19/02/2012, 14:52

Seven-time New Zealand champion Jason Bunyan says getting the Western Springs wild card didn’t put him under any extra pressure to regain his Kiwi crown.

The Coventry and Rye House man was handed the chance of a lifetime last month when he was named as rider No.16 for the first ever FIM New Zealand SGP in Auckland on March 31.

And Bunyan’s memorable winter continued at Christchurch venue Moore Park on Saturday, where he recaptured his New Zealand national title with an unbeaten performance.

The Milton Keynes-born racer beat 2011 champion Grant Tregoning, who serves as track reserve in Auckland next month, into second place.

After getting the wild card pick ahead of the ex-Newport rider, Bunyan could have felt under extra pressure to ensure he went into the biggest meeting in the history of NZ speedway as the nation’s No.1.

But the laidback star, who is based just a few miles from Western Springs, wasn’t worried about justifying his selection. He just wanted his trophy back.

"I want to be the No.1 rider over here and I just feel that’s what I should be."

- Jason Bunyan

He said: “You can read a lot into things, but I’m more of a doer myself. What happens, happens and every time I get on a bike I want to win.

“I didn’t win the championship last year and that was my fault. But this year I got it back, did a few meetings around it and won all of them too.

“I think that justifies any cause. I want to be the No.1 rider over here and I just feel that’s what I should be.”

Bunyan went into the NZ Championship as the overwhelming favourite. But he admits his Kiwi rivals are getting stronger and stronger.

He added: “You could possibly say they don’t have the European standard of riders.

“But it’s there for me to lose if I don’t ride well and the standard of riders is getting better and better every year. The equipment the top guys are on is pretty much second to none. I still have to go and race flat-out and hard to win these things.

“It means a lot to me to win again and I don’t like losing. I really wanted that trophy back on my desk and it’s back now. Hopefully we’ll keep it that way for a while.”

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