Rally dos Sertões © Marcelo Maragni/Red Bull Content Pool
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