Meet Norfolk’s Mini Valentino Rossi who is back on track just 11 weeks after breaking leg
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
A motorcycle mad youngster was given the special opportunity to race around the Lotus test track on her recovery from a broken leg sustained in mini-moto race.
Izzy Carter, 10, is known as Mini Rossi because of her love for the Moto GP rider but 11 weeks ago she suffered a double break in her left leg after she was hit by another rider in race practice.
She was with her father Jay Carter, 39, at the Tattershall race track, Lincolnshire, two hours away from the family home in Banham.
With mother Samantha Carter, 36, left worrying back in Norfolk, the pair drove to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hosptial's A&E department after emergency services said it would take hours to get an ambulance out to them.
But now the youngster is back on her bike with brand new leathers, donated by Mass, replicating Valentino Rossi's gear.
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The Old Buckenham Primary pupil said: "It feels good to be back on the bike I am really enjoying it.
"Most boys go motorcycle racing but I think it's alright for girls to do it and it isn't just for boys. Boys at my school always say 'you don't have a motorbike' and they don't believe me.
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"I feel really special to be at Lotus, they have let me ride on their track and its for racing cars but I feel really special."
Racing started for Izzy when she saw a secondhand bike for sale three years ago. At first Mr Carter, director of The Sign Box, said no, but he changed his mind.
He said: "I have always loved Rossi and bikes and we got her a bike, saw how she went on it and she enjoyed it.
"We have done it because she enjoys it, people started following us on Instagram and it has grown from there, changing bikes getting better and better and she's racing.
"She had crashed quite a few times but I knew it was different this time, I could tell by the sound of her, it was a horrible feeling but she has done really well to come back stronger."
Because of her injury Izzy had to delay her entrance into the Cool Fab Racing series. But she is expecting to join the league at the fourth round back at Tattershall where she broke her leg.
Izzy's bike is 40cc and restricted to about 40mph. Once Izzy is through her rookie years it will be de-restricted and able to reach speeds of 60mph.
Mr Carter added: "I have been able to get used to Izzy going faster but when Samatha comes after missing a few weeks I think she is a bit surprised."
A mother's view
For Izzy's mother Samantha Carter, 36, it can often be worrying watching her daughter out on track.
She said: "He [Jay Carter] loves it but me, not so much.
"I wasn't with her at the crash and I was always really anxious that I wouldn't be there when something happens. It was St Patrick's Day and my friend had come from Ireland and we had gone out.
"Jay went on to the track the next day and he rung me and said 'can you meet me at the hospital?'
"Now she is back on the bike it makes me nervous, now I want to be with her when she is on it, but it is still nerve-wracking.
"We put so much work into her bike, it is airbrushed and her leathers are like Valentino Rossi's as it is like a mini-Rossi tribute.
"I think you have to be a little crazy to do something like this."
Izzy Carter has become quite the celebrity on Instagram with more than 50,000 followers.
Dubbed Mini Rossi because of her love of the rider and her replica kit, Izzy's father Jay Carter has also designed her bike to look the same Rossi's.
Izzy said about Rossi: "He is really nice to his fans and when he is riding he wears loads of different colours on his bike and helmet but I think he is a fun person to know."
In 2017 she was able to go behind the paddock and meet Rossi with the opportunity to meet his team and sit on his bike.
The youngster added: "I was quite nervous when I met him but it was really fun, I hope one day I will be on the track with Rossi."
As part of her livery she has been sponsored by some of the biggest products in motorsport including Muc-Off and Mass.