FULL THROTTLE: Jordan Stewart has started the Australian speedway season in impressive fashion since returning from racing in the UK. After a second place finish in the Victorian Solo Championships, he won the prestigious Jason Lyons Solo Trophy for the first time. Photo: PAUL MENSCH
By MITCH RODD
SINCE the end of his first full speedway season in England, Mildura young gun Jordan Stewart has hit top form on his home track.
To start the Australian season, the 20-year-old recorded a second place in the recent Victorian Championships, just behind close mate Jaimon Lidsey, before taking out the prestigious Jason Lyons Solo Trophy at Olympic Park last weekend. He finished ahead of a quality field, including multiple World Champion Jason Crump, to win his first Jason Lyons Trophy.
Jordan, the 2017 Victorian Under 21 champion, plied his speedway trade in Middlesbrough, England, racing with the Redcar Bears in the Speedway Great Britain (SGB) Championship, the second division of speedway racing in the UK.
The young gun said it was a great learning experience and has helped his confidence on the track.
“I’m definitely a lot more confident on the bike now in terms of reactions and feel, and I gained a lot of experience from riding against really good racers,” he said.
“I met a lot of good people and I’m really looking forward to going back next year. Now that I have experienced it, a lot of the little things I was worried about, I now know what to expect.
“I was probably a bit inconsistent early. I didn’t go really well to start with but from about midway through the year my results got better and I became a lot more consistent. Looking at the bigger picture I think I did my job for the team. I’m definitely not going to look too high as yet but if I can constantly improve then I’ll be happy.”
As well as returning to the Bears, Jordan said he has sorted a deal to race in Poland in 2019.
”I’ll be getting around to a lot more meetings and gaining a lot more experience,” he said.
“I was over there about two or three years ago so I have an idea of what it is like, but obviously Jaimon raced there this year so I’ve been trying to pick his brain about it. I know if he ends up getting a ride in the UK next season he’ll probably do the same with me. We’re just being good mates and trying to help each other as much as we can.”
Mildura Motorcycle Club riders made up about a quarter of the field for the Australian Solo Speedway Championships at the start of the year, with Jordan, Jaimon, Cooper Riordan and former Australian number two, Justin Sedgmen, all taking part.
As one of the young guns in the field, Jordan admitted he has higher expectations of himself for the 2019 Championship in January.
“I’m pretty happy with my form. I feel a lot better on the bike since coming back from the UK,” he said.
“I’m pretty much flat out now until the end of the season, with obviously the Australian Solo Championships and Solo Under 21 Championships two of the main aims.
“Finishing in the top eight of the Aussie titles would be great, but I’m hoping I can push for a top six finish. I’m obviously aiming to win the Under 21 title if I can.
“People at the pointy end of the championships like Sam Masters, Rohan Tungate and Nick Morris, I was racing against them all the time in England so it becomes a bit of routine to face guys of that quality. It definitely makes me more comfortable and confident being in that mix again.”