Today’s ‘free day’ at the North West 200 road race event saw Honda’s Steve Plater undergo an operation to plate the two broken bones in his left forearm and, teammate John McGuinness get mobbed by hundreds of children at an autograph signing session, hosted by the NW200, for all primary schools in the local area.
Steve’s operation was a success, with both bones in his arm bedding back together well with the help of plates and screws, although Steve is currently experiencing some numbness, tightness and loss of movement in this fingers.
Whilst this is likely to be due to the swelling and interruption to the nerves in his arm during the crash and operation, this will be monitored over the next twenty four hours and the wound opened up with a second operation to relieve the pressure, if necessary.
Steve Plater says: "I’m gutted to not be able to race tomorrow but I’m very thankful the operation seems to have gone well. I can’t feel my fingers at the moment but we’re hopeful that just a temporary thing and that the feeling will start to come back once the swelling starts to go down."
"I’ve been overwhelmed by all the well-wishes via text, phone calls and email and can’t thank everyone enough for their kind words and support or, thank all the medical staff enough, both at the hospital and the trackside, who have played a part in helping me feel more comfortable since Thursday evening."
"From here I just want to focus on making sure my arm has the chance to completely recover but I’m also determined to be back on my Honda Fireblade as soon as possible to be able to try and protect my current lead in the British Superstock Championship. Me being able to compete at the TT is highly unlikely and I’m also gutted about that too, but at the moment I’ll take each day as it comes and will have to settle, annoyingly, for watching tomorrow’s North West 200 races from the live BBC feed on my laptop!"
Road racing legend John McGuinness flew the flag for the HM Plant Honda team today at numerous off-track activities, including a Q&A and autograph signing session for 500 children from schools in the local area. John took to the microphone to chat about his thoughts about motorcycle racing, before being mobbed with questions, autograph and photo requests from the excited visiting school children.
John McGuinness says: "This week’s practices have gone well so far and it’s been great today to have some time off the track as well to spend talking to and meeting the fans, competition winners, team guests and also the schools who visited."
"It was mega to see so many kids really interested in the motorbikes and the racing and I think they asked me the hardest to answer, but probably the most simple questions out of everyone! I’ve really enjoyed this week so far and the atmosphere today is really building, so I can’t wait to get on the bike tomorrow and hopefully see the podium at least a few times over my five races."
John will take part in this evening’s live BBC Northern Ireland pre-race show starting at 10.35pm, with the first part of the show being broadcast from the HM Plant Honda team awning in the NW200 paddock.
Tomorrow’s racing action from the North West 200 starts at mid morning, with an action packed day in store for John with two Superbike races, two Supersport races and one Superstock race.