International Road Racing
On Monday, Keith Amor made the toughest announcement of his 10-year road racing career – retirement.
The 39-year-old Scottish rider, who took second overall in the 2011 Isle of Man TT Championship behind fellow Honda TT Legends rider John McGuinness, was forced to retire from road racing due to serious shoulder injury.
These injuries arrived at the 2011 Isle of Man TT; the first was during a practice crash at Quarterbridge, and the second was a crash at Union Mills during the second Supersport TT. During both IOMTT wrecks, Amor sustained severe injury to his right shoulder.
Despite his injuries, Amor, of Falkirk, scored five podiums in the 2011 TT races. Although healing, he continued to race for Honda TT Legends in the International Road Racing series. But there would be one more accident at the Ulster Grand Prix that further aggravated his shoulder, ultimately causing him to retire despite surgery attempts.
Keith Amor says: “I’ve decided to retire. My decision has been a hard one and one I have agonised over for the last few months.
“I had three crashes last year and they left me in a lot of pain. I had major surgery to both shoulders in November, with the right having to be totally reconstructed and the ligaments tightened in the left as well. I had a MRI scan to check if the ops have been successful, but the doc said it hadn’t healed and I would need further surgery. So that’s me done with racing.”
A big factor in Amor’s decision to retire arrived while riding with the injured shoulder; he says the experience of racing while not properly fit has helped him make up his mind to quit.
Keith Amor says: “I was injured all of last year and I am not going to ride in that condition again. I am in racing to win and I want to be competitive, not just be out there to make up the numbers.
Despite retirement, Amor’s future is bright – he has set up home in Cyprus, go engaged to girlfriend Charlie over Christmas and has announced the couple are expecting their first child.
Keith Amor says: “I will be 40 this year and I have done a lot in racing in a short time. I started my career in 2001 at Knockhill with an orange bib at a Kirkcaldy club meeting as a novice and ended it 10 years later as a member of Honda Europe’s TT Legends team.
“I didn’t race any roads at all until 2005 and I only went full-time in 2007. A lot of hard work went into getting here for it all to go wrong like this, but everything changed with a simple twist of fate.”
Paul Philips (Isle of Man Government TT and Motorsport Manager) says: “Despite his late start to TT Racing Keith has had a great career. People often forget that he only began racing on the Mountain Course in 2007 and was a whisker away from Steve Plater as fastest newcomer lap that year.
“He finished on the podium in his second year and went on to claim at least one podium a year every year since. He quickly established himself as one of the leading TT riders and he was a great teammate to John McGuinness last year.
“I have no doubt that had he continued to race at the TT fully fit, he would have won races and he is a popular figure who will always be welcome on the Isle of Man.”