The 2000 BSB Champion and 2003 World Superbike Champion started the 2010 BSB season as one of the favourites, with the Motorpoint Yamaha Neil had a successful winter test and was relishing the challenge of returning to his old hunting ground and battling with some of the new names in the most competitive domestic superbike series in the world.
A crash at the first round aggravated the shoulder injury and set back all the hard work he had done. For the last three weeks Neil has undergone a series of tests and seen several specialists hoping for a positive direction, but after yesterday’s results the reality hit and he has had to make the difficult decision to retire from the sport.
“To be honest I’m still pretty shell shocked from Brands, when you start the season you know you’re going to have to take a few knocks but the very first time I slide off I land straight on my shoulder! I knew it was bad, I have lived with it all last year and got to understand the level of weakness and recovery.
I had more work to do but was really happy with the progress, riding the bike was the best therapy but also the biggest risk.
I am gutted obviously, I had a plan to come back to the UK and have some fun with Rob and his team, It will take time for me to come to terms with this but it is the right decision. My shoulder will get back to probably 90% over the next couple of years so I will be able to have a normal life.
For all my fans and all the supporters who have been with me over the years I want to thank them all, Rob’s team and sponsors for this year I really am sorry I could not fulfil our plans, the Motorpoint guy’s and all Rob’s team have been great and I hope to be part of their success this year”