DETERMINED Darcy Ward is confident he can realise his world title dream but insists a healthy dose of luck must come his way if he is to finish top of the pile in 2014.
The Poole skipper’s debut season in the world championship last year yielded an eighth-placed finish, with a fractured shoulder significantly damaging his gold medal challenge.
Having sustained that injury at the Swedish GP in May, Ward was subsequently forced to miss three rounds of the series in Prague, Cardiff and Gorzow with the Australian adamant he must avoid a similar fate this time round.
Ward told the Daily Echo: “I think it could be my year and I will put as much into it as I can to try and make it happen.
“But it’s not just the riding that wins that trophy, it’s all about the luck and things going your way. It does take a lot to favour you so I’m going to need a bit of that.
“I feel like I lived up to expectations last year and had some good meetings, but the injury hurt me.
“It was a bit frustrating to not do the whole season, but that’s the way the cookie crumbled. I’ve just got to take that on the chin and try to learn from it.”
A two-time world under-21 champion, Ward will begin his Grand Prix campaign at Western Springs, New Zealand at around 5am BST tomorrow.
Ward added: “That’s the closest GP for us Aussies and there are three of us in there now, so it’s going to be cool.
“It’s only the start of the season so you just want to ease into it, but of course it’s important to score some good points. You need to be in the top four or top five after four rounds to put yourself in a good position at the end.”
Pirates promoter Matt Ford has backed the 21-year-old to achieve on the circuit this year but stressed that avoiding injuries and having a good start would be key to any potential success.
Ford said: “If Darcy stays injury-free and goes on to do what he’s capable of doing then that will be great.
“This kid is something else and I just hope so much that he can have an injury-free season and avoid taking unnecessary risks because he’s playing catch-up.
“Hopefully, this year he will be on the pace from the start and enjoy himself.”
Bearwood resident and Poole asset Chris Holder and former Bournemouth Buccaneer Andrew Aldridge will also be part of tomorrow’s line-up, the latter as a track reserve.