Woffinden wows fans with his frank and honest opinions
Two-times world speedway champion Tai Woffinden attended a double talk-in at Berwick at the weekend when he addressed packed audiences.
The 2013 and 2015 world champion, who is often seen as a controversial figure within the sport, was interviewed by Sky TV and BT Sports presenter Nigel Pearson, and he outlined his career, and told of his early influences, which of course included his late father Rob, who was a former Bandit.
He spoke of his conflict with the speedway authorities in the UK, which had resulted in his decision not to represent Great Britain on the world stage.
Often outspoken, he did not hold back on his views, but when asked he did admit that there might be a possible way back for him, particularly as the final two rounds of this year’s World Pairs Cup are being held at his home track in Poland.
“I am not going to say it will never happen,” said Woffinden, “but there is still a lot of talking to be done before we get anywhere near that stage.”
Woffinden will continue to ride at the top level in Poland and Sweden in 2018, but said if any of his clubs did not meet their contractual obligations (and one of them still owes him money from last season) he might consider a return to UK racing.
He also revealed that he had looked at the possibility of competing in this year’s World Long Track Championship, as well as the Speedway Grand Prix world championship series.
“I was this close to it,” he said. “I even have two long track bikes ready to go, but at the last minute I decided just to test the water this year with a few meetings, but who knows for the future.
“My brain is always ticking over,” he said. “I am always thinking and planning and working things out.
“I am fully committed to this year’s Grand Prix, and I am working to get myself fit and I am going to give it my best shot again - I think I can win it.
“Long term, I think I have got five years left in me, and that is what I am working towards. I am not going to say that is when I will quit, because I am not a quitter, that makes it sound as if you are giving up. I think that is when I will re-evaluate my future and see where I go from there.
“A few years ago I even thought about motorcycle racing. Again, I was very close to doing a deal, but in the end speedway won. It just goes to show you that I am always looking at all the options.
“At the end of the day I don’t want to ride speedway forever. As much as I admire someone like Greg (Hancock), I don’t want to go on that long. I am a father now and I want to enjoy my life. I want to see the world, I want to follow the summers around the globe.”
Woffinden held his talk-ins at the Black & Gold at Shielfield on Friday night and Saturday lunchtime, organised by the Berwick Speedway Supporters’ Club, and followed it up with another in Halifax on Saturday evening.
“Nigel (Pearson) has been at me for a while to get out and do something like this, and from the reaction of the fans it seems to have gone down well,” he said. “I know my dad enjoyed his time riding here at Berwick so when we were looking to put something together this seemed like an obvious choice.”