FRICKE EYES SWEDISH AND DANISH ACTION
Aussie champ Max Fricke hopes riders will be cleared to race in other leagues this year, but is grateful for the chance to ride in Poland.
21 / 05 / 2020, 12:32
Aussie champion Max Fricke hopes riders will be cleared to race in other leagues later this year, but is grateful for the chance to get compete in Poland’s PGE Ekstraliga.
The world’s top speedway league gets underway on June 12 with many riders set to end their stay in quarantine this weekend – clearing them to commence practice sessions with their clubs.
Riders have agreed to remain in Poland and not race in other leagues, unless border restrictions are relaxed, allowing them to travel to other countries without spending 14 days in quarantine on their return.
We just have to try and do the best we can at this point – not by cutting any corners, but by doing as much as we can with what we have.
With many riders around the world unable to go racing due to coronavirus restrictions, Wroclaw star Fricke is pleased to be part of the PGE Ekstraliga.
While he opted out of British speedway following his SGP qualification, he hopes a hectic schedule that sees him race league matches in Poland, Sweden and Denmark can resume later this summer.
The newly-qualified SGP regular said: “Hopefully travel and quarantine rules throughout Europe ease throughout the year. That would give us the possibility to go back to racing as per normal.
“I have signed in Sweden with Indianerna. I’m with Region Varde in Denmark too. I’m also racing in the GPs on top of that after qualifying last season.
“For now I hope we can earn a little bit of money through racing in Poland. We had to take a bit of a risk to come out, but we are lucky enough to have a job here. It gave us the option to ride and earn a living.”
Like his PGE Ekstraliga team mates and rivals, Fricke has seen his Polish pay slashed with clubs facing the prospect of racing the season behind closed doors, cutting off their race-day revenue.
But the Victorian star admits the reductions in sign-on fees and point money will leave riders battling to balance the books.
He said: “The current financial situation isn’t easy on anyone – whether it be for the clubs, riders, mechanics or indeed any business.
“We have been contracted to receive a certain amount and that’s what we work our budgets to throughout the season.
“I put a fair bit of money into my racing and a lot of those costs came out before the season even started and the coronavirus became a concern. A lot of money was spent and for now we’re just going to have to cut back on as much as we can. Hopefully we can get by and still perform well. It’s not easy for everyone and we have to go over things with the budget.
“Anyone racing at this level has considerable costs. You have mechanics, multiple bikes, different engines, services, travel, fuel, flights, wages and general costs as travellers and racers, and these are expenses we look after individually as riders.
“We do have huge costs. You can look at the points money and say it’s good money. But when you look at the expenses involved in it all, it puts it a bit more into perspective.
"We just have to try and do the best we can at this point – not by cutting any corners, but by doing as much as we can with what we have.”