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LIFE-CHANGING DAY FOR BATCH

Delighted Grand Prix star Troy Batchelor admits “my life has been turned upside-down” as he celebrates his promotion to the SGP elite.

04 / 03 / 2014, 17:38

Delighted Grand Prix star Troy Batchelor admits “my life has been turned upside-down” as he celebrates his promotion to the World Championship’s elite.

The former Australian champion qualified as first reserve for this year’s series and was called up full-time today when Emil Sayfutdinov withdrew from the competition for fitness and financial reasons.

Batchelor suffered mechanical problems in a five-man run-off at the 2012 GP Challenge, which denied him a place in last year’s series. He then suffered the disappointment of finishing sixth at Poole in 2013.

The Brisbane-born rider was denied a place in this year’s SGP qualifiers after missing out on the Australian Championship rostrum due to the torn knee ligaments which kept him out of the final round at Gillman on January 11.

So he is over the moon to get a huge slice of fortune in his battle for a place in the big time, but knows the hard work starts now.

I’m sure I’ll be mixing it up and I might be in the middle of a few things throughout the year.

Troy Batchelor

He said: “Obviously it has been no secret that I’ve been pushing hard to get into the series for a little while now. I had a go at Torun when I covered for Tomasz Gollob on October 5 and it was amazing to race my first Grand Prix.

“Being in it is still so fresh. I didn’t find out until this morning officially. It’s amazing. If you told me this was going to happen two weeks ago, I would have said ‘no way!’ Who would have thought that Emil would have pulled out?

“It’s a great opportunity and one I’m going to take with both hands. I won’t be taking it lightly in any way.

“I was happy with being one of the reserves. To say I’m a full-time GP rider now is unbelievable. I’m looking forward to the challenge and I’ve been really busy all day with organising and phone calls. My life has been turned upside-down.”

Batchelor is happy with his recovery from the knee ligament damage sustained in round two of the Aussie Championship at Undera on January 8 which dashed his title hopes.

And he is elated to see his quest for World Championship glory back on track so fast after an injury blow which could have left him facing at least a two-year wait for qualification.

He said: “I had some bad luck in the Aussie Championship and the next thing I know, I’m in the GP. I’ve gone from bad to good already.

“Life is crazy. You never know what can happen or what’s going to be around the corner.

“The news was fantastic to get and I can’t wait to start racing really. I started preparations for this last year because I knew I was first reserve and I knew I had to be ready.

“I know I’m ready already. But I need to get practising and get the bikes over the New Zealand pretty soon. The next couple of weeks are going to be pretty busy as I get everything sorted and hopefully get a few more sponsors on board, who can also benefit from me racing in front of a worldwide audience.”

Batchelor is well known for being a rider who doesn’t fear reputations and he has no qualms about bashing elbows with speedway’s finest.

The 26-year-old said: “I’m sure I’ll be mixing it up and I might be in the middle of a few things throughout the year.

“Anyone can beat anyone in speedway and if you go there with the attitude you can beat anyone, it’s definitely the way to go.

“Back in the day when I first started, I was racing guys like Greg Hancock and thinking ‘I’ve been watching these boys on TV since I was small.’ It was a bit of a shock to the system. But I’ve been doing it for so many years now and names don’t mean anything really.”

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