Crump quits riding in Elite League

JASON Crump's decision to take his leave of British speedway will send shockwaves through the shale sport in this country.The Australian was the only one in the top four of this year's Grand Prix series to ride in the Elite League in 2008 - world champion Nicki Pedersen, Tomasz Gollob and Greg Hancock did not do so.

Elvin King

JASON Crump's decision to take his leave of British speedway will send shockwaves through the shale sport in this country.

The Australian was the only one in the top four of this year's Grand Prix series to ride in the Elite League in 2008 - world champion Nicki Pedersen, Tomasz Gollob and Greg Hancock did not do so.

Crump has told his club Belle Vue that he will not be returning next term, and that he needs to ease off his riding commitments if at the age of 33 he is going to win his world title back again.

“The simple reason that I will miss out on riding in England in 2009 is that now is the time to cut back,” said Crump.

“I can't go on like this or I will burn myself out.

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“It's hard riding in England because I have Belle Vue home meetings on Mondays and away meetings during the week.

“In Poland I ride Sundays and Sweden Tuesdays so I can organise myself a more structured life by giving up riding in Britain.

“I am desperate to win the world title for a third time next year, and at my time of life it would suit me best to have a more regular routine.”

From once being the best speedway league in the world, Britain's Elite League is now rated a poor third behind the Polish and Swedish Leagues, where teams only ride once a week and on one scheduled day of the week.

The Ipswich Evening Star Witches will be staying in the top flight next season with reports suggesting that one or two Premier League sides will move up regardless of how the Edinburgh versus Wolverhampton promotion/relegation battle evolves over the weekend.

But with Crump moving out there is a danger that others with their eye on the world title might do the same and so dilute the standard on offer to British fans still more.

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