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Leicester v Coventry Preview

Thursday, April 17th, 2014 | Fixtures, News

Leicester have a double date with near neighbours the Coventry Bees this Easter Bank Holiday with first of all a trip to the Brandon Stadium on Friday. With three defeats on the road so far, the Rapid Solicitors Lions will be looking for an improved performance following their below par showing at Belle Vue on Monday when the team crashed to their worst result of the season so far.

“We showed real promise in our fixtures at Lakeside and Eastbourne but we just did not find our rhythm in Manchester. Not wishing to take anything away from Belle Vue whose 1-7 all delivered what was expected of them our Achilles heel was down to a lack of sharpness from the start-line. As a result we were forever in chase mode and it was hard going for our riders who were trying to find a racing line to make a difference” explained the Lions Promoter David Hemsley.

Leicester make one change to their line-up at Coventry as Simon Stead is required by Sheffield to race at Redcar on Friday. The club have booked Ricky Wells who will take Stead’s place at number four.  Coventry meanwhile make one enforced change for the return match at the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium on Saturday as Kyle Howarth is unavailable because he is committed to riding for Workington, his Premier League club and he will be replaced by a guest.

The back-to-back fixtures brings together the first league meetings between the two clubs since the Lions disappeared in 1983 and the matches will evoke memories of bygone days when the local derby clashes were the highlight of the season for Leicester and Coventry supporters.

“We had a fantastic turnout of fans for the Midlands derby against Wolverhampton last month and I can foresee a similar attendance for the visit of Coventry. There is an air of excitement amongst our fans and I am sure that the same aura is being replicated by many Bees supporters who themselves remember the days when Coventry last met Leicester. With two former Lions riders Jason Garrity and James Sarjeant in their side and the spectacular Chris Harris leading out their team there is plenty of talking points for fans to look forward to” enthused Hemsley.

After a season of pain last year which saw Coventry finish rock bottom of the Elite League table, owner Mick Horton vowed that this year would be very different in terms of results and he was the first to announce the full team before anyone else. It was a case of out with the old and in with the new as the Bees totally re-engineered the make-up of the team which meant there were no survivors from 2013. Though, like Leicester, the Bees have made an indifferent start to the season having picked up match points at Swindon but then lost three consecutive matches, one of which was at home to King’s Lynn last week.

Team Line-ups at Coventry

Leicester: 1. Jason Doyle, 2. Peter Ljung, 3. Mads Korneliussen, 4. Ricky Wells (Guest), 5. Patrick Hougaard, 6. Tom Perry and 7. Max Clegg

Coventry: 1. Hans Andersen, 2. Ryan Fisher, 3. Kenneth Hansen, 4. Kyle Howarth, 5. Chris Harris, 6. Jason Garrity and 7. James Sarjeant

Team Line-ups at Leicester

Leicester: 1. Jason Doyle, 2. Peter Ljung, 3. Mads Korneliussen, 4. Simon Stead, 5. Patrick Hougaard, 6. Tom Perry and 7. Max Clegg

Coventry: 1. Hans Andersen, 2. Ryan Fisher, 3. Kenneth Hansen, 4. Guest replacement for Kyle Howarth, 5. Chris Harris, 6. Jason Garrity and 7. James Sarjeant

Belle Vue v Leicester Preview

Sunday, April 13th, 2014 | Fixtures, News

The Rapid Solicitors Lions are in action again on Monday at Belle Vue and with two former riders in the team they will be looking for their first league points away from home. “Both Patrick Hougaard and Simon Stead have ridden for the Aces during their careers so we go there with some knowledge of the Manchester track. We rode well at both Lakeside and Eastbourne without getting the breaks and I am confident that an away win is just around the corner. Belle Vue have not ridden at home yet so perhaps that may go in our favour to give us a little track advantage on the night” explained the Lions Team Manager Norrie Allan.

Teams

Belle Vue: 1. Matej Zagar, 2. Michael Palm Toft, 3. Scott Nicholls, 4. Richie Worrall, 5. Craig Cook, 6. Stefan Nielsen and 7. Ben Reade

Leicester: 1. Jason Doyle, 2. Peter Ljung, 3. Mads Korneliussen, 4. Simon Stead, 5. Patrick Hougaard, 6. Tom Perry and 7. Max Clegg

Leicester v Lakeside Preview

Thursday, April 10th, 2014 | Fixtures, News

The Lakeside Hammers, Saturday’s visitors to the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium, were on course last season to make the play-off stage until the bottom fell out of their bid after negotiating their way into contention. Of their remaining seven fixtures, six were away from home so perhaps it was not surprising that they fell short in the final reckoning and added to that the Hammers lost Peter Karlsson to injury in a crash at King’s Lynn during this period.

The Lakeside management have retained four of last season’s team; Peter Karlsson, Davey Watt, Lewis Bridger and Richard Lawson with the only new face in the main body of the side being Mikkel Bech. The nineteen year old was a summer signing for Plymouth and the young Dane made an immediate impact, scoring a paid thirteen against Glasgow. It was thought that Mikkel was heading to Peterborough this year until the Panthers pulled out of the Elite League and in nipped Lakeside to secure his services. At reserve they have a talented teenager in Adam Ellis and this could be the year when his race partner Ben Morley ‘comes of age.’

The Hammers have begun the 2014 campaign with three wins out of three which includes the 52-42 victory over Leicester last Friday. Lakeside made a tremendous start to the meeting and were ten points ahead after three heats. Whilst the Lions matched the home side point for point from thereon the damage had already been done. Entering the final heat Leicester needed a 5-1 to gain a consolation match point and whilst Jason Doyle won the race Peter Karlsson and Davey Watt filled the minor places to deny the Lions a point.

“We recovered well from such a poor start which shows the character in the side and had we begun the match with a few more points on the board I am sure that we would not have left Essex empty handed. We applied ourselves much better at Eastbourne which was a tricky fixture in itself and made more difficult by light rain during most of the meeting which made the top surface slippery. We were still in contention after ten heats but then the Eagles were the better team over the last third. However, we are a new team that has to get used to one another but my impression is after taking into account the last three fixtures we are close to collecting our first league points of the season and hopefully it will be on Saturday night against Lakeside” commented the Lions Promoter David Hemsley.

Teams

Leicester: 1. Jason Doyle, 2. Peter Ljung, 3. Mads Korneliussen, 4. Simon Stead, 5. Patrick Hougaard, 6. Tom Perry and 7. Max Clegg

Lakeside: 1. Peter Karlsson, 2. Richard Lawson, 3. Davey Watt, 4. Mikkel Bech, 5. Lewis Bridger, 6. Ben Morley and 7. Adam Ellis

Teams for Peterborough

Sunday, April 6th, 2014 | Fixtures, News

The teams for tomorrow’s Inter-League Challenge Match fixture at Peterborough are confirmed and it will bring together four of last season’s Lions team members with Kauko and Jan in opposition to Lasse and Lewis.

The meeting will start at 7.30 pm.

Peterborough: 1. Ryan Fisher, 2. Lewis Blackbird, 3. Ales Dryml. 4. Ulrich Ostergaard, 5. Lasse Bjerre, 6. Joe Jacobs and 7. Oliver Greenwood

Leicester: 1. Jason Doyle, 2. Jan Graversen, 3. Kauko Nieminen, 4. Simon Stead, 5. Patrick Hougaard, Max Clegg and Tom Perry

Lion Cubs begin their Trophy quest

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014 | Fixtures, News

On Sunday Leicester venture into new territory when the Lion Cubs take on the Kent Kings in the National Trophy at the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium. During the winter the club accepted an invitation to enter a team in the competition which comprises of a mini league encompassing Leicester, Kent, Mildenhall and Stoke. Each team will race one another home and away with the top two teams meeting in a Grand Final to be staged over two legs to decide the winners.

“This is of course a new venture for the club and an exciting one at that as we are bringing National League racing to Leicester for the first time. We have appointed David Howard our Incident Recorder as Team Manager to oversee the project and he has come up with what I consider to be a competitive side and as close to a representative Leicester team as possible” commented the Lions Promoter David Hemsley.

The Kent Kings are a new club having been formed last season and are captained by the one-time Leicester rider Simon Lambert who rode for the Lions in 2012. The Kent management have built their team around the experience of Lambert, together with Ben Morley, who whilst only twenty years of age is starting his sixth season. David Mason is the oldest member of the team at thirty-seven and Benji Compton, a former Conference League Riders Champion, is in the main body of the side.

The Lion Cubs have constructed their team around the rising stars of the National League as Team Manager David Howard explains: “I am looking forward to the start of the National Trophy competition and we have a competitive well balanced team to entertain the fans. They all have experience of riding the Leicester track which hopefully gives us the opportunity of progressing through the group to the final. I have included our two young reserves from Leicester’s senior team, Tom Perry and Max Clegg, who will form a partnership. They both ride together for Dudley as well and I have replicated the same approach with the opening pairing of James Sarjeant, who was on Leicester’s books last season, and Dan Greenwood who rides in the same team as Sarjeant at Coventry. Continuing the Coventry theme, at five is Oliver Greenwood who I am pleased to say was a high performer the other week when he scored eight points for Peterborough at Leicester in the pre-season challenge. At six and seven are another two stars of the future who have shown plenty of promise whenever they have ridden the Leicester track.”

