Back in the saddle - and so are the pins

MOTOCROSS star Mark Clarke is now back in the saddle after a battling back from severe injuries received in an horrendous bike smash.Almost two years to the day the 28-year-old was flown away from a meeting in Essex in an air ambulance, Mr Clarke, of Stone Street, Crowfield, is all revved up to put the horrors of the crash behind him.

By James Fraser

MOTOCROSS star Mark Clarke is now back in the saddle after a battling back from severe injuries received in an horrendous bike smash.

Almost two years to the day the 28-year-old was flown away from a meeting in Essex in an air ambulance, Mr Clarke, of Stone Street, Crowfield, is all revved up to put the horrors of the crash behind him.

He roars off in his first competition at Foxhall Stadium on September 28.


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The challenge is a real milestone considering the serious nature of his injuries on the day he crashed out of competition.

As well as breaking an arm, he needed six hours of surgery to have a metal pin inserted in a broken thigh and to insert a metal frame to keep his shattered pelvis together after spilling out of his bike at a motocross meeting in Halstead, Essex, on September 25, 2000.

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He still bears the scars of the accident – but he is determined to grimace through the pain as he battles to get back on the track.

His resolution to return to competitive racing never faltered as, even in the immediate aftermath of the shocking crash, he vowed to get back as soon as he could.

His eagerness to return has already cost him. He faces another operation to straighten one of the pins in his leg after a fall during a practice run.

"It's quite daunting," said Mr Clarke, who was supported through his ordeal by Karen, his fiancee, whom he will marry "hopefully" next year.

"It's a massive thing for me to do. Even though I don't think I have any chance of winning this one it's just good to get back into competition.

"I've been on a bike a couple of times and though I'm in a lot of pain because of all the steel in me I'm really looking forward to getting into competition," he added.

Self-employed builder Mr Clarke, who has been riding since he was a boy, has already shown his mettle in recovering so well.

Doctors feared he would walk with a limp – but he's proved them wrong.

He does, however, have to cope with his left leg one and a half inches shorter than the other that leads to regular visits to the chiropractor to have his back "crunched".

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