Thursday 1st November 2012, 12:13
Grand Prix star Darcy Ward admits his chances of racing in Britain next term are “50/50” after calling on British speedway bosses to toughen up the Elite League for 2013.
The 20-year-old has just completed his third season with the Poole Pirates, inspiring the club to play-off glory in 2011 and silver medals in 2010 and this season.
Ward is considering joining the stream of world-class riders heading for the Elite League exit as he is concerned about the effect the hefty fixture list will have on his World Championship ambitions.
But he admits the introduction of a squad system, allowing No.1s to share their meetings, and efforts to bring more top-line riders back to the Elite would make the competition more attractive.
"It would be nice to get some of the big boys back in Britain so that we can have some competition at Poole."
- Darcy Ward
He said: “Obviously, as all the big boys know, doing 40 meetings in Britain, including the KO Cup and challenge matches, is a lot. We’re busy boys as it is.
“For the sport, we need to change the rules. We need to get the big boys back here and get some racing going. There are two different classes in the league at the moment. You have the No.1s and reserves.
“It would be nice to get some of the big boys back in Britain so that we can have some competition at Poole.
“I enjoy doing Britain and it’s on my mind – it’s 50/50. I really hope they have a think about it and I’m sure a lot of the boys you wouldn’t expect would come back or start racing here. It would just make the sport in Britain that little bit better and harder.”
Ward plans to remains based in the UK with Poole team boss Neil Middleditch, regardless of whether or not he stays in the Elite League.
He is currently recovering from a bleed on the brain sustained in an off-track incident in Dorset on October 20. But he has been cleared to fly back to Australia on November 8.
While Ward doesn’t intend to race in the Australian Championship in January, he plans to practice with good friend Nick Morris to ensure he is in the best shape possible for the season-opening New Zealand FIM Speedway Grand Prix.
He said: “I’ve got my practice partner Nick down there. He’s ready to go. I’m just hoping my local club, North Brisbane, will lend me the track a couple of times during the week.
“Nick has bikes down there and he’s going to come out and practice with me. I’ll practice my starts and hopefully New Zealand will go alright.
“No-one is going to have too much advantage over me at the start of the year. No-one else is going to be riding too much.
“It’s about just being a little bit fresh and as long as I’m beating Nick every time when we practice our starts, I should be alright.”
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