Proud Kiwi Mudgway aims to ride in Auckland

Jade Mudgway of Berwick Bandits.
Jade Mudgway of Berwick Bandits.

BERWICK’S Jade Mudgway is hoping to mix it with the world’s best next season by competing in the Grand Prix World Championships.

But before anybody gets carried away thinking the Bandits reserve has had a bump on the head, he is only looking to be involved as a wild card in the New Zealand event, which will kick-start the series in his homeland in March, 2012.

“I’m very patriotic,” he said, “and I would love to race in the New Zealand Grand Prix as it will be the first ever staged in my country.

“It would give me no greater pleasure than to walk out on track, alongside the best riders in the world, with the New Zealand flag on my chest.

“The All Blacks won the Rugby World Cup recently and as a proud Kiwi I was glued to the television set cheering them on.

“This is the first time the series will take in NZ, and I think it is only right that a New Zealander is there to give the home fans someone to cheer.”

The New Zealand Grand Prix event will be held at the Western Springs Stadium in Auckland on March 31.

“I know I am not a rider of that quality, but it would be a tremendous experience,” said Mudgway.

“I am also the only New Zealder currently riding speedway at this level in Britain so I would like to think I stand a chance.

“There is Jason Bunyan, but I think he is applying for dual nationality or something, and in any event he has raced in British Championships before.”

New Zealand has a history of producing speedway greats like Ivan Mauger, Barry Briggs and Ronnie Moore.

Those halcyon days may be behind them, but Aukland is seen as a major foundation block on which to build for the future and ‘Mudga’ wants to be part of it.

The 22 year-old, who is based at Stockton in the north east, has just completed his second successive season with the Bandits, and admits he would love to be back for a third spell in 2012. “This year hasn’t gone exactly according to plan,” he admits.

“I have struggled more than I expected. Part of that is down to the fact that I had a few niggling injuries in the early part of the season, and I also haven’t invested as much money in my equipment as I would have liked.

“If you want to be competitive you have to be prepared to spend money on your bikes.

“Speedway is an expensive sport, but hey, I’m not complaining. This is the sport I chose to compete in and I have to accept the costs for what they are.

“In previous years I have gone back home for the winter (or the summer as it is Down Under), but I am working at the moment and I will only go back this winter if I get the nod to ride in the GP.

“It’s at the end of March which fits in well with the start of the British season, because I could then fly straight back here to ride.

“I would love to get the ‘wild card’ entry, but even a reserve berth would do me.

“If I don’t get into the GP my plan is to get as much money together to spend on my bikes for next season because I realise that has been one of my downfalls this year.

“I like it here at Berwick and I would love to come back for a third season, but at the end of the day it is up to the management and I don’t know what their plans are yet.

“I will just wait for the telephone to ring and hopefully it will be them offering me a place again.”