NEWS Tuesday 26th March 2019, 7:00pm
Ricky Wells is back for his 3rd season in the Blue and Gold of the Staggs Bar Monarchs and is fit and raring to go after his quietest winter in as long as he can remember.
"It's been a good winter, I've stayed busy but it's been quieter than usual and I've enjoyed that. I went back to the states for 5 weeks raced once and got smoked by a bunch of locals and that has pretty much been it. It was cool to go back but I guess you could say I'm half English now the amount of time I have spent over here so it was nice to spend most of the winter in the UK."
That one meeting in the US that Wells mentions was the US National final which saw former Monarchs target Luke Becker take the spoils with surprise packet Austin Novratti second and Ricky making up the podium. This 3rd place finish means that Ricky misses out on the Speedway GP qualifying campaign with only the top 2 getting places and this was one thing that Ricky was disappointed with "I've been pretty dominant back home the last few years I've went back especially as Greg doesn't do a lot of the meetings. It was just one of those nights where nothing was going my way and those happen every once in a while. I was pretty upset about it at the time but I quickly got over it,"
As a Kiwi born USA internationalist Wells has spent many a winter chasing the sunnier climes riding all over the southern hemisphere but admits he was happy to take a step back this year "After the US Nationals I took a break from speedway and it was nice actually, it has rejuvenated me and I would say I've probably prepared better than ever as I had that break it really made me keen to get going. I hadn't been back on a bike till testing last week at Belle Vue but I am really looking forward to it now."
As his scoring wasn't noticeably impacted many will have forgotten that Ricky actually started last year on the back of a nasty arm injury suffered last winter and having ridden with that all year the break has also had the added effect of allowing his arm to heal further "The arm wasn't too bad last year I just didn't have a lot of feeling in my left arm, Danny King had a similar injury albeit probably worse than mine as mine was my forearm his was his bicep. I would finish some nights and the right side of my body would be sore as I was overcompensating to make up for the lack of strength in my left and if I was really busy riding it would get worse. I guess there was one positive and that was that I wasn't getting arm pumps in my left arm as I couldn't feel anything but it is a lot better now and I would say I am the fittest I have ever been going into a UK season. The last week has been busy as I had Belle Vue for testing then 3 days in Poland then Belle Vue's press and practice in the last week so a lot of riding in a short space of time and I feel very good."
As pretty much all speedway riders Ricky also feels he rides better the busier he is but with that does come logistical challenges but this is something that our number 1 feels he has under control going into the 2019 season that will see him ride for Belle Vue in the Premiership and also in Poland alongside his Monarchs commitments "I have 2 full time mechanics this year so that will take a load of my mind and allow me to focus more on just racing and also my life. That was another part of taking a break this winter, I have went to Australia the last 2 years and it was fun but it was a lot of travelling. I probably did 40 flights last year with riding in Poland and also my girlfriend is Danish so going over there and that does get boring, that kind of schedule takes it out of anyone so it really was nice to have this winter off, although somehow it still feels like the quickest winter I have had, I tucked the bikes away and it felt like overnight they were coming out to get ready again. I'm hopeful of a big year for both my UK teams so let's see where it goes."
The 2019 Season Launch Show is coming up on Friday 5th April at Edinburgh Napier Craiglockhart Campus from 7:30pm. Don't miss out on your essential guide to the 2019 season - book now!