It promises to be an action packed Sunday as there are two added attractions as part of the programme which gets underway at 4.00 pm. Firstly, after the completion of the National Trophy fixture, there will be a Match Race between Simon Lambert, the current holder of the Bronze Helmet title, and one of the top three scorers in the Leicester team. Finally, the Long Eaton Invaders will race against the Rye House Raiders in their opening Midland Development League fixture of the season and the occasion will mark the debut of the Lions mascot Luke Whitehead who has been signed by the Derbyshire club.

Teams

Leicester Lion Cubs: 1. James Sarjeant, 2. Dan Greenwood, 3. Tom Perry, 4. Max Clegg, 5. Oliver Greenwood, 6. James Shanes and 7. Tom Woolley

Kent Kings: 1. Simon Lambert, 2. Luke Chessell, 3. Ben Morley, 4. Benji Compton, 5. David Mason, 6. Daniel Blake and 7. Luke Harris.

Lions on the road

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 | Fixtures, News

The Leicester team embarks upon a busy period of three matches in four days which begins on Friday with a trip to Lakeside for their opening away fixture in the Elite League. The Hammers began their 2014 Elite League Campaign with a 47-44 victory over the Swindon Robins, with the Essex based club giving full home debuts to Mikkel Bech and fast track reserves Adam Ellis and Ben Morley, all of whom scored heat wins.

The Lions have switched their reserves around for the fixture but kept the same pairings in the main body of the side. “I thought that the pairings worked well against Wolverhampton with the seniors outscoring their opposite numbers and once we get our reserves firing, as I know they can, the results will start to come. Compared to our track the Lakeside circuit is completely different in shape and size, being sixty-one metres shorter. Our top five have ridden there regularly so they will know just what’s required and of course Peter Ljung rode for Lakeside when he was last here in 2011, so his inside knowledge of how best to ride the track will be an advantage” explained the Rapid Solicitors Lions Team Manager Norrie Allan.

Teams

Lakeside: 1. Peter Karlsson, 2. Richard Lawson, 3. Davey Watt, 4. Mikkel Bech, 5. Lewis Bridger, 6. Ben Morley and 7. Adam Ellis

Leicester: 1. Jason Doyle, 2. Peter Ljung, 3. Mads Korneliussen, 4. Simon Stead, 5. Patrick Hougaard, 6. Max Clegg and 7. Tom Perry

Twenty-four hours later the team will move on to Eastbourne. Last year was a season of struggle that ended with the Eagles occupying eighth place in the Elite League table, their worst finish since 2006 but this year they have started on a high note with the demolition of Birmingham by 62 points to 30 at the weekend. Eastbourne have been forced into a team change already following an injury to Kim Nilsson earlier this year and as a result the Sussex club have recalled Timo Lahti as cover until the Swede is fit to return. At the head of the Eagles team are Bjarne Pedersen, Joonas Kylmakorpi and Cameron Woodward. Kylmakorpi’s capabilities are already known to Leicester as he deputised for Jason Doyle last month and ended the night as top scorer for the Lions in Mads Korneliussen’s Testimonial at King’s Lynn. The Lions make one positional change with the two reserves swopping places again. “The reason for switching the reserves around is a tactical change that may bring us a few more points” added Allan.

Teams

Eastbourne: 1. Bjarne Pedersen, 2. Timo Lahti, 3. Joonas Kylmakorpi, 4. Mikkel Michelsen, 5. Cameron Woodward, 6. Lewis Blackbird and 7. Dan Halsey

Leicester: 1. Jason Doyle, 2. Peter Ljung, 3. Mads Korneliussen, 4. Simon Stead, 5. Patrick Hougaard, 6. Tom Perry and 7. Max Clegg

On Monday Leicester will fulfil the return Inter-League fixture against the Peterborough Panthers. The Lions went down 42 points to 48 in the pre-season friendly at home last month and details of the team line-up will be released soon.

Leicester v Wolverhampton Preview

Thursday, March 27th, 2014 | Fixtures, News

It is a red letter day for the Leicester Lions on Saturday who take on the Wolverhampton Wolves in their first ever Elite League fixture at the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium. The visitors reached the semi-final play-off stage in 2013 but were outpointed by Birmingham who went on to lose in the final to the Poole Pirates. The Wolves avenged their end of season disappointment on Monday by beating the Brummies’ by 58 points to 35 at Monmore Green and the chief architect of their victory was the British World Champion Tai Woffinden, who raced to a perfect score of fifteen points. Joining Woffinden at the top of the score-chart was their new Polish signing Piotr Pawlicki who on his home debut was also unbeaten by an opponent.

Pawlicki though will be missing from the Wolverhampton team for the visit to Leicester as he is competing in the Polish Under-21 Championship qualifier and so they have engaged the Coventry rider Chris Harris as a guest replacement. Meanwhile, the Rapid Solicitors Lions are strengthened by the presence of Jason Doyle who received clearance on Monday to work in the UK when his Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Creative and Sporting) Sponsorship application was approved. Doyle, missed the Inter-League Challenge fixture against Peterborough last weekend but he will take his place at number one in the Leicester team alongside Peter Ljung who himself will be flying in for the fixture after representing Sweden in Round 1 of the Speedway Best Pairs competition at the Torun track in Poland the night before.

“It will be an historic night as we are now involved at the highest level of racing in this country again. To think that it is just over three years ago that we came of age as a club and are now on the brink of a new chapter in the story of Leicester Speedway. It is a special moment to savour for fans and everyone who worked so hard to bring the sport back to the City” commented the Lions Press Officer, Alan Jones.

Leicester were previously a First Division club having spent sixteen years in the top flight of British Speedway during the earlier era of the Lions when the team were considered one of the most fashionable sides in the country with their colour co-ordinated red and yellow racing leathers. The team came close to winning the British League Championship in 1971 and were cup finalists four years later. On the individual front, Ray Wilson was crowned British Champion in 1973 and he steered Great Britain to their first success at Wembley Stadium in the World Cup Final. Much later, Les Collins, who was the last captain of the Lions, delighted his legion of fans with second place in the World Championship Final.

Teams

Leicester: 1. Jason Doyle, 2. Peter Ljung, 3. Mads Korneliussen, 4. Simon Stead, 5. Patrick Hougaard, 6. Tom Perry and 7. Max Clegg

Wolverhampton: 1. Tai Woffinden, 2. Jacob Thorssell, 3.Ty Proctor, 4. Ricky Wells, 5. Chris Harris, 6. Joe Jacobs and 7. Ashley Morris

Leicester v Peterborough Preview

Thursday, March 20th, 2014 | Fixtures, News

The Leicester Promotion received the news that they have been waiting for all winter, that Jason Doyle will receive his Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Creative and Sporting) Sponsorship approval in the next few days. It means that the Lions will go into their first full team match without Doyle against the Peterborough Panthers on Saturday but he should be in the UK in good time to face Wolverhampton confirmed the Lions’ boss David Hemsley: “It has been a frustrating time for the club and Jason in particular. We were hoping that he would be here in time for Saturday but the fixture is not critical in the whole scheme of things. The important aspect is that Jason will receive written confirmation shortly giving him the right to work in the UK and knowing Jason as soon as that comes through he will be on a flight here.”

In Doyle’s absence the Rapid Solicitors Lions will operate the rider replacement facility in his place at number one in the team against the Peterborough Panthers in the Inter-League Challenge at Leicester on Saturday. “Whilst this is not an ideal situation I would rather give my own riders extra races at the expense of another club’s asset because at this time of the season the sooner our new team becomes accustomed to the Leicester track the better it will be, particularly as our first Elite League fixture against Wolverhampton is in just over a week’s time” added Hemsley.

Apart from missing Doyle the Lions will be at full strength. Originally Max Clegg was booked to compete in the British Under-21 Championship at Plymouth on Saturday but has opted to race for Leicester instead. “We left it entirely up to Max to decide which meeting he wanted to compete in as we did not want to insist that he pulls out of a British Championship competition to ride in what is effectively a pre-season challenge event. Max chose to ride for the Lions which shows his commitment to the club” stated Hemsley.

Peterborough, who opened their season with a home defeat on Tuesday against Rye House in the League Cup competition, is also missing the former Czech Republic National Champion, Ales Dryml. The Panthers have booked the Leicester track specialist Nick Morris as a guest replacement. With Lewis Blackbird also missing the fixture, the Panthers have included Aaron Summers at number two in a team that features the USA World Cup rider Ryan Fisher, along with the former Leicester rider Lasse Bjerre.

