By Henry Chard

The Ipswich ‘Tru Mix’ Witches are thrilled to welcome back former world number three Emil Sayfutdinov for the 2024 season.

The 34-year-old says it was an easy decision to stay in Suffolk for next season and is hoping to go one step further and lift the league title with the Witches.

“I’m really happy to be part of the team again and I really enjoyed this year. I hope next year will be even better and I have started to prepare for next season already. It was an easy decision; it was decided after the play-off final. I said I wanted to stay and get more experience next year.

“We will try to win the Knockout Cup again next year and we need to win the league, that is the goal for next year.”

The former European champion had a hugely successful return to British speedway last season with the Witches, ending the campaign as the top points scorer in the division and is enjoying being able to ride on these shores once again.

“For me, I got a lot of experience and enjoyed riding my bike and seeing a lot of people. I really liked it, and, in my opinion, it is a really good school for speedway, that is why I have signed again.

“It is a little bit different since 2011 but most of the tracks and riders are the same and I really enjoyed it. Before, the reason I was not riding in the UK was because I did not have time and was in the Grand Prix.”

The multiple Grand Prix winner formed a strong partnership with Jason Doyle in 2023 and is hoping the pair of them can perform even better next season.

“Doyley is a legend; he is riding really well in England and Poland, and he is a world champion and I enjoy riding with him. Some heats this year have been strong from us, and I hope we can do even better next year together. When we are riding together, sometimes he waits for me and helps me on the track, so it is really nice.”

The Speedway of Nations winner was a popular figure wherever he went in the Sports Insure Premiership and is just enjoying being able to put on a show for the fans again.

“It was a pleasure for me to be in England, there are a lot of fans when I come to different tracks. In Poland, it is a little bit different but since I started riding again this year, I have been really happy, and people have been happy because I have been able to do my work as I did before, and the fans give me a lot of power in the stadium.”

Sayfutdinov is now enjoying some down time in the off-season but admits he likes keeping busy with the focus never far away from 2024.

“When the season is over, I keep training all the time and I sign contracts with sponsors. It is a little bit busy, but I like to be busy and keep training, this is my system. Now, I’m going on holiday, but I will be training there too, I like it like this, that is how my holiday looks.”