A CHAMPIONSHIP leading motorcyclist has ridden to the aid of a war veteran who competes despite losing both legs to a Taliban bomb.
Teenager Chrissy Rouse is leading this year’s Triumph Triple Challenge going into the penultimate round.
But the 17-year-old student from Emmanuel College, in Gateshead, has still found time to coach an ex-soldier severely injured in action.
Murray Hambro often finds himself at the back of the grid as he competes on his Triumph 675 for the Help for Heroes team.
The fact that the 33-year-old former tank commander races at all is something of a miracle after the injuries he sustained in Afghanistan led to both lower legs being amputated. He rides his bike with prosthetic limbs attached to the footpegs.
“There were some rumours floating round about him being too slow and getting in the way of the leaders,” said Chrissy, of Burnopfield.
“But Murray is a massive inspiration to me so I thought I would try and help him out with his lines and technique. I have an on board camera so I followed him round and was able to point out how he could save time on the track.”
Chrissy’s efforts have been filmed by the BBC and will form part of a documentary on the ex-Royal Tank Regiment soldier blown up in 2010 by a roadside bomb, which is due to be shown in the run up to Remembrance Sunday in November.
“He manages really well and can get his knees down,” said Chrissy, who has been racing since he was nine. “So anything I can do to help him is fine by me.
“He inspires me because if I ever think I am having a bad day I see Murray and it makes me realise how lucky I am.”
Principal of Emmanuel College Jonathan Winch said: “Everyone at school is incredibly proud of Chrissy, not just for his success, but for the way he conducts himself on a daily basis.
“What he has been doing to help Murray is typical of a young man who thinks more about others than himself.”
Chrissy’s bid for glory resumes on October 4 at Silverstone with the penultimate championship weekend.
He is already looking forward to next year with a number of offers in the pipeline for different series, including competing in Spain.
“I’m looking forward to being the underdog again and having to prove myself against factory teams,” he said.
Long-term he would like to compete at the highest level following, perhaps, in the tyre tracks of his heroes Valentino Rossi and Barry Sheene.
He is currently studying A Levels in mathematics, physics, engineering and economics at Emmanuel College and hopes to study engineering at university.