Teams

Leicester: 1. Rider Replacement for Jason Doyle, 2. Peter Ljung, 3. Mads Korneliussen, 4. Simon Stead, 5. Patrick Hougaard, 6. Tom Perry and 7. Max Clegg

Peterborough: 1. Ryan Fisher, 2. Aaron Summers, 3. Lasse Bjerre, 4. Ulrich Ostergaard, 5. Nick Morris, 6. Joe Jacobs and 7. Oliver Greenwood

Mads Big Day

Friday, March 14th, 2014 | Fixtures, News

Mads Korneliussen will make his first appearance in the colours of new club Leicester when he stages his Testimonial at King’s Lynn on Sunday (3.00 pm).

Korneliussen has switched to the Rapid Solicitors Lions for the 2014 Elite League season but is celebrating a decade in British Speedway at the Norfolk Arena, where he has spent the previous three campaigns, and the four-team tournament also includes representation from two of his other former clubs, Swindon and now defunct Newport.

Korneliussen said: “I want to thank Keith Chapman for letting me use the Norfolk Arena for my big day, it is one of my favourite tracks and I’m sure it will make for excellent racing. I also want to thank the great people and businesses who have sponsored heats and riders.”

Joining Mads in the team will be Patrick Hougaard who had his first competitive match last Sunday. Hougaard scored six points which included a heat win for the Rest of the World side that were on the wrong end of a 45-39 score-line against Team GB at Leicester. For Peter Ljung, the meeting at the Norfolk Arena on Sunday will be his first appearance in the UK since he was last here in 2011 whilst riding for the Lakeside Hammers.

Leicester were originally hoping to include Jason Doyle in the team but the Australian is still waiting to hear that his Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Creative and Sporting) application has been successful and therefore the Lions have co-opted the Eastbourne rider Joonas Kylmakorpi as a guest to complete their team.

Reflecting on the season ahead for the Lions Mads said: “I am excited by the new challenge at Leicester and that’s one of the reasons why I opted to go there when there were other options. It parallels King’s Lynn and it would be just brilliant if we could turn in a season that upset the odds a bit. The more I get to know about Leicester the more impressed I am with them and hopefully we will make their first season in the Elite League a memorable one.”

LEICESTER: Mads Korneliussen, Peter Ljung, Patrick Hougaard, Joonas Kylmakorpi

SWINDON: Hans Andersen, Peter Kildemand, Troy Batchelor, Nicolai Klindt

KING’S LYNN: Kenneth Bjerre, Rory Schlein, Richie Worrall, Morten Risager

NEWPORT: Niels-Kristian Iversen, Cameron Woodward, Scott Nicholls, Ty Proctor

Ben Fund draws closer

Thursday, March 6th, 2014 | Fixtures, News

The Ben Fund Bonanza at Leicester opens the British Speedway season on Sunday (2.00 pm) and this year the meeting is also the first outing for the Great Britain team under their new manager Alun Rossiter.

Rosco has taken the opportunity to have a look at some of the less experienced contenders for his side with Richard Lawson and Kyle Howarth included alongside the obvious top names such as Tai Woffinden, Chris Harris and Craig Cook.

They race against the Rest of the World in a match on the old 14-heat format with 8 riders per team. The riders of both sides will then contest a second half of four heats and a final for the Ben Fund Bonanza Trophy.

Organiser Paul Ackroyd again stresses the importance of the event. He said “2013 proved to be a very difficult year, with several riders suffering extremely serious injuries. Due to the support of the previous Bonanza’s and track collections, the Fund was able to react swiftly and efficiently to be able to give the necessary assistance as required.

“A snapshot of the type of help we gave last year was: assistance towards home adaptations, purchase of a wheelchair, assistance for former (veteran) riders suffering serious illness and financial support was given to more than 50 current riders. In total we spent £120,000.”

Several of the former riders now in wheelchairs will be attending the meeting. Garry Stead is of course managing the Rest of the World team and also expected are Neil Hewitt, Graham Miles who is now WSRA president, Steve Weatherly, Joe Owen and possibly former Belle Vue captain Alan Wilkinson.

Teams:

GREAT BRITAIN: Tai Woffinden (Captain), Richie Worrall, Chris Harris, Danny King, Craig Cook, Kyle Howarth, Richard Lawson and Ben Barker

REST OF THE WORLD: Bjarne Pedersen (Captain), Josh Grajczonek, Adam Skornicki, Cameron Woodward, Ty Proctor, Patrick Hougaard, Nick Morris and Morten Risager

Ben Fund Team Pairings Announced

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 | Fixtures, News

Sunday’s International at the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium between Team GB and a Rest of the World side will mark the first occasion that Tai Woffinden will wear the captain’s armband since being appointed to the position by Team Manager Alun Rossiter last month. The British World Champion, who makes his Leicester track debut, will form a strong opening partnership with the Belle Vue rider Richie Worrall. At three and four Rossiter has elected for an experienced pairing in Chris Harris and Danny King. The two rode together for Birmingham last season and wearing the number five race-jacket is the fastest rider to circumnavigate the Leicester circuit, Craig Cook who holds the track record and on past performances as a visiting rider he has few equals. Partnering Cook is Kyle Howarth who was a winter signing for Coventry. At reserve is Richard Lawson who receives his first call-up to ride for his country at senior level. The Lakeside rider won the 2013 Pride of the Midlands Trophy at Leicester and alongside Lawson at reserve is Ben Barker who was selected for Team GB’s World Cup squad last season.

On the opposite side of the pits, the Rest of the World team is managed by Gary Stead and the side comprises of four Australians, three Danes and a Pole. Leading out the team will be the vastly experienced Bjarne Pedersen who will be partnered with Josh Grajczonek who rounded off a successful season with two league championship medals with Poole and Somerset along with a gold medal in the Premier League Pairs event. One of the sports’ most entertaining riders is Adam Skornicki, the 2008 Polish National Champion, who lines up alongside the Eastbourne captain Cameron Woodward.

For Leicester fans it will be their first glimpse of Patrick Hougaard since he signed to ride for the Rapid Solicitors Lions. The former Peterborough rider will ride alongside Ty Proctor who was scoring well for Wolverhampton before an injury adjourned his season last year but is now fully recovered and keen to pick up from where he left off. Finally, at reserve are two riders who know what it feels like to win races at the JRS Stadium. At number seven is Nick Morris, a potential match winner who rides the track as well as any visitor and Morten Risager, who was in the Ipswich team that won the Premier League Fours’ in 2011 at Leicester.

“The format of the meeting will move away from the traditional fifteen heats. Instead, the two eight man teams will race over fourteen heats and there will be more scope for the team managers to try to gain an advantage. Whoever wins the toss of the coin, that team will have choice of gate positions on the start-line in the first heat but then the gate positions will alternate for every subsequent race thereafter. In addition, there are no fixed gate positions so tactics should come into play for the team managers who will have the opportunity to decide where best to deploy their riders on the start-line. For example they may decide that a certain rider favours an outside grid whereas his partner may prefer to ride the inner lines so that may be how the team managers position their pairings for a particular race” explained the Lions Press Officer, Alan Jones.

Supporters heading for the meeting on Sunday will be given the opportunity to have their photo taken with World Champion Tai Woffinden.

Tai is making himself available between 12.00 noon and 1.00 pm on Sunday inside the stadium, and anyone who wants to be photographed with him will be able to, for a contribution to the Benevolent Fund.

After the main international team event, each rider will compete for the Ben Fund Bonanza Trophy. The four heat winners from the qualifying races will meet in a Grand Final and immediately afterwards the sixteen race jackets worn by the riders will be auctioned off in front of the two home straight stands and the money raised will go to the Speedway Riders’ Benevolent Fund.

The meeting starts at 2.00 pm and the stadium ticket office will be open at 12 noon on the day. Normal Leicester Speedway admission prices apply for this meeting with the exception of the family ticket which will not be available for this event.

Diary Date Additions and Amendments

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014 | Fixtures, News

The one remaining fixture in the National Trophy competition has now been agreed. The Leicester Lion Cubs will visit Kent on Monday 9th June with a start-time of 6.30 pm.

There are fixture date amendments for the senior team who will now race against Eastbourne and Poole on the following dates.

The visit of Eastbourne to Leicester on Thursday 15th May has now been moved to a new date of Saturday 26th April. The Poole Pirates, who were scheduled to race at the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium on Thursday 24th April, will now race against the Lions on Bank Holiday Monday 26th May with a start-time of 3.00 pm.

There is also a change to the original fixture at Poole. The Rapid Solicitors Lions, who were due in Dorset on Wednesday 11th June, will now race at Wimborne Road a week later on 18th June.

RoW Team Released

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014 | Fixtures, News

There’s a change in the British line-up to race against the Rest of the World in the Ben Fund Bonanza at Leicester on Sunday 9th March (2.00 pm).

Lewis Bridger has had to withdraw and his place will be taken by Redcar’s new recruit Richard Lawson, making his first Bonanza appearance.

