Wilson targeting race return after leg break

Ben Wilson.
Ben Wilson.

Ben Wilson is targeting a return to racing in 2018 - less than two-years after being left with a badly broken femur and knee.

It has been more than 18 months since the former British Superbikes racer suffered a huge crash during practice for the North West 200 International Road Races.

He was airlifted to Addenbrooks Hospital where the surgeon began the extremely difficult task of getting him back on his feet and, after months of hard work, he has finally discarded his crutches and is walking unaided.

After yet another operation back in May 2016 the surgeon opened up the wound and attached some metal work to each end of the bone so that he could turn the screw on the external fixator four times a day to stretch the bone.

Wilson needed to stretch the upper part of the femur by about 16cm so that it would meet the other end of the bone to enable it to fuse together.

After his operation, Wilson explained: “This is day one of growing my leg bone back, 249 days to go.

“My surgeon is working really hard to make my leg as good as it was before my accident.

“When the X-ray staff say they have never seen as much metal in one leg before, you know he has done a good job.

“It’s a new type of metalwork instead of a cage all the way around my leg and I now have to move a part four times a day for nine months.

“I need to grow 16cm of bone and they are confident that 1mm of bone will grow in a day.

“I think there is a bit more to it than that but that’s it in simple terms.

“It’s a long road to recovery but I am determined to be match fit as soon possible.

“I would like to thank everyone for their support and kind wishes it really does help.”

Following the removal of the external fixator Wilson was back on his feet, albeit with the assistance of crutches and re-joined the team at Gearlink Kawasaki as rider coach working with them throughout the 2017 race season.

Wilson has endured numerous operations and has been in and out of hospital every few weeks. The most recent operation was to remove a broken titanium plate and replace with a rod which, after removing some of the marrow was placed inside the femur.

After a few days of rest Wilson was once again back on his feet, this time without the help of crutches and after a few days he was walking normally.

He said: “I have to get the strength back on my leg muscles etc and then work on my knee as it needs an extra 40 degrees of bend before I can ride a bike.

“I am putting everything into that as I want to be back racing in 2018.

“I am focusing on being back out at the beginning of the season at the end of March and remain positive.

“I realise it will be a couple of years before my leg is back to full strength and I will be having intensive physio to achieve this.”

Wilson raced for Gearlink Kawasaki for a number of years in the British Supersport championship, his best result being a very close runner-up spot, missing out on the title by just one point and finished every season within the top five.