TOP-EIGHT TARGET FOR DOYLE
Aussie ace Jason Doyle says he’s “going for the top-eight, stay-safe approach” as he sets his goals for SGP 2019.
15 / 02 / 2019, 09:55
Aussie ace Jason Doyle says he’s “going for the top-eight, stay-safe approach” as he sets his goals for the 2019 FIM Speedway Grand Prix series.
The 2017 world champion endured a difficult title defence last year, but battled back to finish seventh in the final standings.
That was his lowest placing in four seasons as an SGP regular – an impressive mark of how rapidly a rider who hadn’t raced a World Championship round prior to 2015 has established himself among the sport’s big guns.
I have always said the top eight and then gone higher. You don’t want to have goals where you get halfway through the season and then you don’t achieve them.
While Doyle has proved himself more than capable of lifting speedway’s biggest prize, the six-time SGP winner is keen not to set his goals too high ahead of this year’s series.
He said: “I’m going for the top-eight, stay-safe approach. I’m going to go for what I believe in and that’s the top eight.
"I have always said the top eight and then gone higher. You don’t want to have goals where you get halfway through the season and then you don’t achieve them.
“All riders want to be top three in the world, but this is speedway and anything is possible. I was leading with two GPs to go in 2016 and ended up fifth, so we go for the safe approach.
“I want to do another year where I am not injured, enjoy it and hopefully I can bring some joy to the fans and also myself.”
While the start of 2018 was tough for Doyle, he was delighted to fight his way back into the top-eight automatic qualification spots for SGP 2019, with his back-to-back second-place finishes in Krsko and Teterow priceless as they came with 33 points.
He said: “Towards the end of the year, I was in 11th position in the Grand Prix and knew I had a lot of work to do to get back up to the top eight.
“That was the main goal from July onwards – to get back in the top eight and not need a wild card. I needed to do it on my own merit. To go from being world champion to not even making the top eight would have been a big downfall. So I am quite happy with how the end of the season went.”
It wasn’t all an uphill struggle for Doyle in 2018. He said: “Winning the Golden Helmet in Pardubice was a big moment in my career.
“I don’t think it was an unsuccessful season. Looking back on it, I won some good things and I won the KO Cup with Somerset. It was nice to ride in Torun and Rospiggarna too and have good teams behind me.
“I have to look at the positives and it wasn’t such a bad year. I know The Grand Prix didn’t work out how it has the last two years, but there is always going to be a dip and hopefully things will go up again next year.”