THE NICOLAI KLINDT COLUMN: What Britain can learn from Polish pre-season
I’VE been in Poland for practice at the start of this week and it’s a place I always like to go.
I’m riding for Rzeszow this year and we got on the track on Monday morning before practice was off on Tuesday for a waterlogged track, which was a shame because I only got to test one of my two new engines.
We’ve got a test meeting against Tarnow on April 5 and all in all the pre-season in Poland is really good. It’s pretty different to Britain.
We have two to four test matches against various teams to try and find your form, but you don’t get paid for it. I always tend to make the most of them because you get to test a load of stuff that you wouldn’t be able to just riding on your own.
The best thing about Poland is I can just fly out there and get track time when I want to. If I want to I could stay longer and we can’t do that in England unfortunately.
If I was on my own and didn’t have my family to worry about I would probably live in Poland because if there is anything you want to try or test you can do it, no problems, they will sort the track and there’s always somewhere to practice.
The Polish juniors get to get on the track all the time and, not many people know this, the junior league in Poland has about 30 meetings a year which is amazing. I guess that’s why the Poles don’t tend to go abroad until they are a bit older.
When I used to ride for Wolves we had the Midlands Cup which was pretty helpful because you get the track time you need, which we don’t have so much anymore.
I don’t see any tests or cups anymore which is a shame and in the future it would be good if all the clubs in Britain could have test meetings as it really gets you sharp.
I’ve been to a few different kind of rider presentation events in Poland too and they’ve all been quite different.
There was one in Wroclaw which was in a hotel and only for the press, which was a bit strange because they only interviewed the Polish riders, the team manager the club president.
There was also one in Zielona Gora which was probably the best you can go to because there were four or five thousand fans there and a big stage like a pop concert. There was a party afterwards too so it was good.
The one we are having at Rzeszow is in the middle of the big shopping centre there so I really don’t know how it’s going to go.
When I get back to England we’ve got the Elite Shield with Swindon on Thursday and it will be really good to get back on the track again with the team.
It will be really interesting to see how we all fit together and it would be a great one to win too because there is a trophy, and it will be good for Swindon to get one back on Poole after they beat them in the play-offs last year.