Great Britain boss Alun Rossiter said “Lewis got in touch to advise me that he couldn’t guarantee having all of his equipment in place in time for the meeting, and he didn’t want to go into it in a half-hearted fashion.

“I appreciate his honesty with that, and I’ve therefore called up Richard who is a rider who was always in my thoughts.

“I already know what several of the more experienced senior riders are capable of but it’s also important that I start looking at those who have been making good progress recently, and this will be a good test for Richard to see how he adapts at this level.”

The Rapid Solicitors Lions will be represented by Patrick Hougaard who joins two of his fellow countrymen, Bjarne Pedersen and Morten Risager in the Rest of the World team which includes the Swindon rider Nick Morris who is always good for double figures at the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium.

“The event is in its sixth year and is in aid of riders who have had spells out of the sport after suffering an injury whilst racing for British based teams or for those whose careers have been cut short due to life changing injuries. The Speedway Riders Benevolent Fund reaches out to so many people and exists solely for this purpose and therefore we sincerely hope that we will see a big turn-out of speedway fans to support such a worthy cause” commented the Lions Press Officer, Alan Jones.

All proceeds raised will go to the Speedway Riders Benevolent Fund and the stadium ticket office will be open from 12.00 noon on the day. Normal Leicester Speedway admission prices apply for this meeting with the exception of the family ticket which will not be available for this event.

REST OF THE WORLD

The Rest of the World side which presents Rosco’s English lineup with its first test will be: Bjarne Pedersen (Eastbourne & Denmark), Josh Grajczonek (Poole, Workington and Australia), Adam Skornicki (Birmingham & Poland), Cameron Woodward (Eastbourne & Australia), Ty Proctor (Somerset, Wolverhampton and Australia), Patrick Hougaard (Leicester & Denmark), Nick Morris (Swindon & Australia) and Morten Risager (Ipswich & Denmark). Managing the Rest of the World will be Garry Stead.

FUNDRAISER

Lakeside supporter Anthony Warren will be doing his bit for the Ben Fund, because he is running the London Marathon on 12th April. He says “I will be running on behalf of the Speedway Riders Benevolent Fund. I have a lot of respect and admiration for speedway riders and what they put themselves through week in, week out. After the loss of Lee Richardson last year and the terrible injuries sustained by Ricky Ashworth earlier this year, it brought home how important the work of the SRBF is.

“The help and support they provide for speedway riders and their families is why I will endeavour to raise as much money as possible for this worthy cause. If you would like to contribute in any way, you can donate at www.srbf.co.uk  Any donation would be greatly appreciated.”

Lions stage pre-season friendly

Sunday, January 26th, 2014 | Fixtures, News

Leicester are in the throes of arranging home and away pre-season challenge match fixtures against opponents to be confirmed later. “We did not want to go straight into racing in the Elite League with a new team without the riders getting at least one match under their belt. I am close to finalising the visiting team and I confirm that the match at Leicester will take place on Saturday 22nd March” stated the Lions Promoter David Hemsley.

The Leicester promotion has agreed two fixtures changes with the Lions now travelling to Wolverhampton on Monday 2nd June instead of 9th June and the away trip to Belle Vue has been moved from 23rd June to 8th September.

Junior event at Leicester

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014 | Fixtures, News

Leicester will stage Round 2 of the British Youth Championship series on Saturday 17th May with a start time of 6.30 pm.

It will be the third occasion that the event has been held at the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium and Co-promoter Alan Jones had this to say: “This is a worthwhile competition for aspiring British youngsters to engage in. Phil Morris and Neil Vatcher, who are the GB Under-21 Managers, co-ordinate the series and they are so passionate and committed to the development of riders for the future that you cannot help being pulled along by their enthusiasm and we are only too delighted to offer our support again. I am pleased to say that this fixture is an additional meeting and will be included in the current season ticket offer.”

The British Youth Championship is considered to be a stepping stone into league racing and recent evidence of that is the progress made by Danny Phillips, Jack Kingston, Nathan Greaves and Nathan Stoneman who have all passed through the competition and are now competing at a higher level along with Max Clegg who will be riding in the Elite League this year with Leicester.

Meanwhile, the club will hold a Preview Day on Saturday 15th March at the stadium with a start time of 1.00 pm. The first hour has been set aside for media interviews and photographs followed by a practice session for the team at 2.00 pm. “The stadium will be open at 1.00 pm and everyone is welcome to attend. We plan to have a question and answer session afterwards with the riders and promotional team” added Jones.

2014 Fixtures now out

Friday, January 17th, 2014 | Fixtures, News

The Lions begin their first season in the Elite League on Saturday 29th March with the visit of Wolverhampton who will be led by the new World Champion Tai Woffinden. Full details of the season’s fixtures can be found on the fixtures page.

Leicester to stage an FIM Meeting

Monday, November 25th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

Leicester have been allocated a World Under-21 Qualifier next season. The event will take place on Saturday 10th May at the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium.

“This is another step forward for the club and to receive an FIM event in what will be only our fourth season is an honour indeed for Leicester and all the staff who help run the club” commented the Lions Co-promoter, Alan Jones.

Leicester Speedway gained their FIM licence following the successful staging of the British round of the World Flat-track Cup, Gold Trophy Championship in June.

World Champion at Leicester

Friday, October 25th, 2013 | Announcement, Fixtures, News

Tai Woffinden, the newly crowned World Speedway Champion will be at the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium for a promotional photo shoot on Saturday 26th October at 12.00 noon. Tai, who rides for the Wolverhampton Wolves, battled against injury to win the title and his achievement marked the first occasion that a British rider has scaled such heights since Mark Loram won the title thirteen years ago. The Stadium will be open for anyone wishing to see the event so why not pop into the bar for a lunch-time drink to catch up with all the speedway news.

The teams for the Four Team Tournament later in the day have now been finalised and it will be the last chance to watch a speedway meeting at Leicester this season. The line-up includes a blend of experience, some familiar faces and a dash of stars in the making. Team GB World Cup member Ben Barker will lead the League Select side along with the Pride of the Midlands Champion, Richard Lawson. Richie Worrall, winner of the Freestyle Show at Leicester, forms a twin brother spearhead with Steve for King’s Lynn and representing Sheffield are the Compton brothers, Andre and Benji along with Josh Auty who helped Birmingham to a place in the final of the Elite League play-offs. Leicester are served by Kevin Doolan and Jan Graversen and the side is completed by Chris Widman and Tom Perry, the pair fresh from helping the Isle of Wight reach the Cup Final after their well- deserved win at Mildenhall last night.

Teams

Leicester: Kevin Doolan, Jan Graversen, Chris Widman and Tom Perry

Sheffield: Josh Auty, Andre Compton, Benji Compton and Damien Koppe

King’s Lynn: Richie Worrall, Darren Mallett, Steve Worrall and Lewis Rose

League Select: Ben Barker, Richard Lawson, Shane Waldron and Max Clegg

Grand Fours’ Challenge

Thursday, October 24th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

On Saturday the speedway season comes to a close at the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium when Leicester race against Sheffield, King’s Lynn and a Premier League Select in a Four Team Tournament. Kevin Doolan and Jan Graversen will be in the Lions team along with Chris Widman who lives in Leicestershire and rides for the Isle of Wight. The Premier League Select are fielding two of the top riders in Ben Barker and Richie Worrall and Sheffield are represented by Josh Auty and the Compton brothers, Andre and Benji. King’s Lynn, the National League play-off finalists are the fourth club and they have called upon Richard Lawson, the Pride of the Midlands winner at Leicester earlier this season, to front their challenge along with Tom Perry and Steve Worrall.

The Lions Co-promoter Alan Jones said: “It has been an incredible few days in trying to assemble four teams of similar strength and we are in the process of putting the final touches together in order to make an attractive line-up for fans. As we are in the last few days of the official closure of the season, riders have gone back home, have mothballed their equipment or attending the many club dinner and dances that are happening up and down the country this weekend. Nevertheless, there will be a number of top entertainers on show on Saturday.”

Confirmation of the full team line-ups will follow once completed and the meeting will start at the usual time of 7.30 pm. The senior event will be followed by a Midlands Development League fixture between the Long Eaton Invaders and King’s Lynn.

World Class Line-up for Re-staging of EMB

Thursday, October 17th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

Last weekend’s postponed East Midlands Bowl fixture against the Coventry Bees at the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium will now take place on Sunday with a start-time of 6.00 pm.

Alan Jones the Co-promoter of the Leicester Lions said: “It was a disappointment to lose the original meeting to the weather as there is a great deal of preparation that goes on behind the scenes in terms of organisation for both clubs. There are so many aspects to consider when a new date has to be found; not least of all whether the riders are available and added to this is staffing an event at such short notice. Thankfully it all fell into place and Coventry were as keen as us to stage the event and we are pleased that they agreed to return on Sunday. It is a rarity to see such an array of world-class talent on show at a Premier League track and the two teams assembled are brimming with exceptional ability so this has all the prospects of a classic meeting and one not to be missed.”

