VIDEO: Riders head indoors tonight for Solo Bonanza
THREE-time world speedway champion Jason Crump will again provide the star attraction when he takes to the track in Rockhampton tonight.
Two hundred tons of dirt has been removed from the Great Western Hotel arena with 500cc Solo Bonanza riders substituted for the bulls and cowboys.
Crump, who is no stranger of Rockhampton events, will be forced to adapt to a smaller indoor circuit, the first in Queensland.
Due to the uniqueness of the track, he was unsure what speeds were reachable but was confident it would feel lightning fast.
"The track is surprisingly good, the surface has held up really well. I have no idea about the speeds but I do know that it could feel faster due to the smaller track," Crump said after his practice laps yesterday.
"The transponders above will have the lap times as the event is happening so everyone will be able to look at it while its going.
"The main difference is the set-up of the bike though; it needs to be geared down so you can slow it down a bit, due to the size of the track.
"It will be fun and different to usual racing."
Crump retired from the world championship three seasons ago following 21 years at the top. He is now focusing his time into coaching and competing in Australian competitions, particularly Rockhampton.
"It is really good here, it's a funny place that there are a lot of speedway people here with a huge knowledge of it," he said. "That makes it always good fun to come up here. The clock is my main challenge for sure, there will be riders on the track together but we aren't starting from a taped start so it will be a bit different.
"They are going to see some guys wrestling their bikes around a pretty small track; we will still be doing 55-60 in here, so it will be fast and good to watch."
Local rider Zane Keleher was lucky enough to win a wildcard along with Scotty Warwick-Day who were thrilled at the chance to share the spotlight with a world champion.
"It should be pretty interesting having Jason here, being a three-time champ we are all keen to have a go and see if we can beat him," Keleher said.
"I am confident but we will have to see what happens. It will be fun to see how we battle it out on the smaller circuit."
Being the first of its kind, promoter Bill Warwick-Day was unsure of crowd numbers but knew one thing, spectators would see something special during the two-night program.
"We have 12 of the best riders coming from Townsville all the way down to Victoria," Warwick-Day said. "It's a small venue so it will be up close and personal and with the times up on the big screen, the crowd will be kept informed at all times.
"Crump is part of the furniture in Rocky now, he loves the professional attitude we have to speedway. We are going to kick a few bulls out as well to make it spectacular for the crowd to watch."
Gates open at 5.30 for a 7 o'clock start tonight and tomorrow night. Tickets are $30 for adults and $20 for children.
HARD TO BEAT: 21-year veteran speedway world champion Jason Crump tests out his bike during practise in Queensland's first indoor circuit at The Great Western Hotel.