Quinlan dealing with cracked rib, disappointment after mechanical failure
Vail, CO Colorado
ASPEN ” The day after he crashed hard and failed to qualify for the finals in an event he worked for years to bring to the X Games, a cracked rib was the least of Jay Quinlan’s frustrations.
Quinlan said the inexplicable shortcoming on his third jump during Thursday night’s snowmobile freestyle elimination round on ESPN was the result of a terribly timed mechanical failure. His carburetor began malfunctioning during the morning practice round and, despite an all-day effort to fix it, the problem persisted during the night event “worse than it had ever been,” Quinlan said.
The 27-year-old Blue River resident said that every time he landed off the second ramp, which was a touch short, “the carburetor would load up with too much fuel. It would bog.”
This drastically reduced the power available in Quinlan’s $10,000 sled, making it nearly impossible to clear the third jump. With everything on the line in his second and final run, he tried anyway: “I just held it open with what it had and that’s all it gave me.”
The result was a spectacle. Quinlan ditched his sled while in midair and thudded to the hardpacked snow some 10 feet below, cracking a rib on his left side.
“I’m just kinda favoring it,” he said in a phone interview Friday. “I can’t really sit up very fast. And I know, I’ve done it before.”
Quinlan said the disappointment was worse than the pain, especially considering the lengths he went to fix his sled all day Thursday, before the nighttime competition. Despite his Ski-Doo sponsorship, he said he was given a cold shoulder from numerous Ski-Doo mechanical trailers that are in Aspen to support snocross racers.
“It’s frustrating,” he said. “Ski-Doo wasn’t there like they said they were going to be. I hate to bash on ’em, but I feel like I need to.”
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