One of the young speedway talents that will present themselves on the Unia Leszno's team in the 2022 season is Australian James Pearson. Sixteen years old rider, despite his young age, impresses with his form on speedway tracks, which resulted in signing a contract with the club from Leszno. In an interview with our portal he told about his hopes for his new team in Poland.
Magdalena Magdziarz: James, first I have a question about your beginnings in speedway. How did it come about that you started racing speedway? Do you remember the moment you first got on a motorcycle? James Pearson: I use to watch speedway with my mum and dad and fell in love with it. I started racing flat track at 6 years old and moved onto a speedway bike when I turned 9 years old, which was the earliest time I could ride one.
– Also, tell me something about yourself as a rider. If you had to name the strong qualities that set you apart from other riders from yourself, what would you point out? – I am extremely relaxed and calm when I am racing.
– As we know, sport is about competitions, training, preparing equipment, and a lot of time is spent on that. How do you manage to combine speedway with other responsibilities in your life? – I am currently training at the gym 5 days a week and when I am back in Australia I am also doing a building apprenticeship. Managing my time is very difficult but I am very focused on the speedway. Speedway always takes priority. Also, my mum and dad are very supportive and always help me whenever I need them.
– You have already achieved some major successes in your career so far. You won the runner-up title in the 85cc category. You also won a lot of tournaments in Australia this year and last year. Personally, which of your accomplishments is most important to you? – Coming 2nd in the world for the 85cc championship to date is the most important. I only missed the world title by one point.
– This year you had to accept that you were one point short of a podium finish to finish third in the 250cc class world championship. In retrospect, do you notice the opportunities that caused you to fail in this competition to win the bronze medal? – Yes, in heat 2 we changed the setup in the wrong direction, and this was the difference as I scored a 0 in that race, we went back to our original setup and were able to be successful for the rest of the meeting.
– Last season you had a contract with Team Fjelsted, which races at Division 2 in Denmark. Together you finished second in those leagues. How would you sum up your meetings for this club? – I was a guest rider for Team Fjelsted. I rode 4 successful meetings, each of those meetings I scored very good points which helped the team to second place. In total, I had 3 wins out of 4.
– In the context of the 2022 season you have been announced as a rider of the club Region Varde Elitesport. What goals are you setting for next season in Europe? – My goals next season for Region Varde are to score regular high points for the team and to them be promoted to the Danish Super League, this is my goal for next year. My goal for the Unia Leszno next year is to be a high-scoring regular rider in the U24 league, also I hope to be able to represent Australia in the U21 individual and U21 teals events.
– What opportunities has ridden in Europe brought you so far? You came back to Australia after a year enriched with what new experiences? – My time in Europe has been amazing, I have gained a lot of experience in a very short time, I had met some great people and I hope to continue to learn and ride speedway for many years to come.
– Speedway in Australia versus speedway in Europe. What differences did you notice after your year in Europe between the two? – The great thing about Europe is that you can get a lot of time on the bike, either practice or racing, plus I don't have to travel 1000's kilometers to each race meeting. As an example, it's an 8-hour drive to the Victorian state title one way, and when I race at the Darcy Ward Invitational it is a 10-hour drive there and a 10-hour drive back.
– At the beginning of October, you took part in the competitions organized by the Unia Leszno. The result of these two days is that you signed your first contract in the Polish league. Is this a dream come true? – Yes absolutely, when I raced the 85cc in Rybnik, I first met the General Manager of Leszno, since that moment I have always wanted to sign and race for Leszno, I really cannot wait to get back to Poland and start racing for the club.
– The end of the season in Europe is behind you, but in Australia, another season is already underway. What sporting events do you plan to participate in over the coming months? – I have just completed the U21 NSW title last night, I went through the 5 rounds only dropping one point and finishing on 14 points, I will also be racing in the Darcy Ward Invitational which is on the 15th of January, I will try to do as much racing as possible before I come back, but as I mentioned before we do not have as much racing as there is in Europe. I will continue to focus on my fitness and will be ready to race when I arrive back in Poland at the beginning of March.
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