Loram talks of his crash injury agony

MARK Loram today surveyed his speedway future from his hospital bed and said: “I am not setting myself any targets.”The 36-year-old Ipswich Evening Star Witches spearhead faces a year out of the sport after suffering a badly-broken left thigh and fracturing an arm in a horrific spill at Foxhall Stadium last Thursday.

By Elvin King

MARK Loram today surveyed his speedway future from his hospital bed and said: “I am not setting myself any targets.”

The 36-year-old Ipswich Evening Star Witches spearhead faces a year out of the sport after suffering a badly-broken left thigh and fracturing an arm in a horrific spill at Foxhall Stadium last Thursday.

And the 2000 world champion - England's last winner of the sport's greatest prize - admits that the thought has crossed his mind many times over the last five days that he may have ridden his last race.

'Stupid' is the expression that keeps coming from one of the most popular and engaging riders ever to ride for the Witches as he tries to come to terms with why he is currently in a hospital bed.

“I worked so hard to get right for this season,” said Loram, who is in Norwich Hospital after undergoing a skin graft.

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“And it was all for nothing. It is stupid. I am utterly gutted.

“A week ago I was on top of the world and couldn't for wait the Elite League season to begin.

“Now I face a long period of rehabilitation. It is stupid.

“I have got to get my leg functioning again and it will be a day by day situation. It will need a great deal of patience on my part.

“I have not set myself any targets, but I will be 37 next season and have to think about what is important to me.

“My future has been going through my mind over and over.”

Recalling the spill when he had his ground taken away from him by Reading's Zdenek Simota as both riders came out of the second bend of heat one, Loram said:

“I thought I had gone past 'Sam' Simota and I set about chasing Greg Hancock who was leading.

“But then I was aware of Simota and felt myself being tipped to the right.

“The young lad is inexperienced and it was one of those things. It is so stupid.

“It is even more annoying knowing how difficult it was for John and Chris Louis to put together a team this season.

“They were fighting against the odds to track a competitive side, and I feel for them now.”

Loram was in considerable pain when being attended to for 20 minutes trackside last Thursday - and he has nothing but praise for chief paramedic Jason Gillingham and his team.

“They all did a thoroughly professional job, and my grateful thanks also go out to everybody involved at both Ipswich and Norwich Hospitals.”

Loram underwent a five-hour operation at Ipswich Hospital and the graft operation at Norwich was to repair a hole in his leg caused by his femur breaking through the skin.

If the graft is okay, Loram is due to return to Ipswich Hospital on Thursday.

And when released from hospital he has confirmed that he plans to be at Foxhall on race nights, and have a role to play off the track as the season unfolds.

Czech Republic rider Simota escaped with just cuts and bruises and is expected to be fit to re-take his place in the Reading team against Eastbourne on Friday.

Reading co-promoter and team manager Jim Lynch said: “We did not take our victory lap at Foxhall as we felt it wasn't an appropriate moment to be celebrating.

“We wish Mark a full and speedy recovery and if Ipswich are looking for guests at any time during the season, they are welcome to use any of our riders.”

IPSWICH have booked former Witch Scott Nicholls to guest for Loram in an Elite League fixture at Poole tomorrow.

The Coventry Bees rider, who lives in Ipswich, is a likely candidate to replace Loram when available for the next couple of months.

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