They won’t have him on the track in 2019 but Berwick fans will still be seeing plenty of David Howe.
After a 20 year long career which saw him appear in three Grand Prix, five World under 21 finals (and ending up by finishing runner-up in the season finale Bordernapolis in September) 36-year-old David has announced his retirement from active racing.
Admitting that his final seasons at Berwick were the happiest times of his long career, Howe said: “I’ve never, anywhere, enjoyed team spirit such as we had last season,” he said.
David is, this weekend, over in Denmark, tidying up his new arrangement with Bandits’ Danish ace Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen, with whom he’ll be working full-time in the coming season.
“You’ll need to ask Nikolaj what my title is,” he admitted. “I’ll be in the pits with him at every meeting and a bit more than just a mechanic, but maybe a bit less than a manager, and if we can get him going as well as he performed during half a dozen meetings we hooked up in last year, look out!
“He was so happy with the way things had gone, and he was guest-riding at Leicester, and did really well there too, he told me that whenever I stopped racing there was a job waiting for me as his coach, whatever word you want to use.
“Well, I’ve stopped racing. We’ve talked it over, I flew out to Billund on Friday to finalise a few things, and when the bikes are rolled out in 2019 I’ll be the one rolling NBJ’s machinery.
“What makes it really great is that, when Nikolaj’s riding for the Bandits, I’ll be there in the pits, sharing all the fun and banter with the guys as usual. Other than that I don’t have to get dirt squirted in my face every four heats, nothing has changed.”
As for Nikolaj, the tall, cool Viking could be set to enjoy his best year yet in a career which has already seen him contest four World under 21 finals, act as reserve at the 2015 Danish Grand Prix and top-score (and be voted ‘Man of the Meeting’) in Australia for the Danish under 21 World Team Cup squad in 2015, so what does he think about having David Howe on board?
“Fantastic!” he said in his ultra-polite English. “2019 at Shielfield Park will be awesome!”
With the season starting in Easter, season tickes for the Bandits are currently on sale.