Richard Hammond has ridden a high-speed motorbike for the first time since the 288mph jetcar crash which almost cost him his life.

The Top Gear presenter, nicknamed the Hamster, roared around London on a Honda Fireblade just days after doctors gave him the all-clear to ride again. “I just can’t believe how good that was,” he told Motor Cycle News after completing his ride.

Richard suffered a brain injury when he crashed while filming for BBC2’s Top Gear at Elvington airfield, near York, in September this year.

He told Motor Cycle News after his ride: “It felt like a fantastic connection straight back to a time when I hadn’t suffered a brain injury and life was a lot simpler. That’s why I ride a bike. I can come out of a TV studio or the big meeting doing grown-up stuff, but the moment I get on a bike I’m exactly the same person I was 15 or 20 years ago.

“I just can’t believe how good that was. Even though I haven’t been on a bike since before my accident, it’s a bit of a grim, wet day and I feel really out of practice, it just makes perfect sense.”