Promising speedway talent Ollie Greenwood is revving up for the new season – and hopes an impressive campaign will propel him back into Premier League reckoning.
Former British Under-19 champion Greenwood, from Cannock, will line up for The Buxton Hitmen in the National League this season, which starts on April 9 with a trip to the Stoke Potters.
Greenwood, 20, hopes that he can help The Hitmen repeat the glory of the 2010 season when the team achieved a unique treble of the League, Knockout Cup and National Trophy.
And that, in turn, could lead to a Premier League return for Greenwood, who featured briefly as a reserve for the Somerset Rebels last season in speedway’s second tier.
Greenwood, who is sponsored by FUCHS Silkolene, said: “I’m really excited about the start of the new season and optimistic about both my chances and the team’s. I think we can do something really special this year.
“I just want to get out there and let my racing do the talking. Things didn’t work out for me with Somerset in the Premier League but if I can perform how I know I can in the National League then I’d love to get a team at the higher level.
“For me, the Premier League is the ambition. I have had the chance to go full-time in the past but financially it wouldn’t have been the right move to give up my job.
“It’s hard work racing at night, going to work at 7am then coming home and washing the bike and preparing for the next race – but I love it.
“Anyway, I believe the Premier League is currently much more competitive than the Elite League for a rider like myself. Every ride is a tough one and that’s what you need to keep improving.”
Greenwood, who works in the surface mining industry, started in motocross at the age of 11. He began competing in speedway as way to keep his fitness up during the winter, when the grass tracks are not accessible.
Greenwood was second in the world championships in the 250cc class Gold Cup and was British Champion on the grass track, also 250cc.
A highlight of his career was lifting the British Under-19 Speedway Championship, which also earned him a nomination for Young Professional Sports Personality of the Year at the Coventry and Warwickshire Sports Awards.
Greenwood has been supported by FUCHS Silkolene since he started racing nine years ago and receives premium grade racing engine oil, maintenance sprays and de-greasers to keep his bike in tip-top condition.
“I have a brilliant relationship with the Silkolene team and I’m very grateful for all of the product they have supplied over the years,” he said.