T’S a year later than he wanted, but on his 11th birthday weekend of October 5th and 6th, Lewis Spratt will finally make his Ireland debut at the Coupe de l’Avenir in Belgium.
The Omagh County PS pupil was selected to race his 65cc Motocross machine at the event last season only for a freak accident to rule him out.
Unfortunately, young Lewis tripped and fell, breaking his wrist in the process. Normally that wouldn’t have been much of an issue, but this was no normal injury.
He managed to break two bones in his wrist, which required surgery. Unfortunately for Lewis, because the cast hadn’t been fitted properly, the bones in his wrist hadn’t knitted together properly.
That meant more surgery for the youngster, who had two pins inserted into his arm in order for his arm to heal properly.
After the agony came the ecstasy, however, and a year later he has reclaimed his place in the Ireland team alongside 65cc team-mates Benas Blazevicius and Ben McConville, three 85cc riders Fin Wilson, Reece Ross and Charley Irwin and three open class racers David Galvin, Niall Cregan, and Jay McCrum.
Having battled back to compete on the UK Arenacross Tour and earn his national team recall means a lot to young Lewis and his family, who invest all their spare time and money into his racing.
And the good news continued recently when Robert Hamilton selected Lewis to join his motocross academy in Antrim, he was selected to represent Team NI at the Off Road UK Championships the weekend after Belgium and is entered for the infamous beach race at Weston-super-Mare seven days later!
“He’s never been so excited. He said to me, ‘every time I think about it I could cry’, explained dad, Mark.
“Everything is going well and an added bonus into the whole thing is that Robert Hamilton, who would have raced with Adam Lyons and Phillip McCullagh and those guys, has taken Lewis on.
“He has eight places and he wants Lewis to join his academy.
“He liked what he saw from Lewis, so he’ll be training two nights a week in Antrim, doing physical training and nutrition.
“Things are going on nicely, but there’s a lot happening! It’s going to be a busy couple of months. There’s no slowing down – keep ‘er lit as the man says!”
Lewis’s season in Ireland looked to be destined for success earlier this year, but things petered out a little with a few mechanical gremlins
causing issues, especially in the Ulster Championship when a spark plug exploded and seized his engine!
“No-one has ever heard of that happening and then he had a clutch failure and the spare bike did the same thing with the plugs, so we think we got a bad batch of plugs,” Mark explained.
“That’s what we’ve diagnosed, so we had three DNF’s, which meant we went from third in the Championship to fourth – we were in contention for first or second but it didn’t happen.”
Lewis did manage to seal second overall in the Irish Championship at the weekend and is leading the Errigal Championship and at the Ulster Barley Stubble so a successful end to his busy campaign is in sight!
Lewis would like to thank all his sponsors: Glendale Filling Station, McCullagh’s Centra; Silverbirch Hotel; Ninth Avenue Pizzas; Allen’s Motorcycles; JMcC Gardening Services, Jimmy Gately, Todds Leap, Norman Watt Motorcycles, Moto33 Suspension, King’s Barbers, TR36, Chris Thompson, Rock Oil and Martin Hughes.