By Dick Law. To say that the last six months has been tough for north easterner Matt Moffat would be an understatement in a big way. Last July Matt had a massive crash at Brampton that left in a coma for a couple of days and could have so easily been fatal. But motocross people are a tough old bunch that just don’t give up and fight all the way.
So, one night three of four months ago out with a couple of mates, and after a couple of beers, and with perhaps a bit of a lack of common-sense, Matt was goaded in to entering the biggest, hardest, toughest race of the year.
The Le Touquet beach race is three hours on deep sand and man-made dunes with a straight where 1200 riders reach speeds of over 100mph. You don’t have to be a bit mad to race Le Touquet, but it helps.
MotoHead caught up with Matt the day before the event just to check up on how his doing.
MotoHead: How are you feeling now six months after your accident?
Matt: I would say I am back to being a 100% but in the last two months I am getting back to my old self. After I came out of hospital it’s all been getting better and better.
MotoHead: So what damage did you actually have?
Matt: The main thing was a head injury to the frontal lobe, which really means when I crashed it shook my brain very hard in my skull and as it does that it moves the liquid round the brain that protects it and the brain hits the scull. It’s like a very big concussion. I was in a coma for over a day and in hospital for three weeks. They were worried for a while after doing some scans but after I came around quite quickly things started to look better, and the hospital were happier. I think I am very lucky to be here today doing what I love to do as four months ago I didn’t think I would ever be able to ride again and that was very upsetting. But here I am.
MotoHead Did the doctors say it was OK to ride?
Matt: The organisers here at Le Touquet only said I could ride two days before the race, even though I gave them my doctors note three or four days ago. Normally once you have given them the doctors letter, you get the OK straight back, but I guess they were looking at mine more closely as it had brain damage written on it (He said with a big grin).
MotoHead Do you remember the accident at all?
Matt: No. I have never knocked myself out before and have never had a ride in a helicopter and when I do get up in the air I am flat on my back and unconscious so don’t remember a thing.
MotoHead: What are your hopes for tomorrows big race?
Matt: I didn’t finish last year though was running very well and high up the leader board at the time the bike gave up, so the first thing is to finish and perhaps in the top fifty would be a good aim.
MotoHead: How’s your fitness, is it up to it?
Matt: No, I don’t think my fitness is up to it at all. I have been training so hard off the bike and I think I am stronger in that sense, but I have only been back on the bike a month and it’s not the same. My balance is off, and concentration is not how it should be but it will all come back in time.
After last’s years disappointment I was keen to do it and I was out having a drink with my mate John and was a bit drunk I said I was going to do it, but he said no, but I booked in for the race there and then in the pub. Maybe a bit daft, but here I am.
MotoHead: Do you have any plans for the rest of the year”
Matt: I am taking it as it come with no pressure. I want to do some two-stroke events, perhaps the British two-stroke championship and perhaps some EMX rounds and work up to the full Maxxis next year. I like the sand and I would like to do this French rand racing championship at the end of this year.
The next day in the race Matt was running well and looking good when he was run into by another rider which pulled off his radiator hose bumping the coolant on the track and bringing his event to a regrettable early end. But that’s racing.