FIVE MORE YEARS FOR WOFFY?
Tai Woffinden revealed he might walk away from speedway in “five more years” as he contemplates life after the shale and fresh challenges.
01 / 03 / 2018, 12:42
Great Britain's double world champ Tai Woffinden has revealed he might walk away from speedway in “five more years” as he contemplates life after the shale and fresh challenges.
The Scunthorpe-born ace returned to the FIM Speedway Grand Prix series in phenomenal style in 2013, winning the World Championship as a 500/1 outsider, before landing the prize again in 2015 and finishing in the world’s top four for the last five seasons.
At 27, Woffinden is very much in his prime and among the favourites to win speedway’s biggest prize this year.
I said to my mechanics last year we’ll have five more years of giving it everything we’ve got and then re-evaluate the situation after that length of time.
But the racer raised near Perth, Western Australia insists there’s life after speedway and doesn’t intend to stay on the shale forever as he contemplates the future with wife Faye and their daughter Rylee.
He told Speedway Star: “In five more years I will quit. Actually I’m not going to quit; I don’t know a nice word for saying quitting because that sounds like I have failed. I’m just going to finish what I am doing and move on to the next chapter.
“I don’t want to be Greg Hancock; I’ve got a life to live. I want to travel the world; I want to take my daughter everywhere. I don’t want her to go to school; I want to home-school her and teach her things about the world. I don’t want her to learn maths; I want to teach her the lessons of life.
“It’s not about sending her to school because I don’t want to see her for the rest of the day. I want to spend my life with her, not miss out on her at all. I want to be there for her.”
Woffinden doesn’t rule out swapping two wheels for four or pursuing other interests as he gets older. He added: “I’m not going to turn my back on the sport.
“I’m already in the process of starting a couple of other business ventures and when they take off, I won’t have to rely on speedway for my sole income and I will be able to stop racing a bike.
“It doesn’t mean I will finish being in motorsport, but with age comes more wheels and a roll cage because you can crash a speedway bike so many times, but as your body gets older, it doesn’t heal as quick.
“So you need a bit of protection under and over you and being strapped into a car so when it rolls, you don’t get damaged.
“As you get older, your life changes, like having a child and your goalposts change. I said to my mechanics last year we’ll have five more years of giving it everything we’ve got and then re-evaluate the situation after that length of time.
“It might be the fifth year I win the World Championship and hang the kevlars up, saying ‘that’s me, thanks very much’ and stop then. I might even have a year out and then make a comeback, you never know. This is because my mind is always thinking. Everyone else will say I’m just going to race speedway for 10 years, but my mind is always thinking of pushing myself.”
Woffinden has even considered chasing world titles in another motorcycle discipline. He added: “Recently I was so close to doing longtrack as a wild card. I’ve got two brand new longtrack bikes sat at home. It was pretty much a done deal.
“I’m good friends with Joonas Kylmakorpi and I bought his bikes off him because he has the best and he has won lots of World Championships.
“I spoke to the FIM to see if it was possible to ride alternative weekends from the Grand Prix meetings and I got to the point where I felt I’d just practice this year and then race next year.
“The year before I was I was incredibly close to doing road racing. I’m not even joking. I had big conversations with people around me and Faye. She said she would support me in whatever decision I make.
“I’ve been speaking about doing track days to see if I can post some lap times that are fast enough for me to compete at the highest level.”