Just a couple of hours before his first major win on the Isle of Man, James Neesom didn’t even know if he was fit to race.
He’d retiredfrom the junior race at the Manx GP after two laps with crippling arm pump - caused by lack of blood circulation - and couldn’t even take his own gloves off.
But after over a week of practice and qualifying sessions on the island, he was determined to give it a go but told the Scarborough News he didn’t expect to complete one lap of the 37 mile course.
He said: “My arm had pumped up that much when I stopped the race I couldn’t take my gloves off and had to get a marshall to do it for me.
“I couldn’t carry on. It wasn’t safe. I was going to end up in a hedge or something.
“I thought I would do half a lap of the Supertwin and it would come back and I’d have to pull in, but it was alright.”
He found himself leading the first two laps but had to pit stop while Gary Gittins, who was in second, had a three-lap tank so took the lead.
Neesom re-joined the race 30 seconds behind Gittins who came off.
He says: “I came into Barrygarrow there was carnage. The bike was in half, he was laid on the track and there was stuff everywhere.
“I didn’t know it was him because we had lapped some of the slow bikes and I just thiught I’d get my head down to get on the podium.
“When I got to my pit board at Gooseneck it said P1, +22 and I thought ‘bloody hell’.
“I just wanted to get back, but I wanted the lap record as well. I was braying the bike, if I’d broken down I would have kicked myself.
“To win, it hasn’t even sunk in. It’s still very surreal.”
The 23-year-old from Bempton finished the race 20 second ahead of second place and clocked up his fastest lap of over 111mph on the last lap of the race which he was round in one hour, 22 minutes.