SPEEDWAY: Batchelor celebrates title with mammoth drive home
6:00am Tuesday 15th January 2013 in By Andy Warren, Deputy sports editor, email@example.com, @AndyWarren_
TROY Batchelor’s reward for becoming Australian champion for the first time was a gruelling 1,500km drive home lasting more than 15 hours.
The Swindon target wrapped up the title with victory in Kurri Kurri on Sunday morning UK time, completing a clean sweep of all three rounds earning him a maximum 60 points.
The 25-year-old never finished lower than second in any of his 18 rides in the entire championship, ensuring he beat close friend Dakota North into second place by 12 points while Eastbourne’s Cameron Woodward finished a point further back in third.
Batchelor was understandably proud of everything he has achieved, but after allowing himself a short time to celebrate he had to hit the road to travel through the night across the country from New South Wales back to his home in Adelaide.
“It’s a great feeling to have the trophy and a medal and to be Australia’s number one, and I have worked hard for it all along and got my reward,” he said.
“Consistency was always going to win it and I knew it from the start, and I think my worst place was second in every race during the whole series so I am very happy with that.
“It’s up there with everything I have achieved because the last time I won an Australian Championship was when I was 15 on the junior bikes, so it has been 10 years since I won that.
“After the Kurri Kurri meeting we just drove straight home again, and we only stopped for the toilet and something to eat so in all we did 1,500km which was hard.
“We left at about midnight and got home after 3pm, so it was 15 hours or so which was non-stop.”
Travelling is a prohibitive factor for young riders looking to learn their trade Down Under, which Batchelor believes is something racers and fans in Europe often overlook.
“Sometimes people don’t always realise quite how big Australia is and how far you have to travel to do the Australian series,” he said.
“This year since I have been home I have raced in five meetings, and to get to and from those I have travelled around 7,000km or 5,000 miles, so it’s really quite hard.
“It’s a lot of driving and it takes its toll on you, and it costs a lot of money too so a lot of riders lose money while doing the championship.
“Even the guys at the top don’t make a lot, so it’s all for pride and the glory of winning the title, and to keep your eye in while a lot of people in Europe aren’t doing anything.”
The BSPA Management Committee meet today and are expected to resolve the dispute between the Robins and Peterborough regarding the futures of Batchelor and Hans Andersen, and the Australian is hopeful he will have his Elite League club sorted in the near future.
“It’s about time the BSPA stepped in because that is what they are there for, and they are the governing body,” he said.
“The clubs can’t come to an agreement so they need to step in and sort it one way or another, because we are waiting on this decision.
“It’s in the balance so the BSPA need to make sure it is all sorted.”