The East Midlands Bowl dates back to the early post-war days at the old Blackbird Road Stadium and it was the traditional season curtain raiser between Leicester and Coventry. Such was the popularity of the event that it continued in the last era of the Lions. “There is nothing like a local derby to whet the appetite of fans and the history between the two clubs made it one of the oldest local derbies in speedway and the vibrancy between both sets of supporters ensured that the meetings attained legendary status” added Jones.

The Coventry Bees Select have confirmed an unchanged line-up and have named a powerful group of riders in Scott Nicholls, the seven times British Champion, Niels-Kristian Iversen who came third in the season long Grand Prix series and the Polish Speedway World Cup Under-21 double gold medallist Grzegorz Zengota. The Leicester Select team make one change to the original line-up, bringing in Nick Morris for the unavailable Lasse Bjerre. The Australian is an ideal replacement as he rides the Leicester track as well as any visitor and will form the opening partnership with Kenneth Bjerre. Joining Bjerre at the head of the team is the Polish International and a rider of high repute, Krzysztof Kasprzak and Hans Andersen who led Swindon to a place in the Elite League play-off semi-finals earlier this month.

Teams

Leicester: 1. Kenneth Bjerre, 2. Nick Morris, 3. Krzysztof Kasprzak, 4. Kenneth Hansen, 5. Hans Andersen, 6. Kevin Doolan (captain) and 7. Jan Graversen

Coventry: 1. Niels-Kristian Iversen, 2. Scott Nicholls (captain), 3. Grzegorz Zengota, 4. Ryan Fisher, 5. Ben Barker, 6. Aaron Summers and 7. James Sarjeant

The second leg of the East Midlands Bowl takes place at Brandon on Friday 25th October.

Iversen to ride in East Midlands Bowl

Saturday, October 12th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

Coventry have bolstered their line-up for Sunday’s East Midlands Bowl by bringing in World No.3 Niels-Kristian Iversen to face Leicester.

The sides meet at Brandon at midday before a 6.00 pm clash at the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium, and the Lions have strengthened with Elite League heat-leaders Kenneth Bjerre, Hans Andersen and Krzysztof Kasprzak.

Coventry promoter Mick Horton said: “I want to win these meetings, I’m sure our fans want to as well, and I want us to show Leicester it can be tough in the Elite League!

“They’ve shown plenty of ambition with the team line-up they’ve put together and I’m delighted to bring in another World-class rider in Niels which can only add to the entertainment in both meetings.”

“The two teams are brimming with talent and it is such an interesting line-up that there should be no end of season feel about the two fixtures. Both teams have two riders each who will represent their club in the Elite League Riders’ Championship at Swindon next weekend so you can begin to get a feel of the quality on show and with admission prices held at Premier League level fans are guaranteed value for money in both fixtures” added the Lions Co-promoter Alan Jones

Cubs in Vase Final on Super Sunday

Thursday, October 10th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

After the much awaited local derby fixture against the Coventry Bees on Sunday at the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium for the East Midlands Bowl Leicester’s junior team, the Lion Cubs face the Milton Keynes Knights in the final of the Midland Development League Vase competition. Riding for the visitors is Shaun Tedham who won the League Riders’ Individual Championship at Leicester last month and for the Cubs, third placed James Shanes rides at number 3 for the home team.

“The day promises to be terrific entertainment for fans with such an array of talent on show at Leicester. There are only two riders, one from each side who have never ridden regularly in the Elite League so you can begin to appreciate the quality of the event. The history behind Leicester and Coventry is immense and dates back to the early days of the sport and I am sure that we are in for a night to remember. The Vase Final after the East Midlands Bowl will in my opinion be another interesting contest and a great way to round off the evening by watching some of the future stars of British Speedway” commented the Lions Co-promoter Alan Jones.

Normal admission prices apply for Sunday’s second leg of the East Midlands Bowl at Leicester and the meeting starts at 6.00 pm.

Teams

Leicester: 1. Kenneth Bjerre, 2. Lasse Bjerre, 3. Krzysztof Kasprzak, 4. Kenneth Hansen, 5. Hans Andersen, 6. Kevin Doolan and 7. Jan Graversen

Coventry: 1. Scott Nicholls, 2. Aaron Summers, 3. Grzegorz Zengota, 4. Ryan Fisher, 5. Ben Barker, 6. Rohan Tungate and 7. James Sarjeant

Super Sunday Line-Up

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

Derby fever comes to Leicester on Sunday with the visit of Coventry to the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium when the Lions take on the Bees in the second leg of the East Midlands Bowl. It is thirty years since the two clubs last met and the history between the teams made it one of the oldest local derbies in speedway and the vibrancy between both sets of supporters ensured that the meetings attained legendary status.

Alan Jones the Lions Co-promoter said: “This is the one everyone has been waiting for and has been top of Lions fans wish list of teams to see racing here at Leicester since we opened in 2011. The Coventry Bees are one of the cornerstone clubs in British Speedway and the two meetings on Sunday should be a gala day for both sets of fans. We have had to reinforce the Leicester team to ensure that as far as possible it will be an evenly balanced competition and hope that fans of both clubs will give their support to the event.”

Leicester have named an opening pairing of the Bjerre brothers, Lasse who rides for the Lions, and his older brother Kenneth, the Peterborough Panthers number one. Joining Kenneth at the head of the team is Hans Andersen a high performer at Swindon along with one of Poland’s top stars, the World Cup winner and Grand Prix rider Krzysztof Kasprzak. Leicester’s Kevin Doolan captains the side in the absence of the injured Kauko Nieminen and he is paired with Jan Graversen the longest serving member of the Leicester team having been at the club since it opened. The side is completed by Kenneth Hansen who last rode in the UK for Peterborough.

Coventry will be led out by Scott Nicholls, a seven times British Champion and a multi-capped World Cup and Team GB International rider who will be paired with Aaron Summers. Nicholls will be looking to Grzegorz Zengota, Ryan Fisher and Ben Barker for support for the bulk of the points. Zengota, a double Under-21 World Cup gold medal winner for Poland, is in his first year at Coventry. Fisher and Barker are club assets out on loan and are exciting riders to watch. At reserve the Bees have Rohan Tungate who has had a successful second year racing in the UK. The Australian has helped his Premier League club the Ipswich Witches to reach the League Cup Final and in the top tier of racing Rohan rides for Poole one of the Elite League Play-off Finalists. Tungate is joined by James Sarjeant who rides for Coventry’s National League team and was contracted to Leicester earlier this season.

“The club is aspiring to compete at the highest level of British Speedway in the not too distant future and our line-up is designed to give fans a flavour of watching a team of Elite League regular performers. Six of the team currently ride or have ridden at the highest level and so Sunday provides an opportunity for fans to watch a higher level of racing” added Jones.

Teams for both fixtures:

Leicester: 1. Kenneth Bjerre, 2. Lasse Bjerre, 3. Krzysztof Kasprzak, 4. Kenneth Hansen, 5. Hans Andersen, 6. Kevin Doolan and 7. Jan Graversen

Coventry: 1. Scott Nicholls, 2. Aaron Summers, 3. Grzegorz Zengota, 4. Ryan Fisher, 5. Ben Barker, 6. Rohan Tungate and 7. James Sarjeant

The first leg of the East Midlands Bowl takes place at noon at Coventry with the return later that day at Leicester when the first race begins at 6.00 pm.

Lions team for Belle Vue

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

The Harry Jordan Leicester Lions make one change to the team that lost at home on Sunday for the return fixture at Belle Vue on Wednesday 9th October with Richard Lawson taking the place of Ashley Morris at number seven in the side. The meeting in Manchester starts at 8.00 pm.

Teams

Belle Vue Select:

1. Craig Cook, 2. Dakota North, 3. Ulrich Ostergaard, 4. Thomas Jorgensen, 5. Richie Worrall 6. Max Fricke and 7. Ryan Douglas

Leicester Select:

1. Magnus Karlsson, 2. Jan Graversen, 3. Ryan Fisher, 4. Ricky Wells, 5. Kevin Doolan, 6. Alex Edberg and 7. Richard Lawson

Super Sunday!

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013 | Fixtures, News

Fans are in for a treat on Super Sunday 13th October when the Leicester Lions lock horns with the Coventry Bees for the East Midlands Bowl. The day starts with the first leg at Brandon at 12.00 noon with the return fixture set for a 6.00 pm start at the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium.

Normal admission prices will apply for the home meeting and the fixture will also be valid for season ticket holders.

This is the one everyone has been waiting for and is top of Lions fans wish list of teams to see racing here at Leicester. It nearly happened in March only for heavy rain to ruin a mouth-watering opening meeting and there is no other fixture that generates so much interest, talking points or healthy banter than the coming together of these two long-standing East Midlands clubs. The Bees are one of the cornerstone clubs of British Speedway with a long history and a bulging list of major title successes over the years.

