By Henry Chard
WHEN AND WHERE…
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches face the Belle Vue Aces at the National Speedway Stadium on Monday 8th July in a Premiership fixture that starts at 7.30pm.
BELLE VUE: 1. Max Fricke 8.65 © 2. Jaimon Lidsey 4.70 3. Dan Bewley 6.83 4. Steve Worrall 6.42 5. Kenneth Bjerre 7.26 6. Dimitri Berge 4.68 7. Tero Aarnio 4.55. Team Manager: Mark Lemon
IPSWICH: 1.Chris Harris 6.95 2. Richard Lawson 6.89 3. Danny King 6.51 © 4. Cameron Heeps 6.00 5. Krystian Pieszczek 5.71 6. Edward Kennett 5.71 7. Jake Allen 5.43. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
REFEREE: C. Gay
VENUE: National Speedway Stadium
WHAT’S THE STORY?
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches continue their run of away fixtures with a trip to Manchester on Monday to face the Belle Vue Aces in the Premiership. Ipswich began their trio of away meetings with a big 51-38 win at Peterborough to go top of the table last Monday. On Thursday they took a consolation point from the Abbey as they lost 46-44 to Swindon following a last-heat decider and they sit second in the Premiership going into this meeting, level on points with leaders Poole. The Witches were at the National Speedway Stadium just over a month ago when they took the hosts to a last-heat decider with the Aces prevailing 47-43, meaning the Witches took a point.
The Suffolk side will be at full strength for Monday’s clash despite Edward Kennett still carrying a chest injury. The reserve returned to the Ipswich line-up at Swindon last Thursday scoring an impressive 10 points despite struggling to breath during his rides. The Witches will be without their top man from their last visit to the National Speedway Stadium following David Bellego’s release but in captain Danny King they have a rider who always enjoys his trips to Belle Vue, having won the British title there in 2016. Krystian Pieszczek goes into the meeting in good form having scored 12 away at Swindon last week as his confidence continues to grow in British racing. The Suffolk side will know it will take another solid team performance if they are to come away from Belle Vue with a positive result.
FROM THE MANAGER…
‘Tru Plant’ Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins looks ahead to Monday’s clash…
“We will go there hoping for a similar performance to last Thursday at Swindon. As we have done all season, wherever we go the boys will race hard with determination as a team and we will see what we can do.
“Belle Vue is a great track and it will be fun to race at. We are in a situation where we can go and enjoy the racing and being together as a team. I think it is good that we have another meeting so close to Thursday and a strong run of fixtures too. It is helping us to build that team bond and it is making us stronger.
“I suppose the pressure is on them and they are at home too, so they will not want to drop points. We are in a different situation now where teams are expecting us to come and run them close whereas before we were a bit under the radar. They know what they will get which is a tough meeting. We can go there and enjoy it with no pressure.
“David (Bellego) was good for us last time we were there but every meeting we have had someone be our stand-out performer and I would expect us to have that again on Monday. Whoever that may be is anyone’s guess.”
Belle Vue sit third in the Premiership but have ridden the most meetings in the division so far. Despite currently sitting in the play-offs spots they will be looking over their shoulder at the chasing pack who have plenty of meetings in hand and they know they can’t afford any more slip-ups on home shale this season. The Aces have been pretty solid on home shale apart from against Poole, who have won and drawn at the National Speedway Stadium in 2019. Whatever the score, entertainment is guaranteed at this fast track with so many lines for the riders to race on.
Australian champion Max Fricke leads the Aces with Danish champion Kenneth Bjerre at five, who is enjoying a good season and the pair were key to the Aces’ victory over Ipswich last time with two 5-1’s in heats 13 and 15. Boss Mark Lemon has recently replaced Ricky Wells with Finnish rider Tero Aarnio at reserve and he will make his Aces debut on Monday.
ON THE ROAD…
Belle Vue ride in black, red and white kevlars and race at the National Speedway Stadium. The track measures at 347 metres with the track record belonging to Niels-Kristian Iversen who set a time of 58.2 in July of 2016. Ticket prices can be found here whilst useful information about your visit and travel information can be found here.
For more information about the club head to Belle Vue’s official website.
AROUND THE TRACKS…
Poole beat King’s Lynn 49-41 at Wimborne Road last Thursday to go top of the Premiership whilst Swindon beat Ipswich 46-44 at the Abbey following a last-heat decider.
Digital Media Manager at Ipswich Speedway