ROBINS boss Alun Rossiter has hailed Jason Crump as one of speedway’s all-time greats after the three-time world champion announced his retirement from the Grand Prix series yesterday.
The 37-year-old will make his final World Championship appearance in Torun on October 6 after a glittering career, which saw him take the crown in 2004, 2006 and 2009, and also equal Ove Fundin’s record of 10 straight seasons on the GP rostrum between 2001 and 2010.
The Australian lived with Rossiter in his early days racing in Britain, and the Robins boss believes he should be proud of everything he has achieved.
“His contribution to speedway has been amazing and he has been world champion three times which is an amazing achievement which should not be underestimated,” he said.
“In all honesty I think he could have had a lot more if it wasn’t for riding at the same time as Tony Rickardsson, but he is up there with the best without a doubt and he can be considered one of the greats.
“The thing with Jason is he is still in the Grand Prix and it is not as if he is going out having slipped out of the GP, and that is a credit to him, just like Leigh Adams who walked away when he was still up there competing.
“He has gone on his own terms, when usually riders slip down and drop out of the equation.
“The likes of Rickardsson, Crump and Adams have done it their own way, and it is great they have been able to do that.”
While Rossiter believes Crump will be a loss to top-level speedway, he was not overly surprised by his old friend’s decision to call it a day.
“Jason lived with me in his early days and we have become close friends, and I still speak to him on a regular basis,” he said.
“I have been speaking to him a lot at the Grands Prix, and after I spoke to him in Sweden I kind of knew it was coming.
“He said it in so many words there, and if he is not enjoying it and finding it a chore then I think you have to seriously consider things.
“When you do something you are not enjoying that is when accidents happen, and I believe the Lee Richardson and Leigh Adams incidents have got to him more than some people realise.
“I have not had that conversation, but knowing Jason as I do I would say it hasn’t helped him, and it has made him think a little bit.”
Crump will continue to compete in league racing in both Sweden and Denmark, but Rossiter does not expect to see the veteran back in the British Elite League before he ends his career.
“I don’t think he will come back to Britain because he is settled in Sweden, and I think he will just commute between there and Poland,” he said.
“It would be great to have him back over here, but I can’t see it happening.”