Nicholls quitting British speedway

SCOTT Nicholls is quitting British speedway.The former Ipswich Witches captain and current British No.1 is following a line of Grand Prix stars quitting the Elite League in 2009.

Mike Bacon

SPEEDWAY

By Mike Bacon

SCOTT Nicholls is quitting British speedway.


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The former Ipswich Witches captain and current British No.1 is following a line of Grand Prix stars quitting the Elite League in 2009.

Nicholls told me last night that his mind is made up and he wants to give himself a true crack at the GP series, by cutting out almost 50 meetings a season in Britain.

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“I feel I have got to give myself a real chance in the Grand Prix series because up to now I don't think I have,” Nicholls said.

“There are 11 GP's this season and by riding in Poland, Sweden and England, it is just too much.

“It's nothing to do with money, just like Jason Crump, I want a change. Indeed I will be earning less money by not riding in England.

“It's a gamble, I know it is and a very difficult decision to make. I enjoy riding in England and I enjoy the English fans, but it is just too hectic.

“This will be my 13th season in Sweden in 2009 and I've ridden a few meetings every year in Poland for almost the same amount of time.

“By resting from England I hope to be physically and mentally fitter for the Grand Prix series and I can also spend a bit more time with Sophie and Mia and have just a bit more normal a life.

“I don't want to look back and think I didn't do what I wanted to in the sport.”

Nicholls' decision will be a huge blow to speedway in England, with Crump already a definite non-starter and fellow GP stars Andreas Jonsson and Hans Andersen expected to follow suit in the next few weeks.

And Nicholls admitted he has no intention of starting the season in England ahead of the first GP.

“I could possibly have ridden for a club for the first six weeks of the season in England, but I don't think that's fair on the public or other riders,” Nicholls added.

“I need to make this break and see if I can do myself justice in the GPs. At the moment it is that desire to achieve more in the series that is driving me.

“I'm 30 and I feel I have plenty of seasons still left to give the GPs a chance, but I need to give myself a chance.”

Nicholls also said there had been a few feelers out from Ipswich about his services in 2009, but nothing definite.

“Ipswich made a tentative enquiry about what I might be doing next season and so have a few other clubs.

“Of course I'd love to ride for Ipswich again some day and I'd be happy to go back.”

But for 2009 the Elite League in Britain will have to do without Scott Nicholls.

mike.bacon@archant.co.uk

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