By Henry Chard
WHEN AND WHERE…
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches face the Belle Vue Aces at the National Speedway Stadium on Monday 3rd June in a Premiership fixture that starts at 7.30pm, live on BT Sport.
BELLE VUE: 1. Max Fricke 8.67 © 2. Dimitri Berge 4.76 3. Dan Bewley 6.96 4. Steve Worrall 5.86 5. Kenneth Bjerre 6.87 6. Ricky Wells 4.52 7. Jaimon Lidsey 4.00. Team Manager: Mark Lemon
IPSWICH: 1.Richard Lawson 7.32 2. Danny King 6.51 © 3. Chris Harris 7.08 4. David Bellego 5.83 5. Krystian Pieszczek 5.92 6. Cameron Heeps 5.26 7. Jake Allen 5.35. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
REFEREE: J. McGregor
VENUE: National Speedway Stadium
WHAT’S THE STORY?
The ‘Tru Plant’ Witches make their first ever trip to the National Speedway Stadium to take on the Belle Vue Aces, live on BT Sport on Monday evening. The Witches have had a two week break since their last action which was a 46-44 win over Wolves at Foxhall in front of the cameras. The Suffolk side sit third after their break and it is another top of the table clash with their opponents the new leaders of the Premiership.
The big team news is that Jake Allen is expected to be back riding for the Witches at reserve. Allen missed the win over Wolves after suffering a shoulder injury in a crash against Poole at Foxhall. The Australian has been receiving treatment since the crash and is hoping to be back on a bike on Sunday for his Championship side Scunthorpe. The National Speedway Stadium is a track that has happy memories for captain Danny King after he was crowned British champion there in 2016. The skipper is now riding at number two after a new set of averages have forced a reshuffle in the riding order. Richard Lawson is the new number one with Chris Harris moving to three.
FROM THE MANAGER…
‘Tru Plant’ Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins looks ahead to Monday’s clash…
“It will be good to get back together, it might prove to be good for us to have had a couple of weeks off. Going to Belle Vue will be an extremely tough meeting. They had a brilliant bank holiday and it is a tough place to go. We are not that experienced around the Belle Vue track, the boys have not ridden that many meetings there. It will be a really tough one, but we have faced a lot of tough challenges this year and we have stepped up to them every time.
“You have to get the setup right there or you will be off the pace, that is what the boys are telling me. The boys have stepped up everywhere they have gone and done really well and there is nothing to say they cannot do it again and get it right. We have got to go there and push them hard with the same determination we have had going everywhere and see if we can come away with a result.
“Jake has responded really well to physio and he has not had a busy period, so he has not missed that many meetings in the two weeks off, just one for us so far. I think he is hoping to ride on Sunday for Scunthorpe and then he will be back for Monday for us if all is well. He is building the strength back up in the arm and is responding well to physio.
“Richard has gone to number one, so we needed to have a re-think on the riding order which we had settled on in the last few meetings that had been working well. Hopefully Richard and Danny will be a strong pairing going out and I have said to Richard that now he is at number one he has to try and stay there, they can battle for that number one spot between a few of them. The riding order has changed but hopefully the partnerships stay strong throughout.”
Belle Vue have come within touching distance of trophies on several occasions in recent years. The club have been a constant in the play-offs, but the top of the podium has eluded them as they lost in the final in both 2015 and 2016 and then missed out at the semi-final stage in 2017 and 2018. The Aces race at the National Speedway Stadium, a modern venue that fans enjoy visiting with a track that provides excellent racing.
The Manchester club have already confirmed their place in the Supporters Cup final this season and have made a steady start in the league, currently sitting top but having raced the joint most meetings. Last Monday the Aces picked up seven points after doing the double over Wolves. However, they have dropped points at home this season to Poole as the two sides drew last month. Australian champion Max Fricke is at number one for the Aces and he is joined by newly crowned Danish champion Kenneth Bjerre who was so impressive at Foxhall earlier this season. British number two Dan Bewley is working his way back to form after his 2018 season was cut short by some horrendous injuries.
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…
Peterborough recorded a narrow 46-44 win over Poole in the Premiership on 23rd May.
It was a busy bank holiday last Monday with five Premiership meetings. Belle Vue had a profitable day beating Wolves 56-34 at the National Speedway Stadium and then picking up four points on the road with a 52-38 win at Monmore Green. Peterborough convincingly beat King’s Lynn 54-36 on home shale. Poole were another side to have a good day as they beat Swindon 51-39 at Wimborne Road and then picked up two points after a 45-45 draw at the Abbey Stadium.
Poole were beaten by Peterborough in Dorset last Thursday as the Panthers took a 47-43 win.
Digital Media Manager at Ipswich Speedway