Dunfermline Press

Teenager motorcycli­ng star faces race for fitness after knee injury


TEENAGE motorcycli­ng star Lennon Docherty is facing a race to be fit for the final round of a major championsh­ip after suffering a knee injury at the weekend.

The talented youngster, who celebrated his 16th birthday on Monday, travelled to Oulton Park, Cheshire, for the penultimat­e race weekend of the HEL Performanc­e British Junior Supersport Championsh­ip.

Lennon, who is from Lochore and attends St Columba’s High School, headed into it leading the series, in what is his debut year, and was aiming to consolidat­e his advantage at the top of the standings before the concluding races at Donington Park, over the weekend of September 29 to October 1.

After an eight-week gap from the last championsh­ip outing, at Brands Hatch, in which he took a fourth and a third place, Lennon enjoyed success at the No Limits Racing Junior Supersport race at Oulton Park, and in a 24 hour endurance race, riding a Honda CBR125 four stroke bike, at Rowrah in Cumbria.

Those events helped prepare him for returning to riding in the Junior Supersport Championsh­ip and, in Friday’s practice session, he finished in first place.

However, during qualifying, Lennon was flipped off his bike at the first corner of the track which saw him twist his knee, with initial tests at the track indicating a small fracture, and potentiall­y a torn off ligament.

Further tests on Monday confirmed a fracture, but were not conclusive in relation to ligament damage, which was to be assessed by a specialist yesterday (Wednesday).

Despite not competing at Oulton Park, Lennon remains in the championsh­ip lead courtesy of the number of race wins he has collected compared to his closest rival, Finn Smart-Weeden, with both riders level on 222 points.

“It’s quite annoying to be honest, especially as everyone has worked hard to get to this point,” Symcirrus Motorsport’s Lennon told Times Sport.

“I am still leading the championsh­ip; I’m top by the number of wins I’ve had. It’s a mixed feeling.

“It’s annoying because, if I had been out there riding, I could have had a nice cushion going into the final round. This year, anything less than finishing in the top three would be undeserved.

“I’m hoping it’s not too bad. The knee’s not sore; it’s swollen a bit, and there’s a lack of mobility.

“I’ve not got long to try and get better.”

Lennon was stretchere­d away from the track following the incident, but revealed, on “four or five” occasions, that he headed for the medical centre to try and be given the go-ahead to ride.

That was not forthcomin­g, however, and the disappoint­ment of not being able to compete was further emphasised by the fact that the three qualifying laps he completed would’ve been good enough for eighth place on the grid.

“I tried to stay calm, but it was at the back of my mind, what if that’s the championsh­ip done. I just had to let the medics do what they needed to do,” he added.

“It’s good that I managed to keep the championsh­ip lead, but it was hard to watch, knowing that I couldn’t be out there, trying to extend my lead.”

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