The Lions are already planning ahead to track a competitive side with club asset Sergey Darkin making a return to the team along with one of the top names in World Speedway, the Grand Prix rider and Polish International Krzysztof Kasprzak who will be making a guest appearance for Leicester.

Can the Lions surprise their near neighbours with a win in the East Midlands Bowl or will the Bees have too much sting in their tail?

Lions back on track

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013 | Fixtures, News

After a break of five weeks without a team fixture the Harry Jordan Haulage Lions are back on track on Sunday when they face the Belle Vue Aces in an Inter-League Challenge fixture at home with the meeting starting at the earlier time of 5.00 pm.

The Elite League club are team managed by Jason Attwood who will lead his side out for the first time against his former club and has named Craig Cook, the current Leicester track holder and Aces captain, at number one in the side. With the Aces overseas contingent not available, Belle Vue will bring with them an attractive side that will test the home team. At the head of the Aces alongside Cook will be Richard Lawson who won the Pride of the Midlands meeting at Leicester in July and Rene Bach his teammate at Workington. In the middle is Jozsef Tabaka and Thomas Jorgensen and at reserve is the ‘flying’ Ryan Douglas whose scores as a guest for Leicester at Redcar and home to Berwick were influential in helping Leicester win both matches. Steve Worrall occupies the other reserve position in Belle Vue’s team.

The Lions are now almost back to full strength following a spate of injuries that plagued their run-in towards a place in the Premier League play-offs; just missing out on qualifying by an inferior points scored for and against differential. Kauko Nieminen, who underwent an operation last month on his shoulder which he injured during Leicester’s home meeting against Rye House in August, is convalescing back home in Finland so Leicester have booked the Peterborough rider Ryan Fisher as a guest replacement for their captain and he will partner Lasse Bjerre in the team.

“The lack of fixtures during September has been a frustration and this is certainly one aspect which I want to see avoided in the future. We did not want to end the season so early so we have been working hard in the background to bring new clubs to Leicester this month. Some of the talks have gone nowhere but we are pleased that Belle Vue’s promoter Chris Morton agreed that his club would come to race the Lions in a challenge match. Belle Vue are one of the cornerstone clubs in British Speedway and a symbol of success having won almost every competition going and are known the world over” commented the Lions Promoter David Hemsley.

The fixture brings together the two clubs for what will be the first time they have faced one another since the Aces were the last team to race at the old Blackbird Road Stadium in October 1983, almost thirty years to the day!

The return fixture will take place at Belle Vue on Wednesday 9th October with the first race at 8.00 pm.

Teams

Leicester: 1. Magnus Karlsson, 2, Jan Graversen, 3. Ryan Fisher, 4. Lasse Bjerre, 5. Kevin Doolan (captain), 6. Alex Edberg and 7. Simon Nielsen

Belle Vue: 1. Craig Cook (captain), 2. Jozsef Tabaka, 3. Richard Lawson, 4. Thomas Jorgensen, 5. Rene Bach, 6. Ryan Douglas and 7. Steve Worrall

Fixtures Change

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

The Harry Jordan Haulage Lions fixture against the Belle Vue Aces has now been moved to Sunday 6th October with a start time of 5.00 pm.

On Wednesday 9th October the Lions will travel to Manchester for the return fixture against the Aces with a start time of 8.00 pm.

MDL Final Line-up

Monday, September 23rd, 2013 | Fixtures, News

For a second successive year the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium is set to stage the Midland Development League Riders’ Championship Final on Saturday. Sixteen riders will compete against one another over twenty heats with the top eight scorers progressing through to the semi-finals. The top two riders from each of the seven league clubs will be vying with one another for the title and also included are two ‘wild card’ entries; Lee Springthorpe, who is representing the Leicester Lion Cubs, received an invitation on the back of winning the inaugural MDL Grand Prix series last month and Danny Phillips who was crowned Champion of the Northern Junior League Individual Championship.

Two of the most famous names in British Speedway, Peter and Les Collins, are guests of honour at the event.  There was virtually no major title that escaped Peter during the course of a glittering career that began as a sixteen year old at Rochdale in 1971 and ended in 1986 at Belle Vue. In between ‘PC’ won three British League Championship titles and also the same number of Knock-out Cup Final successes with the Aces. A multi-gold medal winner in the World Cup for his country and first place in the 1976 World Final was the pinnacle of a stunning record.

Four years after Peter made his debut for Rochdale, his younger brother Les entered the sport at Crewe and after stop-offs at Stoke and Belle Vue he signed for Leicester for a fee that broke the club transfer record paid for a rider. Les made a total of 227 appearances for the Lions, scoring 2223 total points in all competitions making him the fourth highest rider in the club’s list of all-time points’ scorers. Les came close to equalling the exploits of Peter but had to settle for second place in the 1982 World Final at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

“Having Peter and Les present on such an occasion as this adds a great deal of prestige to the MDL Championship Final. Without doubt the two brothers are highly respected people in World Speedway and role models for aspiring novices who are setting their sights on becoming a speedway rider. Both Peter and Les will be on hand for photo opportunities during the course of the evening for a small charge of one pound ‘per click’ and the proceeds will be shared between two worthy causes, the Speedway Riders’ Benevolent Fund and the Ricky Ashworth Fund” outlined the MDL Co-ordinator, Laurence Rogers.

During the course of the evening Les and his son Aidan Collins will ride in two demonstration races mounted on a prototype Formula2 450cc speedway bike and in addition to the main event there will be a further three heats featuring four stars of the future, two of whom are the Thompson twins, Joe and Dan who are the Leicester Lions mascots.

Line-up:

1 Josh Bailey (King’s Lynn Lightning)
2 Shaun Tedham (Stoke Spitfires)
3 Connor Mountain (King’s Lynn Lightning)
4 James Shanes (Coventry Mercia-Vikings)
5 Jeremy Pestell (Long Eaton Invaders)
6 Ryan Terry-Daley (Coventry Mercia-Vikings)
7 David Holt (Belle Vue Colts)
8 Lee Springthorpe (Leicester Lion Cubs)
9 Lee Payne (Stoke Spitfires)
10 Nathan Greaves (Castleford Kings)
11 Max Clegg (Belle Vue Colts)
12 Danny Phillips (Redcar Bear Cubs)
13 Danno Verge (Milton Keynes Knights)
14 Liam Rumsey (Castleford Kings)
15 Conor Dwyer (Milton Keynes Knights)
16 Lee Geary (Long Eaton Invaders)

Meeting Reserves:

Adam Portwood (Long Eaton Invaders)
Sam Ward (Stoke Spitfires)

The Freestyle Show

Monday, September 9th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

The Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium hosts an event with a difference on Saturday 14th September that begins with a Speedway meeting followed by two sessions of Freestyle Motocross. The day boasts fantastic entertainment from start to finish, with speedway racing getting the show on the road at 1.00 pm with fifteen heats consisting of four qualifying races, ten main event heats and a Grand Final where the winner takes all.

Six of the competitors ride regularly in the Elite League with Rory Schlein returning to Leicester for the first time since he rode in the 2011 Pride of the Midlands meeting. Danny King, the inspirational captain of the table topping Birmingham ‘Brummies’ is included in the line-up and also Lewis Bridger who represented Team GB in this season’s Speedway World Cup. Richie Worrall, who is having a highly successful year with King’s Lynn and Newcastle, has accepted an invitation to ride and so too has Ashley Birks, captain of the Premier League Champions, the Scunthorpe Scorpions along with the teenage sensation Adam Ellis who rides for Ipswich. Local interest will be provided by the captain of Leicester, Kevin Doolan, who is a popular figure in the Lions team. Completing the line-up are four British riders; Chris Widman, a recent winner of the Mick Spiers Memorial Trophy who rides in the National League for Isle of Wight and his teammate Brendan Johnson; Lee Geary the captain of the Long Eaton team and the Stoke Potters rider Shaun Tedman.

After the speedway meeting has ended the show moves on to feature the Freestyle Motocross event. This is a raw motorsport full of adrenaline where stunt riders showcase a wide selection of motocross tricks to music. Many of these moves will result in the rider exiting their seat, taking their hands off the handlebars and rotating their body around the bike.

“If you haven’t seen Freestyle Motocross before then you are in for something very special. The riders will jump from portable ramps placed on the centre green, reaching heights of around 40 feet and performing a fully choreographed stunt show. The riders will often take off one after another and perform stunts which involve completely letting go of the bike. The gates open at 11.00 am so come along to The Freestyle Show, cheer on the speedway riders and enjoy the sport you love and at the same time see something different” commented the Lions Co-promoter Alan Jones.

Vital match for the Lions

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

It is a make or break fixture for the Harry Jordan Haulage Lions at Newcastle on Sunday as the team need the match points to give them a chance of making the play-offs later this season.

“We are currently level on match points with the Redcar Bears who also have one fixture remaining. They are at Rye House on 14th September so whatever happens at Newcastle on Sunday it will mean we have to wait six days to know who goes through.

