A TEENAGE motocross champion vowed last night to get back on his bike – despite breaking his leg in at least three places in a horrific crash.
Ian Findlay was thrown from his machine seconds after the start of the first race of the season in Moray. Fellow rider Jamie Mitchell then ran over his right leg, causing serious injuries.
Mr Findlay, a four-time Highland motocross champion from Inverness, was given morphine by paramedics at the scene and airlifted to the city’s Raigmore Hospital.
Mr Mitchell, from Elgin, managed to walk off the track on crutches but was taken to hospital after medics noticed blood pouring from the bottom of his boot.
The 25-year-old was in Dr Gray’s Hospital at Elgin yesterday after pins were inserted into his knee.
Yesterday, Charleston Academy pupil Mr Findlay remained in hospital waiting for the results of a scan to determine how many bones had been broken in his leg, ankle and foot.
Whatever the outcome, the 18-year-old said he was determined not to let the accident derail his promising career in the sport. He said: “The crash was at the start of the race. At the first corner, my wheel washed out and I came off the bike and was tumbling along the ground when another bike ran right over my leg, and that was what snapped my leg.
“I knew straight away that I’d broken my ankle and leg. I was just lying there because I knew I’d broken it.
“Then I was taken on a stretcher to the ambulance. There’s at least three or four broken bones. I’m waiting to get the scan results back to find out if there are any more.”
It is thought he may have to spend several days in hospital and could require surgery on the injured leg.
The accident happened on his return to competitive racing after a knee injury in a race at Tain last year put him out of action for much of the season.
He flew to California to boost his training at a special bootcamp before the start of this season, returning full of confidence for the opening race.
He has also broken his wrist, shoulder and elbow in past motocross accidents – but his passion for the sport is unaffected.
He said: “I’m definitely going to get back racing. It hasn’t put me off at all.”
And he revealed he was considering moving abroad to pursue the sport professionally.
Mr Findlay’s mother, Christine, said she panicked after hearing her son had been airlifted to hospital after the accident at the Grampian Moto-cross club’s Woodside track at Elgin on Sunday.
She said: “I got a phone call to say he was being airlifted. I panicked when I heard that it was the air ambulance and I was there for him getting to hospital.”
She said it had been a stressful situation and was hoping for a positive outcome from the scan results, adding that her son had been “glued” to his bike since winning his first race while he was still in primary school.
He took up the sport aged seven and has risen to become one of the country’s best young bikers.
As well as being a multiple Highland champion, he has also been Grampian champion three times and has won the Orkney Beach Race. He was Scottish champion in his class in 2010. More than 70 riders from as far afield as Orkney were at Sunday’s meet.
Grampian club secretary Pamela Fraser said: “We wish them both well and hope they recover soon. Everyone here would like to see them back on their bikes as soon as possible.”