A WIGAN motorbike racer injured in a horror crash in China says he will probably hang up his helmet for the sake of his young family.
Abram rider Russ Mountford is now back at home recovering following the high-speed incident on the notoriously difficult Macau GP street circuit during the road racing season finale.
Having already had surgery in the Far East to fix his damaged tibia and fibia before he could fly home Russ underwent further surgery at Wigan Infirmary to have his pelvis plated at the front and back in an operation lasting around seven hours.
He has also broken his arm and will require further surgery on a damaged finger and faces a long, slow recovery, with a wait of around four months until he can use his legs properly.
Russ spoke of his delight at returning to his Davy Road home in time for Christmas with his family but also said he has almost certainly decided not to return to professional bike racing due to the strain the ordeal has placed on his wife, Natalie, and their three children.
Russ, 33, said: “It’s fantastic to be home after 12 days in hospital in China and then two weeks at Wigan Infirmary. The main thing is I’m with my family for Christmas and the kids are excited.
“It’s just a bit of a shock coming out of hospital and the house is all decorated and everybody is in the Christmas mood, but it’s nice.
“My pelvis is now held together with plates across the front and back and I’ve got screws in the top.
“I’m going to be laid up for quite a while.
“I haven’t got much use of my left leg because of the pin so I’m basically using crutches on one leg. I get up a couple of times a day but mostly I’m on the settee or in bed.
“It’s not the easiest thinggetting comfortable, no position really works very well because the back of my pelvis has been done as well.
“I’ve pretty much decided I’m done with road racing. I’ve been doing it a long time and it’s not fair to put my family through this all the time. I’ve never experienced anything like the amount of pain I’ve been in for the last five weeks.
“Obviously I did this for a living so I will need to find a job and the next six months are going to be tough, but I want to concentrate on my family. We just can’t go through this again.”
Russ fell from his 1000cc Honda Fireblade machine which he rode for Robbie Silvester’s team at well over 120mph on the twisty Maternity section of the Guai street circuit during the first qualifying session.
Russ, who gave up his previous job as a printer to pursue his two-wheeled dream, says he is overwhelmed by the support he has received from the bike racing fraternity, with wellwishers including TT legend John McGuinnesss ftaking to social media to hope for a speedy recovery.
He said: “The support has just been phenomenal, I’ve had literally thousands of messages on Twitter. All the top names from racing have been in touch.
“I would never have thought I would get so many messages and I’ve had so much support from friends and family telling me to ask them if I need anything.
“For everybody to stand by me is fantastic and without that support to keep me going I think I would have struggled.”
Russ is now looking forward to spending the Christmas period with his wife and their children Kian, nine, Thea, eight, and Emie, two.
He says he is also pleased to be in the borough for Emie’s birthday as he has frequently had to miss family occasions due to his racing commitments.