Gino Manzares would love Ipswich Witches return as he heads to England with the USA
PUBLISHED: 18:33 13 June 2017 | UPDATED: 18:42 13 June 2017
© Copyright Stephen Waller
American star Gino Manzares has not given up on once again riding for Ipswich Witches – the town he calls his ‘second home’.
The 23-year-old flies into England in the next two weeks to take part in the Speedway World Cup for the United States – and he admits he has learned much since his disappointing 2015 season with the Witches that left him battered and bruised – and with no chance of obtaining a visa to ride in England in 2016.
They were difficult times for Manzares, but it seems a long time ago now for the popular American, who was a huge hit with the Ipswich fans.
“It would be absolutely amazing to come back to Ipswich. To me it’s my second home,” Manzares said from his American base in California.
“I let the team and fans down in 2015 and it’s been fuelling me ever since. I hope I get to ride in England again some day and I hope to take this opportunity, coming over with the USA team, that I can make something work.
“Mentally and physically I’m ready this time. I will surprise a lot of people.”
Manzares signed for the Witches in 2014 and after a debut season that saw him average more than six points a meeting, bright things were expected of him.
But injuries and visa worries dampened his 2015 campaign.
“I’ve learned so much about myself from that time,” Manzares said.
“Mentally preparing myself every day is the dividing factor. I don’t have much to say about it all to be honest. I’m just looking to race my motorcycle.
“I’m excited to be given the opportunity to race for USA again. I’ve been working hard off the track to make ends meet and I’m going to have two warm-up matches as well – at Mildenhall and Kent.
“It’s a huge honour to represent my country and I will be more proud then ever this year.”
Manzares admits he still keeps in touch with some of the current Witches and watches their progress with interest.
“I follow the boys on social media and see they are having a good year,” Manzares added.
“It’s a shame about the injuries, but the boys are still looking good. I’ve been in contact with Ritchie Hawkins and Danny King and I’m looking forward to catching up with them, and of course Chris Louis.
“I miss the grind of racing in England. I miss every single thing! The competition over there is the only way to improve. I’ve improved my gating so much and I know it’s going to help me score more.
“I’m still training and coaching boxing and MMA. I fought a couple of times before the season started, but the racing has begun now and that’s my main focus. No distractions.”
And Manzares admits he can’t wait to catch up with his fans in England.
“I’m going to try to make it down to Ipswich for a meeting that’s for sure, and I’m looking for support for the World Cup.
“So, if anybody would like to help, please contact me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or social media.”