Bickley - “Cancelled season won’t stop my development”

Kyle Bickley burst onto the Speedway scene as a 15-year-old in 2017 and has since ridden against some of the World’s best rising stars as well as a brief spell for Premiership side Belle Vue Aces as an injury replacement.

Image courtesy of Taylor Lanning Photography

But despite the Cumbrian’s relative wealth of experience at just 18, he revealed that he turned down the chance to race in the FIM Under-21 World Championship Qualifier for GB as he didn’t believe he had the sufficient time to prepare.

He said: “It’s a big meeting and I wanted to be ready to go there. I was asked as a result of someone getting injured and I only had two weeks to prepare. It was too short a time to get my bikes and myself ready for such a big meeting. I was worried it would set me back having not raced in seven months compared to a lot of the guys who are back racing now.”

Bickley, like most Speedway riders, hasn’t raced since the end of the 2019 domestic season but he believes his development as a rider won’t be deterred. He said: “I’ve had seven months off already from November time and now I’ve got to wait until maybe next March, I might get ten meetings, maybe none, maybe more you never know. It is worrying that I’ve completely lost a year out my career, totally gone which isn’t the best. Then you’ve only got maybe 20 years in your career and losing one isn’t good. I don’t think it’ll knock back my development at all, I think I’ll be fine. I’ll just be a bit rusty when I’m back.”

Bickley was looking forward to a season with the Berwick Bandits in the Championship in 2020 before the speedway season was cancelled domestically due to the ongoing global situation. Berwick are famed for having one of the country’s faster Speedway circuits and the 18-year-old says he has always preferred the speed of a fast track

He said: “Every year in the Championship I’ve had a different track as my home track, so I’d like to spend more than one year at the same track to help get me settled in the league more than anything. Belle Vue, Glasgow, Workington, they’ve all been fast tracks like Berwick is and I just find it a bit more exciting than the small tracks. I do enjoy the small tracks and the technical aspect of them, but I still prefer being on the throttle more.”

Bickley is well aware of a potential place in Great Britain's Speedway of Nations team with two of the five riders in the squad required to be under 21. But he isn’t going to be rushed into such a big event. He said: “I’d love to do it for experience but I don’t think I’m ready for it at all. I suppose with the exception of Dan (Bewley) there aren't as many under 21s that are that far progressed for that kind of meeting. We’re all tight behind him about five or six of us so it’s hard to get selected for these things, it helps keep us on our toes and training hard but it’s something I’d love to do to experience that kind of meeting.”