SWINDON ROBINS: Batchelor edges closer to GP rides

This Is Wiltshire: Troy Batchelor Troy Batchelor

SWINDON captain Troy Batchelor is hopeful of adding to his solitary Grand Prix appearance in 2014 and intends to grab the chance with both hands if it comes along.

The Australian is now first reserve for the series following the withdrawal of legendary Pole Tomasz Gollob, having made his GP debut in the final round of the 2013 season at Torun.

The last two first reserves, Martin Vaculik and Ales Dryml, rode in six and seven meetings respectively due to injuries and while Batchelor is likely to get a chance he won’t be secretly hoping for his rivals to be unable to compete.

The 26-year-old is once again keen on the wild card for the season-opening New Zealand GP on April 5 but isn’t hopeful of being selected having been overlooked in the past.

“If it works out like that and I get to ride in the GP series then I will take it and I’ll be there because I entered from the qualification stage,” he said.

“I had a little go last year at Torun and I loved it so I would love to get another go this year and experience it full time.

“I obviously don’t want guys to get injured and things like that but if I can get a chance then I’m ready to take it.

“In my opinion there are more than 15 or 16 people who are ready for the World Championship and I think there are probably 20 or 25 guys who can compete in there competitively.

“I’m one of them, but it’s such a hill to get in there in the first place and you often see guys get in there because they are from certain countries.

“There was no Swede qualified for this year but they have two Grand Prix in Sweden so they gave two Swedes the wildcards.

“The GPs have always been like that and if your face fits then you get the chance. I’m not saying I should have necessarily got one, but there are a lot of riders out there knocking on the door.”

Batchelor is one of eight seeded riders as he bids to retain his Australian title in January, with the qualifying round set to go ahead on January 3 where Swindon’s Nick Morris will bid to make it into the main series.

Meanwhile, the Swindon track shop will be open today from 9.30am until midday, offering a final chance to purchase Robins merchandise ahead of Christmas, with shell jackets and other items of clothing still in stock.

Two-thousand-and-fourteen season tickets will also be available to purchase on Saturday morning.

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