DOYLE: WEBBER'S WORDS OF WISDOM
Jason Doyle admits a pep talk from Mark Webber helped him through one of the most gruelling nights of his career as he chases SGP gold.
20 / 10 / 2017, 08:00
Aussie ace Jason Doyle admits a pep talk from sporting idol Mark Webber helped him through one of the most gruelling nights of his career as he chases FIM Speedway World Championship gold.
The Newcastle-born racer is guaranteed the sport’s biggest prize if he scores eight or more points in the QBE Insurance Australian SGP at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium on October 28 – with only Patryk Dudek, who is 14 points adrift in second, able to overhaul him.
Doyle has shown serious steel to put himself in this position, having suffered a broken foot at a Polish Ekstraliga meeting in Torun on Sunday, June 18. He underwent surgery the following evening, before practising for the Kjærgaard Danish SGP in Horsens on Friday, June 23.
The pain I was going through went from my foot right through my whole leg. It’s a night I will never forget and hopefully I don’t have to go through that pain riding a motorbike again.
He then produced an unforgettable performance on the Saturday night, winning three rides on his way to fourth place overall and an incredible 15 points.
Given that JD could barely get around on crutches and had to be wheeled back to his van on a stretcher after the meeting, it was arguably the result which cemented his status as championship favourite.
And prior to riding, Doyle admits an unexpected meeting with Australian Formula 1 great Mark Webber inspired him to go through the pain barrier.
He said: “It’s quite weird having your idol as a young boy there to talk to you. The first time I actually met Mark in person was in Horsens when he knocked on my van. Normally I’d tell the person I’m busy, but when you’ve got Mark Webber at your door, you’re a little bit star-struck.
“He sat down and said ‘mate, whatever happens, happens. Just try to keep focused and in a positive mindset, and anything can happen.’ It was a great night and that did give me a bit of inspiration to do well. To have Mark Webber on your side is a good feeling.
“It’s just nice to talk to such a level-headed person. He’s no show pony. He gets on with his job and he’s a great guy.
“I’ve met a few idols over the years and you realise they’re not what they seem. It is nice to know Mark is what you see on TV. He is a top bloke. If you ever needed any advice, you’d love to be getting it from Mark Webber.”
Riding a 500cc speedway bike with no brakes is hard enough at the best of times – let alone with a broken foot that requires further surgery in November.
Reflecting on a gruelling night, Doyle said: “The foot was always swelling up. Sometimes the blood and the liquid would come through all the stitches. To put the foot in a boot, it was alright for 20 minutes, but then the foot got that swollen, it became very painful.
“If I didn’t have adrenaline pumping and I wasn’t scoring points, it would have been difficult. It was getting harder and harder.
“Hopefully I can look back on it and think it was all worth it. The pain I was going through went from my foot right through my whole leg. It’s a night I will never forget and hopefully I don’t have to go through that pain riding a motorbike again.
“But I wouldn’t be in this position if I had missed the Horsens GP. I have to say a massive thank you to Dr Damien Janiszewski in Torun for giving me the opportunity to ride in Horsens.
“There are not many doctors who would have plated my foot and told me ‘good luck, I hope you can do it.’ He gave me an opportunity to ride at the weekend, and it was only four days after having the operation that I practised. It was tough, but that’s life. Hopefully it gets better after the season.”