Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Yesterday I saw someone's leg break.

I was watching the British Superbike championship from Cadwell Park, which has got to be one of the best damn circuits in the world, and the racing was close and exciting to watch as the riders crested the fabulous Mountain. Until, that is, Honda's rising star Leon Camier got it wrong on landing (yes, bikes get significant air as they come over the Mountain).

Leon's bike landed awkwardly and immediately threw him into a tank-slapper / high-side combo maneouver that landed him ferociously on his back. Worse was yet to come: the poor lad "bounced" and second time down his knee massively dislocated, lower leg flopping around like a sock full of lentils. Meanwhile he fractured his femur too.

Watching it, I thought his leg broke below the knee. If that had been the case his injuries would have been much more severe. Thankfully a dislocation usually looks worse than it is. The more innocuous-looking injury to his thigh will be the one that will keep him out of the sport until next season begins.

Despite the public perception of racing fans, it's safe to say we don't like to see accidents, especially in motorcycle racing. Camier was providing much more excitement on the track as he diced for position than he was flying through the air like a rag doll.

If you're curious to see the crash (and are not squeamish), you can find it on YouTube. I'm not going to embed it because as I just said, I don't feel racing is about accidents. But when these nasty crashes do happen it's a good reminder that it's a dangerous sport, and the guys and girls who do it are all extremely courageous. A bit mental maybe, but courageous nonetheless...

1 comment:

Clive said...

I once rode a racing bike that had been adapted for road use (I think that meant the owner had fitted a silencer). It was a long time ago and only a Ducati 175 but at the time they were ferocious beasts and won every race in the 250cc class they had to be entered in.

It was truly wonderful. I took it out on the old airport that had been adapted as a circuit and let it loose. The feeling of speed down the straight was indescribable and the ease of handling a joy.

I rode it a few times after that, on streets around the city. And then it tried to bite me. The back wheel locked when I just touched the rear brake and I had a wobbly few seconds as the bike tried to turn itself around.

Maybe I am too imaginative but that was the day I decided I would not be a bike rider. I can throw a car around all day, have it spin and twirl and try to turn itself over, but never has one given me fright like that bike did.

Yes, those guys are slightly mental and very courageous. They're also unimaginative... ;)