The Emirati motocross rider saw his hopes of winning the competition end in an unfortunate manner after crashing near the end of the 281km Al Ain Water Stage in the Liwa Desert on Tuesday.
The impact of the incident meant the 38-year-old had concussion but did not suffer any injuries to his body and was discharged from Madinat Zayed hospital on Thursday. Yet, the UAE rider has no recollection of it and is grateful for Toby Price’s gesture in giving up his own title challenge to stop and wait for Al Balooshi to be airlifted to hospital before completing the third leg in 11th place.
“Luckily, nothing is broken and I’m grateful for that,” Al Balooshi told Sport360, who hopes to be back on the bike in two weeks time and start preparations for the Baja Espana Aragon which will take place in July 21.
“I thank God for that. I really don’t remember anything of the crash of how it happened.
“I remember Toby Price stopping on the desert to help me and to be honest I didn’t know where I was.
“I thought we were living in 2016 and when someone tells you it’s 2018 and there’s a two-year gap, you start to panic more.”
راح اشتاق المرور عبر هذي الكثبان الرمليه #الحمدلله انا بخير و نعاود عليهن السنه القادمه باذن الله Going to miss riding these dunes.. but glad I'm in one peace and there is always next year so until than #keeponriding ✊ 📸 by @kinmarcinphoto . @gshock_middleeast @alainwaterofficial @redbulluae @redbull @sports2official @sil_dxb @2xu @oakleymotorsports @mxacademy_dubai @ktmuae #عام_زايد
He added: “I saw on TV the spots of where I had the accident and then another spot of where I landed and I travelled quite far. That scared me.
“I remember during the third stage that I was doing everything right and was gaining good minutes.
“I felt good and everything I did was good until the crash.”
Red Bull KTM rider Price finished the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge in seventh place, with Chile’s Pablo Quintanilla taking the bikes title in Thursday’s final leg at Yas Marina Circuit.
And Al Balooshi paid tribute to the Australian “legend” as well as the messages from the other riders.
“My coach once said that good rider can not only be a good rider but has to be a good person and that is what Toby Price is,” he said. “He’s a real legend, he had a lot of patience because he asked and stopped and took time to be with me. He kept saying that everything will be okay.
“He didn’t show that he was in a hurry. What he did was heroic and really respectful.
I hope everyone including myself can learn from this legend as it was great sportsmanship.
“I’m really grateful for everyone for their wishes and thoughts. I want to thank everyone for their support.”
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