Quick Fire Questions with Gary Birtwistle - Flat Track Title Within Reach
Updated: Sep 27
As we head into the final round of the DTRA , RE ZRO Rider Gary Birtwistle leads the Pro class by 32 points ahead of Jack Bell and the Twins class by 40 points ahead of Justin Heavens and is looking to continue his streak of flat track titles with another double in 2023.
1. With just one round left to go of the DTRA (UK Flat Track race series), you have a good in both the Pro and Twins classes, how are you feeling as you look to clinch the title two years in a row in both classes?
This year I just wanted to back up what I had achieved in the previous season. It’s funny because for so long it was so hard for me to win a race but these last couple of years everything has just clicked. I’ve put the work in to get here so with one more race to go I’m just going to try and enjoy it.
2. In a highly competitive field, consistency is crucial. How did you manage to maintain such a high level of performance throughout the season, and what challenges did you face along the way?
Just keeping focused on the task at hand and looking for small advantages where I can find them. I personally love close racing so it’s been fun to duke it out with the other riders. Jack and Rob have been pushing me all year and my teammate Paul Young has definitely stepped up his game too.
My only issue lately has been my wrist which bugs me quite a lot, I have to just blank out the discomfort and go for it. It’s slowly improving so hopefully it won’t be an issue for much longer.
3. How do you prepare yourself going into the final round with the championship well within your grasp?
I’m pretty relaxed, there are always some fast guys from overseas who show up to the final race but I enjoy the competition and the challenge. Obviously, I want to win but I also want to give the crowd something to shout about. I’m glad to be a part of that so if I can battle with some fast international riders and put on a show then hopefully that helps grow the sport and raise the level. I’ll just be going out there with the intention to ride hard and have fun.
4. What were the standout moments or races this season?
Definitely racing at Daytona in March. It was just cool to be racing on such a big stage. The field was super competitive and the times were so close that it made the racing really cut throat. It’s weird because it felt super dangerous to be buried in the pack with carnage happening all around me. I'm not really used to that. Getting put into the wall and taken out off the start was all pretty gnarly but at the same time I just wanted more!
5. What does the future hold for you? What are your plans for next year?
Right now I have a few different options floating around. I feel like I need a fresh challenge in some way, I’m just trying to decide what is the best move. I’d love to race more in the USA and there's also the possibility of racing the FIM championship in Europe. Once the season comes to end I will firm up my plans for 24.