SIDECAR passenger turned solo racer Carl Bell aims to be back in action this year as he continues to recover from a broken femur.
Bell was injured in a sidecar crash at Knockhill in September, and has spent the last four months working on his recovery, and so far, it’s all looking good.
But he knows he has some way to go before he is back on a race track, and says he is throwing everything he has at getting back to full fitness and health as soon as he can.
Bell’s season began well, as he decided to have another go at solo action, racing his Minitwin machine in North East and Scottish club racing events.
After a string of promising results, he was temped back into the chair when cousin Mick was looking for a passenger in the LCR F1 machine he shares with brother Phil at the Fife track at the start of September.
For Carl, it was a chance to make his F1 racing debut and he’d been looking forward to getting back in the passenger seat following a year out.
He headed to Knockhill just five days after tying the knot with Lauren, but things came to an unexpected and premature end when the outfit ran wide during Saturday morning’s qualifying and tipped over.
It is thought it may have then bounced back and hit Carl on the leg which is what caused the injury, and he was taken to hospital and operated on the next day.
With the leg pinned, he returned home to Northumberland and has been working on his recovery ever since.
Now up and walking, and back at work at the family-run Ian Bell Motorcycles in Bedlington, he admits he’s desperate to race again.
“I’m doing everything I can to get fit for next year, going to the gym regularly and pushing myself to walk as much as I can,” he said.
“I want to be back racing as soon as possible, but I’m aware I need to just see how well the healing process goes.”
Now looking at his racing return, Bell admits he has struggled to find a doctor who is sympathetic to his on-track plans.
“I’ve found that the doctors who don’t deal with racers just don’t like bikes,” he said. “One of them said I shouldn’t race again, but then I saw another who said I should be able to resume ‘normal activities’ after about six months from the crash.
“That would take us to March, and for me, being on a bike is normal activities, so I’m just going to play it by ear.
“I’ve also started travelling out to Rex Physiotherapy at the Isle of Man where they specialise in motorcycle crash injury recovery, which is great. I’ve got a chiropractor locally in Blyth near where I live, and I’m definitely making good progress.
“I’m certainly not ready to hang my leathers up yet. I’m surrounded by bikes all the time and I still want to race them.”
*Main and action image: Jennifer Charlton
*Carl and James image: Supplied by Carl Bell