JET-SKI sensation Brad Rickaby says the death of a friend and fellow elite rider has motivated him to become the best in the world.
Rickaby, 19, secured his fifth British title earlier this year and has also shot up to eighth in the professional world rankings.
But the Hatfield teenager is not about to put the brakes on his rapid rise to the top.
Rickaby was devastated at the death of 22-year-old Aussie jet-ski star Joey Scaturchio who was killed competing in his home country’s national championships in April this year.
And the former Hall Cross School pupil’s grief has now become that extra motivation to succeed in the sport.
Rickaby, who became a world champion for the first time last year, told the Free Press: “I was good friends with Joey and what happened has had a big effect on me.
“It’s pushed me on to become the best I possibly can be. This year I’ve really upped my training and it has paid dividends.
“I want to make the most of my talent.”
Rickaby launched a sensational comeback to pip one of his sponsors James Bushell - Britain’s leading senior rider - to the British Runabout Stock title in September.
The Doncaster speedster won the last two races of the series to overturn Bushell’s championship lead and finally get one over his training partner.
But arguably even better was to follow at the sport’s prestigious world finals in the United States where Rickaby finished eighth in the Pro Superstock event against the world’s leading riders.
Now Rickaby, who also finished second in the Expert category in Havasu, wants to use his performance at the World Championships as a launch pad to even greater things.
“I’m chuffed to get a top ten pro ranking,” said Rickaby.
“But next year I’ll be racing in a Superstock boat in all the elite events - so the hard work really starts now.
“I’m training with James on a regular basis and obviously there’s a bit of banter flying after I beat him. I’ve been trying to do that for three years!
“But that’s history now. My focus is on moving up the world rankings.”
Brad is sponsored by Torus Supply in Balby. If you are interested in sponsoring him, contact him on 07715 344629.