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Ryan Sullivan

For the Australian cyclist, see Ryan Sullivan (cyclist).

Ryan Sullivan
Personal information
Nationality Australia Australia
Date of birth (1975-01-20) 20 January 1975 (age 39)
Place of birth    Fitzroy, Victoria
Current club information
Career status Retired
Polish league Unibax Torun
Swedish league Indianerna
Russian league Mega-Lada Togilatti
Career history
Peterborough Panthers
Poole Pirates
1995-1997, 1999-2003
2006, 2008
1998, 2004-2005
Individual honours
Inter Continental Champion
Overseas Champion
Elite League Riders Champion
Australian Champion
South Australian Champion
Australian Under-21 Champion
Australian Under-16 Champion
South Australian Under-16 Champion
1995, 1996, 1997
1993, 1996
1989, 1990
Team honours
World Team Cup Winner
Speedway World Cup winner
Elite League Champion
Elite League KO Cup Winner
Elite League Fours Winner
Craven Shield Winner
Polish Extraleague
Swedish Elitserien
Swedish Allsvenskan
Australian Under-16 Pairs Champion
2001, 2002
1999, 2004
1999, 2001, 2004
2001, 2002, 2003
1989, 1990, 1991

Ryan Geoffrey Sullivan (born 20 January 1975, in Fitzroy, Victoria) is a retired Australian international Motorcycle speedway rider who has won the Australian senior, Under-21, and Under-16 championships during his career.[1] Sullivan achieved a career best third in the 2002 Speedway Grand Prix, winning two of the ten Grand Prix run during the year.




Sullivan's family moved from Melbourne to Adelaide in the late 1970s, and as a child Sullivan played Australian Rules Football, but became interested in speedway when it became obvious that he was not of the ideal build to be a league footballer.

His parents bought him a junior speedway bike and he had his first ride at the Olympic Park Speedway in Mildura in 1985, although his home track was the Sidewinders Speedway in the Adelaide suburb of Wingfield, a 112m long track run by the Sidewinders Junior Speedway Club solely aimed at junior Motorcycle speedway development. Within a couple of seasons Sullivan was seen as one of the best junior riders in South Australia, winning the South Australian Under-16 Individual and Pairs Championships in 1989 and 1990.

Sullivan finished in second place at the 1990 Australian Under-16 Championship behind future Australian team mate and three time World Champion Jason Crump. He would go one better on 12 January 1991 winning his first individual Australian title at his home track in Adelaide.

Ryan Sullivan won three Australian Under-16 Pairs Championships, first in 1989 with that year's National Individual Champion Brett Tomkins, and backing that up in 1990 teaming with fellow Adelaide rider Troy Norvil. He won his third and last junior pairs title on 13 January 1991 paired with Brett Woodifield, a week before his 16th birthday at which time he would graduate into the senior ranks.


After having gained his motor mechanic qualifications at age 19, Sullivan was regarded one of the best young riders in Australia, going on to win the South Australian Championship in 1995, 1996 and 1997 and the Australian Under-21 Championship in 1993 and 1996 (the championship was not held in 1994 or 1995).

Sullivan scored his first podium finish in the Australian Championship in 1997 at the Brisbane Exhibition Ground when he finished equal second on points with Jason Crump, but lost a run-off and was credited with third place. He again finished in third place in 2002 at the 510 metres (560 yd) Wayville Showground at home in Adelaide.

In 2004, Sullivan became the first rider to win the Australian Championship in the first year the championship was run as a series (held over 3 rounds), rather than the single meeting format that had been in place since the first running of the title in 1926. Sullivan was undefeated over the three rounds, finishing ahead of defending champion Leigh Adams who finished 2nd in all three rounds, with 1990 World #3 Todd Wiltshire finishing in third with 2 fourth and 1 third placings.


Sullivan has spent most of his British career with the Peterborough Panthers, and although he had not ridden in Britain since 2006, in August 2008 he returned to ride for Peterborough until the end of the that season. He has also ridden for the Poole Pirates but returned to the Panthers on a full transfer in 2006. He went on to ride in Sweden (Rospiggarna), Poland (Unibax Torun) and Russia (Togliatti). He returned to Peterborough in 2012 to replace the injured Kenneth Bjerre, but suffered a hand injury which ended his season and led to announcing his retirement from the sport in March 2013.[2]

Speedway Grand Prix

Sullivan was a Grand Prix rider from 1998 until 2006 and won four Grand Prix meetings. In the 2002 Speedway Grand Prix series he won the British and Slovenian meetings and in the 2003 Speedway Grand Prix series he won the Swedish and Scandinavian meetings.

In September 2008, he made it through to the Grand Prix Challenge – the final of the 2009 Grand Prix qualification rounds. Despite winning his first three heats, he only scored one point in his following two rides and failed to qualify for the 2009 Grand Prix.

Speedway Grand Prix results

1998 7yh 68 2nd 2nd in Poland
1999 10th 55 3rd 3rd in Poland II
2000 9th 62 2nd 2nd in Great Britain
2001 4th 80 3rd 3rd in Sweden
2002 3rd 158 Winner (twice) Won in Great Britain and Slovenia
2003 9th 94 Winner (twice) Won in Sweden and Scandinavia
2004 13th 65 4th
2005 14th 45 6th
2006 18th 10 4th


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