Belfast Telegraph

Biker who survived race crash defends the sport

By Victoria O’Hara

A motorcyclist who cheated death after surviving a 120mph crash has defended road racing, just days after the sport was plunged into mourning following the death of two Northern Ireland riders.

But John (29), who leaves hospital today after months of treatment after suffering horrendous injuries in a crash in July, admits riders “can be selfish”.

He said: “I suppose the mindset of racers is totally focused on what we are doing and sometimes don’t think outside the box and of other people.”

The sports community was stunned after 20-year-old Wayne Hamilton, from Portadown, and 41-year-old Adrian McFarland, from Plumbridge, were killed last week. Mr McFarland died in a crash in the Czech Republic last Saturday.

Two days later, Mr Hamilton lost his life after crashing in the Junior Manx Grand Prix race.

The double tragedy once again led to questions about the safety of the dangerous sport.

But Superbike rider John Laverty, from Toomebridge, said riders just “hope they are never put in that position”.

The married father of one, who will remain wheelchair bound for at least three months after breaking his pelvis in a crash during a practice session ahead of the British Superbike Championship, said he does now give more thought to what would happen if he is involved in another serious accident.

“When something like that happens it leaves everyone in a terrible shock,” he said.

“And of course the loved ones are in all our thoughts and prayers. It definitely is the worst side of the sport.”

Belfast Telegraph

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