MOTOR CROSS: Kingaroy's Joel Evans returned to the MX Nationals this year two years removed from a horror crash that nearly cost him his life.
Evans broke the C5 and C6 vertebrae in his spinal cord in an accident during the 2015 MX Nationals at Murray Bridge in South Australia.
Doctors feared he would never walk again, let alone return to the bike, but Evans proved everyone wrong and was back in the seat inside 12 months.
He finished 10th in the national series this year and is aiming for top five in 2018.
"This season was always going to be just gauging to see where I was at and how I was going,” Evans said.
" I thought I was really good within myself, I just had some unfortunate bike trouble.
"I definitely still have some parts of the body that are not 100 per cent.
"I've got to train the muscles that I can to compensate and I don't use it as an excuse any more, I want to be competitive in Australia.
"I want to aim for a top five in the Australian comp and I have got a lot of good people in my corner and I am working hared to make it happen.”
Evans was determined to get back on the bike and competing, something he has been doing since he was seven years old.
"I always knew coming back to racing is what I wanted to do,” he said.
"The first few races were pretty surreal and it was a pretty easy transition coming back to the races and everyone was super supportive,” he said.
"Once you get top in Australia it is your job to race and it is not so much a welcome back with all your friends because you are another competitor lining up at the gates that they need to compete against.”
Evans continues to work to support himself while travelling to compete and will receive more support next year with sponsors from the South Burnett and Toowoomba getting behind him.
He bases himself between Kingaroy, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast and this year spent two months competing in Indonesia.
For the second time he won the the Indonesian Motorcross Championships and had to fight for the win.
While racing in Australia is run right down to the minute Evans said he enjoys the controlled chaos that comes with racing in Indonesia.
"In Australia tracks are perfectly prepped and watered but in Indonesia for the first race you can't because of dust and then the next race is under water,” he said.
There are also the challenging conditions with temperatures up to 40°C with 100 per cent humidity for the 30 minutes of racing.