John Laverty targets racing comeback after horror crash

Toomebridge rider John Laverty plans to make a remarkable return to racing after suffering horrendous injuries in a 120mph crash in July.

He said he had "cheated death" after sustaining multiple injuries including breaking both ankles, both shoulders and his pelvis at Oulton Park.

Laverty's recovery is in its early stages after a series of operations during the last six weeks in hospital.

"I'm lucky to be alive but I hope to be back racing next season," he said.

The 29-year-old Buildbase BMW rider also broke a foot, knee, ribs and a hip in the crash during a practice session ahead of the British Superbike Championship round at the English circuit on 15 July.

"It was a big one and out of my control - to hit a wall at 120mph and get out of it was a big surprise," added Laverty.

"I had to check to make sure I was still alive, I couldn't believe it.

"I was losing the pulse in my hands and there was the risk of losing both arms while I was concerned about suffering an internal bleed - it was scary."

Laverty believes medical staff at the circuit and at the Royal Liverpool Hospital not only saved his life but gave him the chance of resuming his racing career.

The focus now is on recuperation during his stay at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

John is one of three motorcycling brothers, with Michael also competing in the British Superbikes while Eugene is impressing in the World Superbike Championship.

The sport has been rocked in recent days by the deaths of local road racers Adrian McFarland and Wayne Hamilton, while teenager Ben Gautrey was killed after crashing in Monday's British Superbike round at Cadwell Park.

Despite the deaths and his own injuries, Laverty is determined to return to the British Superbike series next year.

"Hopefully the families of the riders who died realise that they loved what they were doing," said Laverty.

"That's the tragedy, the worst side of the sport. I feel I cheated death and that there was someone looking down on me.

"It's like a boxer - when he gets knocked out he will get back into the ring again. When I get fit I will be back on a bike again.

"It's what I love in life and my family are right behind me.

"For me it is a case of recuperating and hopefully being back to full fitness for the 2012 season."

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