Does Batchelor have too much on his plate?
5:30am Thursday 6th March 2014 in By Andy Warren, Deputy sports editor, firstname.lastname@example.org, @AndyWarren_
SKIPPER Troy Batchelor admitted he has decisions to make regarding his schedule for 2014 following his call-up to the Grand Prix series - but reassured Robins fans he remains fully committed to the club.
The Australian made the leap up into the speedway elite earlier this week following the withdrawal of Russian star Emil Sayfutdinov, adding 12 more meetings to his schedule which already includes weekly matches in Britain, Sweden and Poland.
Batchelor is desperate to make a success of his big chance at the top level and, while he hinted he may have shed some meetings to do so, the Australia captain insisted his commitments with the Robins are still firmly part of his plans.
“Not really,” Batchelor said when asked if he was happy with his expanded schedule. “It’s something I thought about before but I wasn’t in the GP then, it’s a different story now.
“There were times last year when I was sick and had four meetings in a week, running out like a zombie, and there were times where I didn’t feel like I could give it 100 per cent.
“The GP adds another 12 rounds to the schedule in different countries, which brings a lot of travelling, and I have some thinking to do about where I can cut down. It definitely won’t be England or Poland though.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do at the moment but England has been good to me and it’s still valuable to me. It’s worthwhile being here for sure.”
Batchelor will use the number 75 while riding in the Grand Prix this season and is keen to use the number he has held since his early years on the bike to help make a brand for himself.
“I’ve had that number since I was four, racing at home, and it’s still my number to this day on my license,” he said.
“I’m sure Chris and Darcy had the same numbers all the time too because we were racing together years ago on the dirt tracks back home.
“There’s a lot on my plate right now so it’s further down the list for me but that’s something I’m looking into.
“The GP series doesn’t really make you any money and the round I did at Torun last year cost me money in the end, so if you do all 12 rounds then you need some financial backing to help you get through.”