JOHN Dean’s doctor gave him the OK to return to action this past Thursday after over a year out with diabetes. Less than three days later, he was back on track.
It took the Hawick native nearly all of 2017 to get his type 1 condition under control, but with a new BMW S1000RR in his arsenal this season, he could pose a serious threat to big bike racers up North.
Dean was flying high in 2016, winning the Scottish, Melville Open and Melville Club Superbike championships, and narrowly missing out on the Knockhill Motor Sports Club title to veteran Bruce Birnie.
But a surprise medical condition took the wind out of his sails, forcing him out of action for what would be 12 long months.
“I got diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the tail end of 2016,” he told UK Clubsport. “I re-applied for my licence and asked what I need regarding my diabetes to renew my licence.
“I was informed I required a letter from my doctor stating he is happy with my diabetes control. But because it was a new diagnosis and there were no records of me having any control, be it good or bad… understandably he wouldn’t give me the letter.
“So after going for check ups every couple of months over the course of 2017, I eventually got the go-ahead from my doctor on Thursday just past, so I drove to the SACU office to renew my licence so I could attend the test [Sunday].
“I’ve now got good control of my diabetes and I feel like my normal self again. For a while I was feeling really down, both because I couldn’t race and the diagnosis. Now I feel fit a healthy again and extremely happy I can race again too.”
While Dean admits it was a physical challenge to wrangle a big bike around East Fortune once again, he’s hoping some small adjustments will bode well for his racing return in less than a fortnight.
“I wasn’t expecting much after having a year off the bike, especially as it’s also a new bike to me. But I was surprised in myself that I got up to the pace I did after a few sessions on track.
“We’ve taken a lot of positives from the test – there are a few issues to iron out, but nothing too drastic… just suspension adjustments and some body positioning to alter.
“I’m going to attend the Scottish Championships and the North East. We’ll see how we go mid season and I may go for a Thundersport or maybe even a BSB round, then next year hopefully do a full Thundersport season.
“[The SACU] were just doing their job at the end of the day. I was pretty annoyed at first but hey-ho, such is life. I’m back now so all is good.”
*Images: Jennifer Charlton