New world speedway champion Tai Woffinden today revealed he was on the verge of quitting the sport last winter.
Wolves star Woffinden became the first British winner of the sport’s ultimate prize for 13 years in Poland on Saturday when he won his second race of the final Grand Prix of the year.
But Woffinden, 23, has admitted he went to Australia last winter with serious thoughts of turning his back on the shale sport.
He said: “The year was one last push for me to make a success out of being a professional speedway rider.
“I went to Australia seriously considering my future and I thought about turning my back on speedway, I don’t mind admitting that.
“I want to thank all the people who had faith in me when I was handed the wild card. I know there were some who thought I wasn’t up to it, but once I had decided to give it a real push this year I was confident in my ability to at least finish in the top eight.”
And Woffinden, who was signed by Parrys International Wolves in 2008 after they fought off several other clubs, says he hasn’t had time to celebrate his title glory.
“I stayed in Torun on Saturday after the meeting and then went in the van to Czestochowa to ride in an open meeting,” he said. “I got to the semi-final and finished third but I was happy with my effort. It meant I couldn’t celebrate properly and it hasn’t really sunk in as much as it should. I need to get back home and relax and reflect on what I’ve done.”
Woffinden also confirmed he was suffering from cartilage damage in his ribs as well as a fractured collarbone when he raced for the title.
“I’ve tried to keep the cartilage damage quiet but that’s been more painful than the collarbone, to be honest,” he said.
“I’m just pleased it’s all done and I want to thank everyone who has supported me – family, friends, sponsors, mechanics and the fans.
“It was special for me to have my mum and girlfriend with me on Saturday and, of course, I’m sure my Dad (late father Rob) was looking down on me when I lifted the trophy.”