… all of which goes to prove that you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drunk.
Now, where was I?
Ah Yes. I have here scribbled on the back of my hand in biro ‘Write about bones’. So I will.
A handful of broken ribs – which point to the likelihood of a punctured lung, four or five fractured vertabrae, a broken ankle and a dislocated shoulder and elbow.
No. Not the haul from some archeological dig, but the injury list after Rye House Rockets speedway team play host the Ipswich Witches in a League Cup clash. The riders who take to the track in this particular form of motor sport on powerful 500cc machines without brakes, are sanguine about the possibility of injury. The stock reply when quizzed is
‘Well, that’s Speedway isn’t it?
And indeed it is.
Not surprisingly, you find exactly the same mindset in the more glamourous, higher profile, yet equally dangerous ‘road racing’ classes of motorcycle sport, for example Moto GP and Superbikes.
The Moto GP race from the British Grand Prix at Silverstone last week was an exciting three way battle to effectively see whose collarbone lasted the longest. Dani Pedrosa whose bone was not plated after his injury and was therefore relying on nature to take its course. Jorge Lorenzo, who broke his in practice at Assen in June, flew home to Barcelona to have it plated that evening, returning the following day to ride to fifth position! – (only to high side at the Sachsenring in the very next GP and twist the titanium plate, meaning fresh surgery as a result). Then there was rookie Marc Marquez leading the championship in his first year. He dislocated his collarbone in the morning at Silverstone yet rode to second in the afternoon GP race.
Not surprisingly, the motorcycling fraternity have a robust lack of sympathy for other sportspeople, particularly top flight professional footballers who over-dramatise or feign injury. While many a time I have seen speedway or ‘road racers’ dust themselves off after the most appalling looking falls or collisions and rejoin a race, or if the referee so decides, to take part in a re-run.
Improvements in safety at road circuits in recent years, such as gravel run-offs have meant far fewer serious injuries or fatalities, likewise in Speedway, where air fences are mandatory in GPs and the Elite League (Though not in the lower leagues) But this in itself means the bar becomes raised a notch higher, with some riders prepared to take even greater risks resulting in what seems to be a worrying trend to riders succumbing to multiple injuries.
And so to this week’s quiz. Whose legs are these?