LIDSEY: PREPARED FOR PRESSURE IN POLAND
Jaimon Lidsey admits racing nearly a full season for champions Leszno gave him the steel to hold his nerve and win the World Under-21 title.
22 / 10 / 2020, 11:17
Aussie ace Jaimon Lidsey admits racing nearly a full season in the PGE Ekstraliga for champions Leszno gave him the steel to hold his nerve and win the FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship Final.
Lidsey has been part of the Bulls squad for the past three years, but raced for their feeder club Rawicz in the Polish Second Division in 2018 and 2019.
This year saw Lidsey claim a spot in Leszno’s starting line-up, replacing Brady Kurtz from round three and playing a key role in the club’s charge to a fourth straight league championship.
I put a lot of pressure on myself for that World Under-21 meeting. I dreamed about the meeting and thought about it for a long time, so to make it become a reality was amazing.
As well as winning the PGE Ekstraliga, Lidsey topped the World Under-21 rostrum in Pardubice on October 2, seeing off Bulls team mate Dominik Kubera, Olegs Mihailovs and Dan Bewley in the final.
It’s the first time in 11 years that the sport’s junior champion has been crowned in a one-off final – the last time was when Darcy Ward lifted the trophy at Gorican in 2009.
This puts Lidsey in some illustrious company, and he admits mixing it with the best in Poland all season helped him keep his cool in the white heat of a one-off world final.
He said: “Racing for Leszno has done me well. I’m racing against top guys in every meeting and scoring points. It makes me feel a bit better.
“The World Under-21s is a world championship and it was never going to be easy. It’s speedway and anything can happen. You always need a bit of luck on your side in those meetings. I happened to have enough luck in Pardubice.”
Lidsey says the World Under-21 crown has been firmly in his sights all season, but he admits he would have rather raced the final over the three-round series which was originally planned before the coronavirus pandemic hit.
He said: “It was obviously good that I won, but I would have rather done it over three rounds. I put a lot of pressure on myself for that World Under-21 meeting. I dreamed about the meeting and thought about it for a long time, so to make it become a reality was amazing.”
Lidsey is enjoying life with Leszno and was delighted to play a full role in their title triumph this year.
He said: “I have been involved with the club for three years, but to race most of this year and race in the final was a much better feeling for me.
“I have a lot of support from Leszno. Their president Piotr Rusiecki brought me over three years ago and has had faith in me ever since.
“I knew that every time I got a chance, I just had to do my best. Here we are; I have raced a full season for them and I think I have done quite well this year. I am happy. I still have a couple more years here and hopefully more after that.”
Lidsey looks set to be a key rider for them in 2021 due to a new Ekstraliga rule, requiring each top-flight team to track one under-24 rider in their top five.
With Kubera confirming his departure and reports linking Bartosz Smektala with a move away, the Mildura-born ace looks set to fill that role for Leszno.
“I’m kind of lucky that they have brought in this rule,” Lidsey said. “It is good that they have to have one under-24 rider. I just have to take it with both hands now and hopefully I can keep progressing in the coming years and just get better and better.”
Photo: Taylor Lanning