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Pirates: Ward's preparations hit by visa and injury problems
PIRATES sensation Darcy Ward is hoping to overcome injury and visa issues in time to hit the ground running when the season starts.
The Australian ace says his preparations for the 2013 campaign have been hit by a visa mix-up and a heel problem sustained riding his pit bike.
Ward is one of the favourites to win the Grand Prix crown as he gets ready for his debut appearance as a full-time world championship contender.
But he admits he needs to return to Europe sooner rather than later to get rid of racing rust ahead of next month’s opening round in New Zealand.
Ward told speedwaygp.com: “If I don’t get to go back to Europe before New Zealand, I’m pretty much going into that not having ridden since October. I want to go to New Zealand trying to win it, so I want to get as many laps under my belt as I can before it comes up.
“I am still waiting on my visa and passport. I had a damaged passport, so I sent it away. It still had a valid (UK) visa in it. They meant to send me back my old passport but they never did. So, I have basically been told ‘sorry, you have to start again and apply for a new one.
“I have been waiting two or three weeks for the visa. I know other riders have got visas within two to three weeks, so I hope they do a similar thing with me.
“I shouldn’t have a problem with New Zealand but my plan was to go back to England and sort out a couple of things. I had planned to go to Poland and practice. But I’m on hold. I don’t really have bikes at home. I had a ride the other day on one of my dad’s bikes but it wasn’t really up to my standards.”