AUSTRALIA, QUEENSLAND. MOTORCYCLING QUEENSLAND REPORTS: The excitement is building for Burpengary East schoolboy Jacob Hook, who is hours from getting on a plane to race his first speedway world championship event.
The 15-year-old grade 10 student is off to Poland to compete in the Under 16 250cc World Final.
“We head over to Gdansk in Poland tonight,” said Jacob’s Dad Michael, “where we’ll stay for 22 days. The semi-final, which is on July 4, has three Australians qualified.”
The North Brisbane Club member will race Semi 1 in the morning for a shot at the World Final, and in the afternoon fellow, Queenslander Keenan Ru and South Australian Liam Mason will compete in Semi 2.
The top 7 from each semi will go into the final, where they’ll race at Torun on Friday, July 6.
“Jacob’s jumping out of his skin,” says Michael. “He’s hoping to meet up with a few of the Aussie pros over there beforehand to talk about the tracks and how it all works.”
“I’m a little nervous, but I’m excited,” said Jacob. “It’s going to be fun – the experience of a lifetime. Last year I set myself a goal to go for the World Cup as I’d gotten third in the 125 Aussies and done pretty well on the 250. I saw other riders going and achieving and I thought I could do the same.
“From this trip, I’m expecting to learn and to get my name out there and see what it’s like, but obviously I’ll try my best to make the final. It would be amazing, only being in the sport for four years it would be a great experience.
“I’m aiming at a career in Speedway. I want to go back and earn some money, hopefully.”
Keenan Ru and Jacob Hook were one and two, respectively, in both the Queensland and Australian titles, and the two have a well-developed rivalry, though one that is built on friendship.
“Keenan and I are good mates off and on the track, and we’ve already wished each other good luck. I’m in the first semi in the morning, and he’s in the second one, in the afternoon and evening.”
Ru has been in Denmark since March and will be riding in his third world championship event – his second on a 250.
The World Semi takes place on the fourth of July, while the World final happens on the sixth.