NEWS Sunday 6th February 2022, 1:30pm
Every year seems like a big year for Josh Pickering because his career is on the rise, and that is certainly the case for 2022 during which he will be riding for riding for three clubs – his fifth season at Edinburgh, plus taking on the captaincy at King's Lynn where he is a new boy, and teaming up with Sam Masters at Rawicz in Poland.
"I think I have 65 meetings," he said, "and that's not allowing for any Playoffs or cup runs." It's a welcome change after the years it took so long for the Premiership clubs to get wise to the fact that he can be a force at their level.
He's had a good Aussie summer with a few meetings ridden. "It's been good, I've been busy catching up with my family. In previous years I've worked apart from taking time off at Christmas, this time I've done more relaxing." Anyone who has seen the famous Pickering family photos will know that catching up with all of them is no small task!
"I was quite pleased with the meetings I did. I do want to win every single race and every meeting I'm in, but it is a bit of a different atmosphere over here. I can try things out in a way that you can't really do in the UK. If say I have a bike performing at 80%, and by changing it might get to 100% or drop to 50%, I can't do that over there because it might cost me or the team, I might miss a heat 15.
"Here I can try things out. I was fairly happy how I did, I got third in the New South Wales titles, and I was riding well in the Mildura Masters, some good races against Sam and Justin, until I snapped a chain in my last ride. That meant I only got third gate pick which wasn't so good. In the final I nearly fell on one lap, than on the next lap I did fall!
"In the Darcy Ward Invitational, I had wins over Sam and Dougie (Ryan Douglas) in my first two. At least I made the final in all of these meetings. That's me done now, I did have another meeting but I'm not doing it now.
"I'll be leaving here on the 28th of February and getting to the UK at the start of March in plenty of time. I'll be teaming up with Peter Johns again for my engines, and working with Ashtec in Poland."
"I think the aim for Monarchs this year will be for Sam, myself and Kyesy to get the double figure scores. I think you will find that Kye will definitely come on. That will leave the others to get the points we need for the win.
"Sarj will do well at reserve and Jacob Hook is a young rider of potential. As long as he comes over with an open mind and keeps his good attitude, he will learn. He's a nice respectful kid."
Josh is delighted to have been invited to take on the captaincy at King's Lynn. "Alex Brady told me he wanted to ask me something, he said he had done his homework on me , and he believed that we could work well together. So I was stoked about that.
"In the pits I always like to bring everyone together and my inputs are meant to be for the benefit of the team. I think at King's Lynn there has been a lot of chopping and changing but it's the same promotion who run Peterborough, so whether they were right or wrong in the past I think it will be different this year. People might think it will be tough for me to ride at number one but we will have Richie Worrall at reserve, and if he moves up someone good is going to drop down. I think we will do well."
The trajectory of Josh's Green Sheet averages for Edinburgh since 2017 has been: 4.62, 6.11, 6.98, 8.34. You get the picture.