Date: Thursday December 2, 2021
Photo: Rising Star Jordan Palin
PREMIERSHIP champions Peterborough will defend their title next year with six of their seven riders from 2021.
Skipper Scott Nicholls, Michael Palm Toft, Hans Andersen, Chris Harris, Ulrich Ostergaard and Rising Star youngster Jordan Palin have all agreed deals to remain with the Panthers.
The one change at the East of England Arena will see Danish rider Benjamin Basso make his top-flight debut, as he replaces fellow countryman Bjarne Pedersen who has retired.
Manager Rob Lyon said: “We drew up a shortlist of candidates for that position, and there were one or two on there who would have fitted the bill and done the job.
“Out of all of them, we just felt Benjamin was the one that potentially has the most in him to improve, and he was the best of those who were available to us.
“I’ve watched some videos of him and he’s an exciting, full-throttle rider, and we’re looking forward to seeing him.”
SHEFFIELD have captured the signings of Craig Cook, Tobiasz Musielak and Connor Mountain with their full line-up for next season now confirmed.
Cook joins the Tigers from Ipswich, Musielak is back in British Speedway after helping Swindon to the Premiership title in 2019, and Mountain comes in as Rising Star having ridden for the club at Championship level in 2018. Dan Thompson has been recruited as No.8.
Jack Holder, Adam Ellis, Kyle Howarth and Stefan Nielsen are all retained by the Tigers with Josh Pickering, Troy Batchelor and Danyon Hume making way.
Co-promoter Damien Bates said: “I saw the footage of Tobiasz winning the Grand Prix qualifier at Glasgow and he was amazing that night.
“He has plenty of experience on British tracks too which is important and won the league in his last season here. I’m sure he will enjoy it at Sheffield.
“We’ve seen Craig have some fantastic meetings around Sheffield and the nice thing about him is there’s no pressure on him. He’s not our number one or two riders, we have no set targets or expectations on him we just want him to enjoy his racing in Sheffield colours.
“I like the balance within the team and we’re really looking forward to next season.”
IPSWICH have completed their 2022 line-up with the signings of Erik Riss and Troy Batchelor.
Riss makes the move to Foxhall from local rivals King’s Lynn whilst Batchelor, who rode for Sheffield this year, is back for a second spell with the Witches after spending the second half of the season with the Suffolk side back in 2009.
Batchelor said: “Chris (Louis) sent me a message thinking I was already fixed up which I was pretty close to going somewhere else, but it all worked out in the end.
“Being close to home is nice and to be paired up with Jason (Doyle) again will be nice and I pretty much know everyone in the team. It’ll be a good team and we will be able to achieve something together.”
Riss added: “I’ve spent two-and-a-half years (at King’s Lynn) and last year didn’t really go to plan. I had big aspirations and expectations of myself, and it didn’t go to plan for several reasons.
“At the end of the season both sides agreed it would be good for me to go elsewhere and have a new challenge. I had other offers, but Ipswich was my first choice as I really like the track and have always scored well there.”
AUSTRALIAN star Ryan Douglas has agreed a new deal to stay with Wolverhampton for the 2022 Premiership campaign.
Douglas pushed his average up to a fraction below the seven-point mark in his first full season at Monmore Green as Wolves made the play-offs before missing out to eventual champions Peterborough in the semi-finals.
Said Douglas: “It went well. I think we were a good team and I’m generally pleased with how my form was, I could have done better in some meetings but generally I think I did pretty well.
“I’m pleased it’s all agreed for next season. Wolves is a great club and I’m more than happy to stay there.
“I know the way the team is shaping up and I like it, I think we can be competing for the play-offs again.”
CAMERON Heeps has become the third former Kent rider to make the move to Championship newcomers Oxford next season.
Heeps joins Scott Nicholls and Troy Batchelor in signing for the Cowley club, and he believes it will prove to be the perfect move as the Cheetahs return after 14 years out of the sport.
Said Heeps: “Oxford was my number one choice when I heard the club was returning under Jamie (Courtney) and I am thrilled to be part of the club’s return.
“I wasn’t even a teenager when the Cheetahs last raced, but I still understand the club’s history and what speedway means to the people of Oxford. Jamie and I developed a good friendship during lockdown, and we quickly reached an agreement once the club’s return had been confirmed.
“He’s putting together a squad capable of challenging for top honours and I’m excited to be involved.”
LEICESTER have confirmed youngster Joe Thompson will join twin brother Dan back in the Lions’ line-up next season.
Thompson stepped up to the Championship for the first time this year and boss Stewart Dickson says he can make use of that experience for further improvement in 2022.
Said Dickson: “There was only one place Joe was going to come back, which was to us – there’s more to achieve, and he can build on things next season.
“I know he was maybe overshadowed by Dan a couple of times, but to go from a two to a three-and-a-half in your first season is pretty good going
“Pretty much like Dan, we need to get his gating sorted. He’s very fast around the track, and sometimes you actually like to see him miss the gate at Beaumont Park because of the way he sweeps round the outside!“I know there’s more to come from him, but we need to make things a bit easier for the two boys – but they should fear no-one.”
HOT prospect Jordan Palin will remain with Scunthorpe in the Championship next season.
The former British Youth Champion enjoyed a terrific debut year in professional speedway, and achieved a 5.70 average for the Scorpions – a figure which promoter Rob Godfrey feels is only going to go one way.
Godfrey said: “We know how good Jordan is and how good he is going to be. He’s made outstanding progress in speedway, and he will continue to come in leaps and bounds, because of his dedication and commitment.
“He’s got absolutely the right attitude and he keeps his feet on the ground. He’s also got a family who are 100 per cent behind him – everything is just spot on.
“I’ve always said it’s just a matter of time before he becomes our No 1. I’m convinced he’s got what it takes to conquer the speedway world and I firmly believe he has a long and successful career ahead of him.”