Jason Crump: 'My responsibilities are deeper than just being No.1'
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Witches' Aussie ace Jason Crump says he 'wants that fight' to retain the No.1 race-jacket at Foxhall throughout the season.
Crump, 45, a three-time world champion, comes into the Witches set-up on an 8.00pt average. It gives him the No.1 spot in the side. He wants to keep it that way!
“I’ve looked at our team and the opposition and we are certainly going to be more than competitive with the chance to do very well," Crump said.
“My responsibilities are deeper than just being No.1 in the team. Whether I can maintain an average to remain No.1 is the first job, that’s my big challenge.
"That’s why I’m doing this, I want to be in that race-jacket, I want that fight."
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“Obviously Nicolai (Klindt) and Danny (King) are top riders and we’ve got a really exciting side. Cameron Heeps I rate very highly. Our young three Drew Kemp, Anders Rowe and Jordan Stewart are going to be great to watch and highly promising.
"Chris Louis and Ritchie (Hawkins) have done a good job to sort the team following the change of circumstances."
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Crump can't hide his excitement at the thought of leading the Witches this summer, especially the role he will play in helping some of the team's younger riders.
“I’m excited to be part of a great set-up at Ipswich. There’s good people there," Crump said.
“Anders got a full year of racing last year in Poland, and that’s totally credit to him and his family for making that commitment. You could see the difference in him by the end of the season.
“I spent so much time with a lot of the young riders last year as part of the Great Britain Academy.
“The likes of Drew, Tom Brennan, Kyle Bickley, Anders, Elliot Kelly, the Thompson twins, Archie Freeman. Now I will be racing with them in both leagues and that will enable me to see them in competitive action more.
“These young guys now, in my opinion, are riding at a pretty good level. It’s not long until they are completely ready to step it up.
“I saw that last year with Drew, I spent time at his house and at tracks with him. The difference in his self-belief and confidence is huge. I’m not saying I changed it but I am delighted that I had some influence on the way he was approaching and doing things. I think he found it a big help.”
Crump has also delighted fans of Plymouth Gladiators, by deciding to double up with the Devon-based side in the Championship, hence is reasoning as to why he will be seeing more younger riders in both leagues.
It's a huge coup for the Gladiators, who made a late bid to join the Championship this year. And who also boast 42-year-old former GP ace, Bjarne Pedersen, in their line-up in 2021.
“I’m excited about it. To be able to ride for Plymouth is a huge bonus because my family in the UK are all in Exeter, so it’s possible for me to be based down there," Crump added.
“It feels the right move.
“With myself and Bjarne we definitely need the younger riders in the team, otherwise the team average age will be 250!
“Seriously though, it’s one of the things Bjarne and I spoke about. We’re at a different stage of our careers."
The Witches entertain Peterborough on Monday, May 3 in their opening Premiership meeting of the season at Foxhall. The full Witches team is: Crump, Klindt, King, Heeps, Stewart, Rowe and Kemp.