Townsville certainly produces its share of world-class riders, and Josh
Grajczonek is no exception. The 28-year-old speedway racer rides professionally
in leagues in both the UK and Poland, and is one of the most talented slider
pilots on the planet.
He also has a workload that would make most riders wilt.
With his end/beginning of year break drawing to close, he’s winding up
towards heading back to Europe, where last year he rode – in an 8-month period
– a mind-boggling 112 meetings in 8 months!
Name: Josh Grajczonek
From: Townsville, Queensland
Tell us about your bike:
Which one? (laughs) I have four in the United Kingdom, two in Poland and two in
Australia with 500cc GM engines, and then 4 spare engines in case one goes bang.
Thanks to my Sponsors:
Wessex marine, Brisbane roof tiling supplies, UNIT Clothing, Paint pal, Utility
advice, M & J Sealy bricklaying, Teng Tools, JR’s motorcycles, Diesel Dave,
Lady H, Papa G, HMX Images, One Twenty Motorsports, JHM.
I ride a motorcycle because:
Because it’s fun and I hate working! (laughs) and also because I get the chance
to race my bike every day all over Europe. Last year I raced most days in
England, flew to Poland on Sunday raced there, flew back Sunday night and raced
in England again on Monday. The only days I would be guaranteed to have off
would be Tuesday, and that was spent mainly in bed after a busy week. In 2017 I
competed in 112 meetings in 8 months!
The reason I compete aboard one
is: Our sport is more of a hobby here in Australia - we have an excellent
feeder system here starting out as juniors and then you gain interest from
overseas when you start getting good results in your state titles and in the
Aussie titles. We get to travel all over the world and meet awesome new
friends. Some days you will race with a teammate, then the next day you race
against them in Poland - it’s weird but fun.
What I love about my bike is:
Just the setups. Not one person has the same setup as you. You can run your own
colours and your own anodised parts, so each bike is unique and you can let
your imagination run wild, in a huge fan of black so nearly every alloy part on
my bike is anodised black (laughs) which my mechanics love because they don’t
have to polish as much alloy.
My discipline of motorcycle
sport is: Speedway The thing I love about it is: It’s a unique sport - we have 1 gear and
no brakes. The thrill is coming into the corner at 100-120 kph and backing it
in and hoping you come out the other side! (laughs). It’s not that dangerous
but it can get a bit hairy sometimes when the track is a bit choppy.
The biggest high I ever got from
competition was: For me in 2013, I had started the season pretty well with
new teams, and that year was great. We nearly won everything in the league that
we could win that season, and then the other team I competed with came from not
making the playoffs to scraping in and going on to win the league title!
That year was a massive highlight for me. There have been some awesome
years after that with more league titles with other teams, but that one stands
out the most in my memory!
My favourite track/place to compete is:
Pioneer Park up at Ayr in Queensland
The thing I love about it is:
It’s still not completely up and running again, but they aren’t far off, Rod
Heathcote, the former owner re-bought the facility after not competitive racing
for a fair few years now, and has got it back up to tip-top shape again.
I would say that we will be seeing racing there again this year and I
can’t wait to race there again. There are so many different lines you can use
on the track and every lap you just build your speed and get faster and faster!
The person who taught me the
most about my sport is: I would say, my dad. We both didn’t have a clue
what to do when it came to speedway, but we learnt from trial and error. He’s
been great from the start of my racing career, back when I first raced an XR100
in motocross - I think I crashed five times in practice but I didn’t care
because I was doing something that I always wanted to and that was to race. He
has never pressured me into anything - he always said if I want to race then
I’ll go out there and have fun and get results if I was hungry enough for it.
The person/people whose backing
makes all the difference is/are: Sponsors go a long way! Everyone has
helped out in their own unique way. Without them we wouldn’t be where we are,
my old boy again, he has a big influence in my career. There are a lot of
people in the background that help out, Peter Christopher is very smart and
always pushes me into trying new things. He makes me work hard on my starts
which is something I’ve always lacked a little in (laughs)!
Outside of my motorcycle life I
(school/study/work)... I pretty much finished school in 2007 and boarded a
plane for the UK in early 2008. I’m pretty handy with bikes but outside of
racing, I don’t know what I would like to do when I finish. I guess we’ll cross
that bridge when we get there!
In the last month I’ve been: practising a lot …and fishing! I’m about
to head back overseas so I’ve been trying to cram in things that I don’t get
the chance to do while I’m over there!
This year my goals are: Our
racing is team-based, we have 7-rider teams so obviously I want all my teams to
do well. Personally, we aim to improve every season - a lot of riders don’t
like to say exactly what their goals are, but I’ve got a few set that I’m
determined to achieve!
The aspect of my motorcycling
that I'll be focusing on most is: Consistency (laughs). We race so often,
so you’re due a bad day when sometimes you’ve only had 2 or 3 hours sleep the
night before, so that, and obviously to bang in as many points as possible!
Points make prizes!