FORMER Pirate James Shanes revealed how he had swapped the thrill of riding a speedway bike for sitting on a tractor during the COVID-19 pandemic.

And the 23-year-old, now skipper at Birmingham, admitted life without racing had come as a “massive shock”.

The Puddletown racer said: “I got a job working on my fiancée’s parents farm and I hate to think where I’d be without it now to be honest.

“I’m just doing whatever I can to help. I’m usually just fixing broken things but apparently asparagus season is coming up, so that should keep me busy!

“It’s a massive shock to life for me right now because all I’ve ever known is being busy and travelling all over the place.

“I was looking at the calendar last week and it was only then when it really hit me how busy I should’ve been right now.

“We would’ve had four meetings in a week with Birmingham and last weekend I should’ve been flying in and out of Germany too.

“I should be getting plenty of laps in at 60-70 miles-per-hour now or whatever it is – but last week I was happy to finally get the tractor to 10!”