LINDBACK: IN A PERFECT WORLD, I WOULD HAVE BEEN WORLD CHAMP
Antonio Lindback insisted “I am happy with my years” on the shale, but admitted “in a perfect world, I would have been world champion."
22 / 11 / 2020, 10:16
Swedish star Antonio Lindback insisted “I am happy with my years” on the shale, but admitted “in a perfect world, I would have been world champion.”
The Masarna icon announced his retirement from the sport earlier this month after exiting the FIM Speedway Grand Prix series.
Lindback hangs up his kevlars as a double FIM Speedway World Cup gold medallist, a triple SGP winner and a two-time Swedish champion.
In a perfect world, I would have been world champion. But except that, I have done everything I really wanted to do and a lot more than that.
The 35-year-old cemented his spot in speedway history as the first black rider to race in the SGP series, as well as the competition’s most successful South American-born star.
Born in Brazil and raised in Sweden, Lindback established himself as one of his adopted nation’s biggest stars.
And he ends his career feeling satisfied with his achievements on the shale. He said: “I have been looking through my old videos and a lot of stuff has happened – good and bad stuff. But if I look at everything, I am happy with what I have done. I am happy with my years.
“Of course, there are so many things I can enjoy. The World Cups, the GP wins … there are so many things.
“In a perfect world, I would have been world champion. But except that, I have done everything I really wanted to do and a lot more than that. That’s why I can stop right now and still feel happy about everything.”
Lindback was hotly tipped as a potential world champion in his younger days. Asked why he feels he didn’t quite claim the sport’s biggest prize, the two-time world No.7 said: “Not everybody can be world champion.
"Of course I was up there. But in the end, I didn’t have that little bit extra. That’s just the way it is.
“I was one of the top riders. I didn’t have the extra to go the whole way. Of course I am disappointed about that. But that’s life.”
It has been a tough year for all of us as the world has been gripped by the Covid-19 pandemic. Lindback admits he particularly struggled as top riders were forced to base themselves in Poland to complete the PGE Ekstraliga season. While he admits the rising costs of the sport had a role in his decision, he says the effects of the global health crisis helped to make up his mind.
He said: “I have been thinking about it for a long time. Because of the coronavirus and that kind of stuff, it was so much harder to race. We needed to stay away from home for a much longer time and you needed to do so many tests.
“It was getting more and more expensive. The fun was disappearing a little bit, you could say. After this year I felt like I was finished with it.”
Lindback revealed he suffers with adult ADHD in 2013 and admits being unable to plan ahead in these most unpredictable of times made life especially hard for him.
He said: “I need to know where I should be and I need to have a good plan, so that when I do stuff, I don’t need to think about it.
“It was not the year for me. I was planning to go home, but then I couldn’t go home. When I was home, I was making a plan of what to do, but then I had to fly back to Poland because they wanted me to do a test. It was hard for me to fit into that new system.”
Since announcing his retirement, Lindback has launched an excavation business in his homeland.
But while he’s moving away from the sport, the Rio Rocket hopes to see more people follow him on to the shale – and not just those with a family background in speedway.
He said: “I hope speedway will grow and more people will start to race. I hope I have shown people that you don’t have to be from a motorsports family to start racing. If you just love what you do, you can do whatever you want to do.”