French racer David Bellego has revealed old friend and Manchester City football icon Aymeric Laporte follows his fortunes on the track, but thinks the Sheffield star is “crazy.”

The pair went to school together in south west France, with Laporte now one of the Premier League’s top defenders for champions Man City, as well as representing the Spanish national side.

Meanwhile, Bellego is breaking new ground in the speedway world for France after leading his country to their first-ever world team final in the 2021 FIM Speedway of Nations. He looks set to lead France into their first-ever FIM Speedway World Cup tournament in Wroclaw from July 25-29.

While Laporte plies his trade at the Etihad Stadium, Bellego will be racing just across the Pennines at Sheffield’s Owlerton home in the SGB Premiership this summer.

He admits Laporte may pay him a visit when he makes the trip to Manchester to face Belle Vue, and Bellego says the pair follow each other’s progress in two very different sports.

He told Speedway Star: “Aymeric and I were at school together, so we have been friends for some time now. We were in the same class and year. We played football together a lot at school.

“Obviously I’m doing my thing and he is doing his thing. But he actually follows what I do, and I see how he is getting on at Manchester City.

“I have a very good mate who is his best friend. So he kept saying when I come to race in Manchester, he will come and watch.

“So a couple of years ago I was at Belle Vue for Swindon and Aymeric came to watch. We went back to his house afterwards and we had some food.

"He was meant to come back for the Speedway of Nations, but his schedule was too busy that weekend. I think he will come back to see me this season now.

“Every time he watches me, he tells me that ‘you are crazy.’ But he also loves bikes. He’s a very humble guy.

“I was good at football. I’m not going to say I could sign for a club, but I always wanted to race bikes!”