TAI OUT OF BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIP
World champion Tai Woffinden has reluctantly decided not to go for a fourth straight British title – to help him chase a world title treble.
30 / 03 / 2016, 08:00
FIM Speedway Grand Prix world champion Tai Woffinden has reluctantly decided not to go for a fourth straight British title – to help him in his World Championship treble bid.
Scunthorpe-born Woffinden has made the move to step aside from the showpiece event at Belle Vue’s new National Stadium on Monday, June 13.
He is, however, keen to emphasise he will be riding for his country in the Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup Final in Manchester on Saturday July 30.
It’s not in any way showing disrespect to my national championship. I will always be proud to say I have won the British title in three successive years.
He revealed how he believes the time is right for someone else to challenge for the crown after three successive wins – and his main priority is to secure a third world title.
Woffinden said: “I’m very proud of my achievement in winning my national title for three successive years and this is a situation I have been thinking long and hard about over the winter.
“I will still be representing my country at the Monster Energy SWC and, after speaking to Keith Chapman, the new chairman of the British Speedway Promoters’ Association, I am very encouraged by what I am hearing about plans for the future of Team GB.
“I am proud to ride for Great Britain, the country of my birth, and I will give the Monster Energy SWC my total commitment and effort.
“This has been a very difficult call for me. However, I have to look after myself. I cannot afford a repeat of what happened to me in 2014 when I became burnt out mentally and physically.
“I’ve worked so hard to get to this position and now I have to capitalise. It’s not in any way showing disrespect to my national championship. I will always be proud to say I have won the British title in three successive years.
“I look forward to seeing my fans at Cardiff for the Adrian Flux British FIM Speedway Grand Prix on July 9 and the Monster Energy SWC – I will be there!
“And, of course, perhaps my absence from the British Final opens up the field, not just for the title, but for someone new to get a place at Cardiff.”
BSPA chairman Keith Chapman said: “Tai made me aware of this and while it is a disappointment, we, as an association, wish him well.
“We’re pleased he is committed to the World Cup team and I wish him all the best in attempting to win a third world title. The publicity his titles have generated for the sport are a major plus for British speedway.
“It also opens up the British Final and I’m sure we will still see a very entertaining meeting.”