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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

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Smashed kidney cannot stop Barrow motocross ace Tayla

SMASHING his kidney into five pieces in a high-speed crash was no barrier to revved up motocross ace Tayla Smith.

The 14-year-old has raced his way round tracks across Europe, beating riders several years his senior and picking up a raft of prizes.

Even the serious crash at the end of last season, which left him in Sheffield Children’s Hospital, before being transferred to Furness General, and unable to race for several months, did not deter the young biker.

Instead he was given the all-clear in March and has returned to action better than ever, triumphing in the youth rookie class normally reserved for riders aged between 16 and 18 this year.

Looking back at the accident in Doncaster, the youngster says: “I had a bad start in one of my races and I was coming through the field.

“I couldn’t get past a lad and he jinked to the left. I tried jinking to the inside and I just landed right on top of him.

“I split my kidney in four or five places, really smashed it up and I was in hospital.”

The damage to the kidney was rated by specialists as a four-plus on the five-point scale and for five days Tayla was unable to move.

But eight days after the accident, he was able to be transferred to FGH and his recovery continued apace, allowing him to race again come the start of the 2012 season.

Mum Lorraine said: “Over the winter months he was desperate to get back on his bike.

“He got the all clear for the hospital in March and has done really well.”

It was not all plain sailing.

The first race on his return was the familiar track at Preston Docks and it did not go to plan. But Tayla has continued to show determination and has excelled since – beating the lap times he clocked before the injury by three seconds in places.

The Barrow youngster has raced from Cornwall to Scotland, Ireland to Belgium and Holland – competing in more than 30 races each year. He has enjoyed a fantastic season in 2012, winning the ACU North of England, Cumbria Youth Motocross and West Cumbria Motocross events against riders up to five years his senior.

He also finished second in MCF The Vale Motocross series, which covers the North West, and won the team event.

“I wasn’t put off,” says the youngster of his serious injury. “I came back out and had a bad day at Preston in my first race back and my dad thought that would be it then.

“But we went back the weekend after and I was back on it.

“The injury maybe made me a little cautious, but not now.”

Because of his size – he is 5ft 11ins tall and weighs 10st 7lbs – Tayla was given a special licence to compete in the youth rookie class ahead of time.

He is able to physically match the older riders, perfectly handling his bigger bike around tough courses and against opponents who give little leeway, a borken thumb from a recent race testimony to that.

“It can be a bit up and down,” says Tayla, who can reach speeds of up to 65mph during races, regularly going over 50mph on the dirt tracks. You can have a few good races and then some bad.

“It’s harder against the older lads – it’s a lot faster and a lot more aggressive and physical, but it would be pretty boring if the sport was no-contact.

“You have 40 riders, each with a gate and you leave the start, heading for a corner not much wider than a normal street.”

Annual training camps in Belgium, with the likes of motocross stars Henri Verstrappen and Marc De Rouver, help improve his racing and next year he intends to race in the Low Countries, where the sport is far more highly regarded than at home.

He has been riding since he was five, when Lorraine and dad Lee bought him his first bike, and racing since the day after his sixth birthday – when he came seventh in his first competition at Haverigg.

He now rides both 125 and 250cc bikes – each with names beginning with K, the 125ccs are girls and the 250ccs boys – and uses the facilities at Preston Dock and Doncaster during the close-season to prepare him for the start of racing action in March, when he will be entered in the Red Bull Elite Youth Cup against the best riders in the country who are competing for manufacturers’ teams.

He will also be racing in Belgium and the Netherlands for the first time, alongside local tracks such at Haverigg and Brampton where he has competed for eight years.

That is the next step for a talented youngster who is already years ahead of where he should be and shows no signs of slowing down.

l Tayla would like to thank his sponsors: Kate’s Skates, D3 ktm Shop, in Kendal – who have provided him with bikes – Shutty and Jeanette at ADT, in Ulverston – who carry out free repairs and maintenance on all his bikes – and Cumbria Karting.

Have your say

Well done Tayla, a brilliant athlete and all round great lad!

Posted by scott on 11 December 2012 at 18:08

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