“So every point will count in our meeting at Newcastle as the question of who makes the play-offs between us and Redcar could be decided on the differential between points scored for and against. It is that close. Newcastle have an unbeaten home record in the Premier League this season but two clubs have come away with a draw and Edinburgh won there in the cup so they are not totally invincible.  We have to concentrate on the task ahead of us and create the same mood as we did when we won at Redcar last month and then anything is possible” commented the Lions Co-promoter Alan Jones.

Leicester are hoping that Kevin Doolan, who missed the win over Edinburgh on Saturday with a broken rib sustained whilst riding for Lakeside in the Elite League, will be fit to take his place in the side. Doolan is planning to have a workout the day before to determine whether he is fit to race at Newcastle. If Doolan fails his fitness test then Leicester will cover for his absence by utilising the rider replacement facility as will Newcastle who are without the injured Stuart Robson. Meanwhile the Lions captain Kauko Nieminen is booked in to have an operation on the shoulder he injured whilst riding for Leicester against Rye House last month.

Lions make two changes

Thursday, August 29th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

Saturday’s meeting against the Edinburgh Monarchs brings to an end Leicester’s home fixtures in the Premier League and the Lions welcome back Alex Edberg who has missed six of the last seven matches through injury.

Leicester make two changes to the team to face Edinburgh with the inclusion of Linus Eklöf and Simon Nielsen, two former Lions riders who replace Kauko Nieminen and James Sarjeant. The Lions captain has been ruled out for the remainder of the season and will undergo an operation soon on his injured shoulder.

“It is a blow to lose Kauko at such a critical part of the season but it is more important for him to have the operation now as I understand the recovery period is in the region of four months so it makes sense to proceed and be ready for the start of next season. As soon as we knew the situation regarding Kauko we have moved quickly to cover for his absence by asking Linus to return to the club and we are thankful that he has been able to rearrange his life to answer our call of help. We are sorry to have to say goodbye to James who has bags of talent, a great attitude and a joy to work with. Unfortunately, we are really struggling to compete on an equal footing with every team we meet when it comes to the reserve races and therefore we feel the need to try and resolve the situation going into the final two fixtures which are a make or break time for us. The return of Alex Edberg following his injury and the re-engagement of Simon Nielsen at reserve is intended to give us greater experience where we have been lacking” commented the Lions Co-promoter Alan Jones.

Linus Eklöf joined Leicester in July 2012 and his presence helped the Lions to make the play-offs. Since then the twenty-four year old has raced back home in Sweden for Smederna and Griparna where he is a teammate of Edberg.

Edinburgh are certainties for a play-off position and all that remains now is whether they finish first or second in the table. It has not been all plain sailing though for the Monarchs who have had a couple of scares along the way when Redcar and Newcastle plundered the points at the Armadale Stadium which over the years has proved a stronghold and a watershed for visiting teams. Their away record though has compensated for the home reversals because out of eight meetings completed the Scottish club have picked up points in every fixture.

The Monarchs have arguably the best rider in the Premier League in Craig Cook who has had another terrific season with Edinburgh and not surprisingly he rides the Leicester circuit as well as anyone and is the current track record holder.

“It is a make or break night for us against Edinburgh where we have to win by seven points or more to stand any chance of a place in the play-offs. That is a tall order against the Monarchs who collectively as a team have increased their match average by over two points a meeting. That is some going indeed and it goes without saying that we have to get ourselves into the right mental frame of mind to make every race count” added Jones.

Nieminen and Edberg still out

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

Leicester face two very important fixtures over the Bank Holiday period that will go a long way to determining whether they make the play-offs or not. On Sunday the Harry Jordan Lions face the Berwick Bandits at home without two of their influential riders, Kauko Nieminen and Alex Edberg. The Leicester captain is still troubled by the shoulder injury he picked up during the last home fixture and Edberg will be testing out his fitness after the meeting on Sunday.

“After the win at Redcar last week we are back in the frame for a top six finish and it is very much in our own hands now whether we succeed or not. There are two teams in the top six who are within our reach and we have to believe that we can overhaul one of them in the final reckoning. But to do that we have to gain all three match points against Berwick on Sunday and go to Scunthorpe the next day and pick up at the very least a draw which will give us another two match points. It is going to be tight but if we duplicate the same ‘can do’ attitude as we did to surprise the Redcar team then anything is possible” commented the Lions Co-promoter Alan Jones.

Leicester will cover for the absence of Nieminen by sharing his rides out with his teammates in the two fixtures and have booked Ryan Douglas as a guest for Edberg against Berwick. On Monday the Lions have lined up a guest should Edberg fail his fitness test the day before.

There will be an additional six races after the senior event on Sunday when a Leicester Lion Cubs team ride against the Long Eaton Invaders for the Mick Spiers Memorial Trophy. Mick was born and bred in Leicester and was making great progress with the Long Eaton Invaders junior side when he died following a crash during a team training session. Mick was nineteen at the time and would have undoubtedly formed part of the side that won the Anglian Junior League in 1984. His name lived on at Long Eaton where the Memorial Trophy was raced for at junior level in the 1980’s and nineties up until the stadium closed for redevelopment.

The competition was contested on eight occasions at Long Eaton and the original trophy has been located and recently returned to the Spiers family. The trophy is an exact replica of Mick riding his speedway bike and the trophy will be on display inside the stadium main entrance for fans to view before the meeting.

“I was the speedway correspondent for Radio Trent, the Commercial Radio Station that sponsored the Invaders back in those days and remember Mick very well. He was certainly making good progress to become a professional speedway rider when the accident happened. We should never forget the people who are no longer with us and when the idea of a Memorial meeting was run past me I readily agreed. I am sure the two teams will put on a good show for Mick’s family on Sunday to mark the 30th anniversary of his death” added Jones.

Points needed at Redcar

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

It is an important day on Thursday for the Harry Jordan Leicester Lions who travel to Redcar to face the Bears in a Premier League fixture. The North-east club have surprised the pundits who wrote off the Bears in their pre-season forecasts and Leicester are in need of the match points after their home reversal against Rye House on Sunday.

“The Redcar team are full of confidence and sitting pretty comfortably in second place at the moment. We don’t have a particularly good record at the South Tees Motor Sports Park having only picked up one consolation bonus point there since we opened in 2011 but that is not to say that we won’t be going there fully committed. The Bears have lost once at home and drawn twice so they are not invincible as there have been days when it has not gone right for them. Both Kevin Doolan and Jan Graversen are former Redcar riders and we need a big performance from everyone to achieve a result” commented the Lions Co-promoter Alan Jones.

With Alex Edberg side-lined with an injury to his hand, the Lions have called upon Scunthorpe’s Ryan Douglas as a guest replacement on Thursday. The Australian, who is in his first season in British Speedway, scored nine points for his club earlier this month at Redcar and he will line-up at number six for Leicester who will also operate rider replacement for their injured captain Kauko Nieminen.

Alex Edberg set to return this weekend

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

The Harry Jordan Leicester Lions welcome back their high scoring reserve Alex Edberg for the back-to-back Premier League fixtures against the Rye House Rockets this weekend. Edberg has been out of the side since he was injured whilst riding for his Swedish club Griparna in early July and missed the home wins against Newcastle, Sheffield and Scunthorpe.

The Lions Co-promoter Alan Jones said: “Without being disrespectful to anyone we have missed the contribution that Alex Edberg makes to the lower end of the team. I believe that with Alex in the side we would certainly have collected three match points from the Newcastle fixture and most likely last Saturday against Scunthorpe. When your reserves are not firing it places a greater burden on the number five in the team, as in our case Magnus Karlsson, who has virtually been on his own in three of his four rides. That said the team have coped admirably throughout his absence.”

Leicester will be without Lasse Bjerre for the fixture in Hertfordshire on Saturday as he is competing in the UK Round of the World Under-21 Championship competition at Berwick but he will be back for the return fixture twenty-four hours later at Leicester. The Lions have booked the Sheffield rider Ricky Wells to guest for Bjerre and the New Zealander, who rides on an American licence, scored double figures for his club in a recent meeting at Rye House.

“Ricky is an acknowledged small track expert and we think that his experience will be an added advantage to us so hopefully we have chosen the right person for the task. Our target has to be a minimum of four points from this weekend’s two fixtures against Rye House and that would give us such a boost going forward. Can we do it – well you have to believe we can! Rye House are coming into better form of late after a slow start and I estimate that on current form they are in a false league position at the moment so we can expect two intense meetings against them” added Jones.

Currently the visitors are picking up form after a quiet League Cup campaign that saw them finish out of the reckoning and a slow start in the Premier League where Rye House conceded the points at home to Plymouth and Newcastle. Since then a win at Sheffield and last weekend at Glasgow has seen them put some daylight between themselves and the bottom two clubs and with matches in hand over the teams immediately above them the Rockets have every opportunity to climb the table. It is in the Knock-out Cup where the Rockets have excelled with a semi-final tie with Redcar after wins in the earlier rounds against Glasgow and Sheffield.

