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We have just today (Sat) been to see Roger at Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham and he asked us to post an update on the forum. He is still very battered and bruised and on supplementary oxygen, though he was well enough to recount the tale of his crash – and to ask after Eddie – but will clearly be laid up for some time. He has been told he will need to remain in the QMC for at least a week. We asked if he wanted visitors to the Hospital but he said not for now as he needs to put all of his energy into getting better. As expected, his wife Marina has been giving him lots of stick! He is currently saying that he has taken the difficult decision, with Marina’s help, not to return to racing. His feeling is that it is simply too dangerous for him to continue to ride alongside amateur racers on such a powerful bike.
As most are aware, Rogers’s bike was badly damaged three years ago when it was loaned to Steve Plater. After a loving and costly rebuild its first outing was at the last weekend of September at Cadwell Park – Round 6 of the BHR 2018 event. Being very light and putting down 45bhp at the back wheel, this was of course no ordinary machine, and Roger was delighted to get three race wins on the Saturday.
Alas, Sunday was not so successful. Rogers’s first grid position was right at the back of the field. This of course is not a handicap to a true racer and Roger got an excellent start. The nearest competitor in front was very slow off the line so Roger had to swerve to avoid him. Unfortunately, the next rider in line had a similar very slow start and Roger was unable to avoid ploughing into the back of him at around fifty miles an hour and knocked himself unconscious. The medical team at Cadwell realised pretty quickly that Roger had done himself some serious damage so he was taken to Lincoln where X-Rays revealed twelve broken ribs. As several were broken in more than one place, specialist surgery was deemed necessary so he was transferred to Queen’s, and on Wednesday 3rd October underwent a twelve hour operation to join all the bits back together (including corrections to surgery he had some years ago at Leicester).
It wasn’t until the early hours of Monday morning that Marina and Roger’s son Richard managed to get the bike home to South Croxton. The front wheel is no longer round, the forks were destroyed and the frame will need to be straightened out, but Roger hopes to see it back in action at some time in the future.
We are sure everyone will join us in wishing Roger a speedy recovery.
Chris and Keith
Hi Chris, Keith.
Yes, I did think about posting a request for people not to visit… but as he assured me that he was happy to receive them, I did not. He was considerably brighter and chirpier at the end of last week than the beginning so I was relatively happy to go home for a few days. He might just have been trigger happy with his morphine button.
I think as you wisely stated: “He is currently saying that he has taken the difficult decision, with Marina’s help, not to return to racing”. I will take any statements with a pinch of salt until he feels better… as he is likely to forget all agreements he might have made “with Marina’s help” in a hospital bed.
To add a note though… the guy my dad hit on the grid was a very experienced motorcycle racer called Scott Harris. He sustained injuries in the accident which broke a bone in the base of his back and put him in hospital for an operation and recovery. Even in the medical centre at Cadwell Park he was standing with me concerned about my dad. He gave me his number and asked me to let him know what the situation was. He was deeply concerned. I was in contact with his daughter over the following period, whilst Scott was I hospital and fortunately, to her profound relief, he was given the all clear and allowed to go home. If my dad has currently allowed the idea that he was in a race with dangerous ‘amateurs’ to shape his narrative, I hope any anger or frustration behind this will soften with his recovery. It was, in my view, an unfortunate racing incident in a very packed grid. These things happen in racing; bikes can stall or stop on the grid.. or the guy in front of you does and you have to swerve in front of others to miss him. I hit someone myself about 25years ago and it happened next to me on the grid about four years ago. It’s a risky situation, especially when the grids are packed out with several classes per race. If you are going to participate in this melee, you do it knowing that it may well not be completely clear ahead. I think the fact that he alone was involved in two start line incidents over the weekend (on Saturday someone hit him from behind due to wholesale grid confusion over the wrong colour starting lights) suggests that maybe there is something else going on. I wonder whether the grids are indeed denser and whether that is causing a greater likelihood of accident.
He’s likely to be transferred to a major trauma ward fairly imminently as he is making good progress.