31/03/2017, 11:00

Four-time SGP winner Jason Doyle insists injury won’t be on his mind as he goes for 2017 FIM Speedway World Championship glory, and admits breaking his neck in Melbourne in 2015 hit him much harder.

Doyle’s 2016 SGP title charge came to a cruel halt when he crashed spectacularly at the FST Grupa Brokerska Torun SGP last October, sustaining season-ending shoulder, elbow, rib and lung damage.

The Newcastle-born racer has been working hard to get back to full fitness and is among the favourites to win tonight’s SGB Premiership Best Pairs at Somerset alongside Swindon Robins team mate and fellow former Rebels star Nick Morris.

"This year is a little bit different. I knew once my elbow and shoulder healed up that I’d be back to where I was before."

- Jason Doyle

Some have questioned whether Doyle’s injuries will be playing on his mind as he bids to recapture the form that saw him win four SGPs last season.

But Doyle insists the broken neck he suffered in the Australian SGP final at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium in 2015 was far more alarming.

The former Aussie champ said: “It’s actually a lot better than the year in Melbourne. After Darcy Ward’s injury, me breaking my neck and realising how close I was to being in that position was probably the hardest thing to overcome.

“This year is a little bit different. I knew once my elbow and shoulder healed up that I’d be back to where I was before.”

Doyle picked up two wins in his first meeting back, the Darcy Ward Invitational 2017 at Poole, which was curtailed after eight races due to an unfit track last Friday.

This offered proof that JD is ready to mix it with the sport’s top stars again, despite media reports during the winter that his Polish club Zielona Gora had concerns over his rehabilitation efforts.

He said: “It’s five months since I crashed in Torun, so if I’m not ready now, I never will be really.

“I have worked really hard to get everything back to normal and I have some good people behind me – the same people as last year. I think we can start off where I left off.

“The Zielona Gora people just guessed. I think they were just trying to get answers out of me. By writing in the press that I wasn’t ready and was doing the wrong things, they were trying to bait me up to say what was really happening.

“I wanted to keep it quiet. I had some really good people behind me – Tim Sheppard from Norwich, who was doing all the physio.

"When I went back to Australia, I had some really good physios there too. I knew it was going to be a long road, but we’re on the bike again and everything seems to be okay.”


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