LIDS OFF: Jaimon Lidsey, 19, is in the midst of the Australian Solo Speedway Championship and has signed contracts to race in the UK, Poland, Germany and Denmark throughout 2019. Photo: PAUL MENSCH
By MITCH RODD
THE new year has only just begun and already Red Cliffs speedway rider Jaimon Lidsey has a full calendar.
The 19-year-old, who impressed on the track in 2018, began his third Australian Solo Speedway Championship campaign this week, and will compete for four European speedway clubs in their respective leagues over the winter, including the Belle Vue Aces in the Speedway Great Britain (SGP) Championship.
Jaimon claimed the 2018 Australian Under 21 Championship and the Victorian Solo Championship, and spent half the year racing in Poland with league side Leszno.
The Mildura Motorcycle Club rising star competed in round one of the Australian championships in Adelaide’s Gillman Speedway last night. Round two comes to Mildura’s Olympic Park tomorrow night, before heading to Undera, Albury for the first time, and Kurri-Kurri to conclude a gruelling five-race event.
“There will be plenty of good riders involved looking to win,” Jaimon told Mildura Weekly earlier this week.
“Winning the State Championship and having raced in Poland in 2018, my riding has definitely improved. That’s made me a little more confident in my third attempt.
“The fifth event won’t be too different, but overall it might be a little more difficult as it’s pretty tough to be consistently good across five rounds. Most riders will have an off-night somewhere so it could open the field up a bit more at the top of the points charts.”
Jaimon joins defending champion Rohan Tungate, five-time winner and former World Champion Chris Holder, 2016 winner Brady Kurtz, 2017 winner Sam Masters and former World Under 21 Champion Max Fricke.
Fellow Mildura riders Justin Sedgmen, Jordan Stewart and Cooper Riordan competed for eight remaining qualifying positions in the field.
After re-signing with Leszno, Jaimon also signed on the dotted line to race for German side Landshut in the Speedway Bundesliga, as well as Grindsted in the Danish Speedway League. Perhaps the most recognised club he signed for, however, is Belle Vue, a team former World Champion Jason Crump called home for seven seasons. The Manchester club is managed by another Mildura export, Mark Lemon, and is captained by Max Fricke.
“It is an honour to sign for Belle Vue,” Jaimon said. “They have a new stadium that has been completed in the last couple of years. It’s a well recognised club in British speedway. Having Max Fricke alongside me will be good as well.
“A lot of people had doubts about me riding in Poland but I think I’ve benefitted. I didn’t do as many meets as someone like Jordy did, I probably only had half as many, but it was a chance to experience something different.
“Every country is a little bit different in their own way, but tracks are also pretty similar across Europe as well.
“I’m hoping to have somewhere around 50 to 60 rides, or even more, so it’s going to be a busy schedule.”