Dave Watt a 16-year international Speedway professional is currently in Australia racing as he prepares to head back to Europe – where he has spent the majority of his racing career – for the 2017 season with new team, the Rye House Rockets.
Born in Townsville and raised in Bracken Ridge, Watt wasted no time in making his mark during his Australian leg of competition, and I was lucky enough to be invited along to photograph the event at Mick Doohan Raceway at the weekend.
Given that Speedway is a new photographic experience for me, before the weekend’s big race I headed out to some practice meets with Watt over the weeks leading up to get myself familiar with the intricacies of capturing these impressive high-speed, no-brakes bikes. Come Saturday, I was feeling a lot more confident, and was pleased with the shots I was able to capture. I had plenty of action to work with as well, thanks to Watt putting on a great show for everyone in attendance at the Brisbane Venue
As he hadn’t raced at the venue for a couple of years, he had to go through qualifying – the top four places from last year were automatically in the field, and with an over-subscribed field, he was called for pre-qualifying during the day. This amounted to five rounds of racing, and he won every single one to qualify for the night’s racing with the maximum points available.
Another five rounds of racing beckoned that evening, followed by the A-Final. Again, he was on a blinder – winning four of the five rounds of heats before taking out the A-Final in impressive form.
For the heats racing, it was only in the second last heat that he was able to be beaten, when up and coming young racer Jake Allen slipped up the inside while Watt was on the high-side, right before the finish line.
Other than that one concession, he was really in a league of his own all night. In the A-Final, he took out the win in what was his first competitive event in Australia after coming back. It was a convincing win as well, seeing him get the hole shot on the rest of the riders and pulling around three or four bike lengths on them in the first quarter of lap.
Now, Watt will go on to race the Australian Championships series across Adelaide, Mildura and Kurri-Kurri, before heading back overseas on the 30th of January to take up his place with the Rye House Rockets.
I certainly enjoyed my time with Watts at the weekend, and learnt a lot about the art of Speedway photography which is something I hope to further expand my repertoire in in the future.
To check out my photos from the weekend, please click here.