A PERTH man has been crowned Modified Bike Champion at the Australian National Drag Racing Association’s season-ending Winternationals event in Queensland, four years after being told his riding days were over.
Despite false starting in the final, Ian Read had already claimed the championship after his title-chasing competitors were eliminated in earlier heats.
Read described the win, which he raced to aboard his Suzuki Hayabusa, as a magical moment.
“I am very humbled by the win and it is the icing on the cake for putting in the time and persisting with getting back out on the track,” he said.
“I had a very large smile after the event. It’s still sinking in.”
Read’s story is one of determination and perseverance.
The Success resident was told he would never race again after being knocked from his motorbike by a four-wheel-drive on the Kwinana Freeway in July 2011.
He was rushed to Royal Perth Hospital with a damaged right knee, a shattered lower leg and an impaled pelvis, on top of a myriad of cuts and bruises after coming to a stop under fencing near the Beeliar Drive-Armadale Road off-ramp.
“I’m very luck to be here. I couldn’t move,” he said.
“I was told that my bike days were behind me.
“It was something I wasn’t too happy about, but it allowed me to spend more time with my kids.
“It took me a long time (to decide race again).
“My mind would say yes to a lot of things but the body was not progressing.”
While he still lives with the effects of the crash, which he will manage for the rest of his life, he has not let that stop him setting goals.
He has eyes on the Spring Nationals in October but the big question now is whether he attempts to defend his national title, which he says will require some sponsorship assistance.
“If you speak with my parents they think I should retire,” he said.
“I have achieved what I thought wasn’t going to be possible.”
Read’s message to others recovering from injury was to stay positive.
“Listen to the doctors, do as they ask, get off the pain killers as quick as you can, don’t be afraid to ask for help and keep in contact with family and friends,” he said.
“Set some short term goals and build from there and most importantly remain positive.
“There will be good days and bad days.”