Date of Birth: 30/11/1996
Birth Place: Heddon Greta, NSW
20 year old Australian Josh Pickering will join the Monarchs’ team for the 2017 season, making his UK debut.
This completes the team and is subject to BSPA approval. Josh comes from a place called Heddon Greta, which is in New South Wales, and he comes well recommended, not least by former Monarch Max Fricke who told Alex Harkess at the recent FIM Conference in Berlin that Pickering is “a 100% trier”.
Although he hasn’t been riding speedway long and wasn’t a product of under-age speedway (as most of the young Aussies are), he is a fairly experienced motorcyclist as he explained.
“I started racing dirt bikes around 2004 and raced them for maybe 8 years. Then I moved over to road racing in 2012. I did that for a year and a half, riding for Honda Australia, but after I lost my ride I ended up buying a speedway bike. I bought two bikes from Adam Shields, I wanted to make a career out of some type of motorcycle racing and it didn’t really worry me which one.
“I just enjoy riding bikes I guess, so I have ridden speedway from 2013 and haven’t looked back. Last year I had a few dramas with illness and didn’t spend as much time on a bike as I wanted to, but this year I’ve been racing here there and everywhere, trying to do as many laps on the bike as I can. It’s starting to pay off for me so I’m happy with that, and I believe with Edinburgh I can get to the next level. It should be a good move for me.”
Josh is racing in the upcoming Australian Championship series and hopes to show up well against a field including Sam Masters, Justin Sedgmen and Max Fricke, all chasing the crown won by Brady Kurtz last season.
He said “I leave on Tuesday to head to Adelaide for round one of the Australian Championships. It’s four rounds, I’ll race there then Mildura, Shepparton and finally back at my home track at Kurri-Kurri. I’ve raced there all year and never scored less than 12 points, so I know if I can get out the box either one or two I’m as quick as the top guys, so it will be good to see how I go against them.
“I’ve had a few meetings recently where I have missed the start after changing my motors from straight to offset, it’s surprising how much difference it makes so I have just had to get my head around that. I just wasn’t giving it enough revs off the start but it will be interesting to see how I go.”
Josh will keep it simple on the mechanical front. “I’m just bringing my engines over, I’ve got two engines, and then I’ll buy my rollers over there. I’ll come over a couple of weeks prior to the press and practise just so I can build my bikes, so we can go from there.”
With the contacts he has, he will be well versed in how to ride his new home track. “Sam and Max have told me that Armadale can be a good track for you once you get to know it, and I’ve watched a few videos with Sam just to get an idea of what I’m looking at for when I get there so I’m not going to be shocked! I like a challenge so it’s going to be good to get my head round it and sorted.
“I did ask Sam if you can pass at Armadale and he said yes, most certainly, though I’d rather get out the box one or two because it makes it a lot easier!
“My girlfriend Brooke will be coming with me, it will be good to have someone with me in the good times and bad. Sam knows my girlfriend quite well and he said from his own experience it was a bit tough when his girlfriend was on the other side of the world.
“Sam’s a good captain and a good mate and I couldn’t be happier to be riding with him.”