David Howe deputises for Kauko

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

The Lions number one and captain of the team, Kauko Nieminen has been ruled out of Leicester’s Premier League fixture against Sheffield at home on Saturday. Nieminen, injured his knee during a fall whilst riding for his Swedish club Rospiggarna at the beginning of July which he further aggravated seven days later at Coventry when racing for Belle Vue in an Elite League match.

“Kauko had a scan on Tuesday and today he received the results which confirmed that he does not require surgery. It is a relief for Kauko and good news indeed for us as we feared the worst. His absence would have left a massive void in the team in terms of his scoring and leadership qualities” commented the Lions Co-promoter, Alan Jones.

Nieminen, is having a brace made to support his knee and is planning to practice in Finland before returning in time to take his place at the head of the team for Leicester’s home fixture a week on Saturday against Scunthorpe. It is not so good news for Alex Edberg who also picked up an injury whilst competing in the Swedish League. The free scoring Lions reserve rider is likely to be out of the side for a further two weeks and Team Manager Glyn Taylor is searching for a replacement for Saturday’s meeting.

In the meantime David Howe will deputise for Nieminen on Saturday and it will be the first occasion that the former British Under-21 Champion has ridden for his home town club since the sport returned to Leicester in 2011. Sheffield are also going through a spate of injuries which has disrupted their team planning. The visitors are missing Simon Stead who broke his leg during a practice session last month and he will be replaced by Nick Morris who last rode at Leicester for his club the Somerset Rebels. Morris was unbeatable that night and Somerset went on to break Leicester’s long sequence of home wins that stretched back to August 2011. The Tigers are making one further change as their young reserve Damien Koppe is also ruled out and his place is taken by James Sarjeant who rides for Coventry’s National League team.

Pride of the Midlands Line-up

Saturday, July 20th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

The final two places in the Pride of the Midlands meeting have been confirmed as Workington’s Richard Lawson and Jason Bunyan who rides for the Rye House Rockets. The line-up, in draw order is as follows:

1. Thomas Jorgensen
2. Henning Bager
3. Sergey Darkin
4. Richard Lawson
5. Kevin Doolan
6. Nicolai Klindt
7. Adam Roynon
8. Jason Bunyan
9. Jake Anderson
10. Michael Palm Toft
11. Jonas Raun
12. Lasse Bjerre
13. Ricky Ashworth
14. Jan Graversen
15. Patrick Hougaard
16. Roland Benko

Meeting Reserves

17. Chris Widman
18. Lee Geary

Sergey Darkin returns to Leicester

Thursday, July 18th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

Leicester Speedway’s premier individual meeting of the season takes place on Sunday when sixteen riders battle for the honour of winning the Pride of the Midlands competition. The event has been dominated by the Danes, when first of all Patrick Hougaard was the recipient of the trophy two years ago and the destination of the silverware last season was only decided after a run-off between two Leicester riders, Lasse Bjerre and Kauko Nieminen, which was won by the Danish teenager.

There are some familiar names in the line-up that will add interest to the event as Sergey Darkin, the former Russian National Champion, is making a special visit to Leicester to ride in Sunday’s meeting. During his time at the club Sergey made twenty-five appearances, scoring a total of 195 points and was the first rider of the new era to piece together an unbeaten race-card when he scored fourteen and one bonus point against Rye House at home in April 2011. After leaving Leicester, Sergey moved up into the Elite League with Swindon and that was the last time that he was seen on British tracks. Nowadays Sergey rides in the Russian League for Salavat.

Adam Roynon, who was hailed as a major signing by the Lions at the start of the season, is also appearing at the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium. His stay was one of the briefest on record having completed just one match for the Lions in their League Cup fixture at Scunthorpe. It has been a long process of convalescence for Adam who is on the way back to form having won the Young Guns meeting at Sheffield two weeks ago. Simon Nielsen who started the season at Leicester is included and so too is the former Lions rider Henning Bager who came third in last season’s event.

“Since we announced the draw for the event during the interval of last Saturday’s meeting against Newcastle there has been three withdrawals due to injury. Ashley Birks who was involved in the accident with Christian Henry during the first race against Newcastle whilst guesting for Leicester is out of the event due to a fractured scaphoid. So too is Jari Mäkinen who broke his leg on Tuesday and Kauko Nieminen has had to pull out as the knee he injured is still very swollen. Provided the swelling has subsided Kauko is booked in for a scan on Tuesday and we will know more about the extent of his injury during the week” reported the Lions co-promoter Alan Jones.

With three places to fill, Ricky Ashworth the number one in the averages at Berwick has agreed to ride and so too has Jake Anderson, who rides for Plymouth and did very well on his first visit to Leicester in May when the Australian scored eight points. Jones said: “We are currently in the process of looking for someone to replace Kauko and soon as that has been completed we will announce the name and the full line-up in draw order.”

Scunthorpe have two representatives in the meeting as Thomas Jorgensen, a heat leader with the Scorpions, who was a key person in their Premier League Championship title winning team last season makes an appearance and so too does new signing Nicolai Klindt. The Dane has bags of Elite League experience having ridden solely at the highest level since his debut for Wolverhampton in 2008. It will be the Dane’s second appearance in the Pride of the Midlands, having ridden in the first staging in 2011.

Making his debut in the competition on Sunday is the double Under-21 British Champion Joe Haines who was last here for the Kauko Nieminen Testimonial meeting. Joe reached the British Final this year after scoring eight points in the qualifier on his home track and is producing some of his best form of the season so far. Since we announced the draw we have heard that Kozza Smith, the Berwick heat leader, is unable to appear so this leaves another place to fill.

Jan Graversen, a match winner on his own track at Leicester, is in the line-up and so too is Kevin Doolan who has become a great favourite since joining the club in the winter. The two join Lasse Bjerre to make it three Lions riders who will compete for the title of the Harry Jordan sponsored Pride of the Midlands trophy.

The fifteenth rider to be added to the list is Roland Benko an eighteen year old Hungarian who is in the UK at present gaining as much riding experience as he can. The teenager top scored with fifteen points for his country in a challenge match win against Poland in June and a month earlier totalled seven whilst representing Hungary in a World Cup qualifying round against the USA, France and Italy.

Alex Edberg ruled out!

Friday, July 12th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

Alex Edberg suffered a broken hand, two fingers and collar-bone whilst riding for his Swedish League club Griparna last night. The incident happened in Edberg’s first race when his team partner Robin Tornkvist was responsible for the crash. Alex was unable to take avoiding action and was awarded second place but neither took any further part in the meeting.

“It is a real blow to lose Alex for what may be several weeks as he was scoring so well and had bolstered the lower end of the team. For tomorrow’s fixture against Newcastle Simon Nielsen will guest for us at number six and we have to thank Simon for changing his arrangements at such short notice to help us out and also Plymouth who have agreed to our request to borrow him for the night” commented the Lions co-promoter Alan Jones.

Lions at full strength on Saturday

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

The Newcastle Diamonds, one of the in-form teams in the Premier League at the moment visit the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium on Saturday. The North-east club are riding on the crest of a wave having just made it through to the League Cup Final after completing an aggregate win over Sheffield last weekend. Newcastle are the only team left unbeaten at home this season in the Premier League and although they were held to a draw against Ipswich recently, the Diamonds are well placed with matches in hand over the leading group of clubs.

“Apart from Newcastle everyone has lost at least one home fixture and we have to count on not losing another. A win on Saturday is a must because I cannot see any of the top six dropping further points at home and we have to be on our very best form to succeed. When you take a look at their team statistics the one fact that jumps out at you is that five of their riders have increased their race points’ average from the figures they started with at the beginning of the season. That says a lot about the task that awaits us. Promoter George English has put together a compact septet and the synergy within the side is working as they are delivering championship form away from home” said the Lions co-promoter Alan Jones.

Leicester welcome back Lasse Bjerre to the side after injury and are at full strength for the first time since their last home fixture when Somerset ended the Lions unbeaten home record in the Premier League. Jones went on to say: “the longer our home Premier League unbeaten record went on the more our expectations grew but I think we all knew deep down inside that good things always come to an end. That is out of the way now and we have to forget about the result and starting on Saturday push on to seal a win to consolidate our position as play-off candidates.”

On Sunday the Harry Jordan Lions have another big day ahead of them at Peterborough when the team set out to go one step further in the Premier League Fours’ competition. Leicester have twice finished runners-up in the final and this year are drawn in Group B alongside Somerset, Edinburgh and Newcastle. The two highest scoring teams progress to the final where they meet the winners and second placed team of Group A. “We can expect a large turn-out of fans at the East of England Showground to cheer on the team and whilst our Group on paper looks to be the strongest there is every chance that we can achieve our goal of reaching a third final where anything can happen on the day” added Jones.

Leicester have named their riding order of Magnus Karlsson, Lasse Bjerre, Kevin Doolan and Kauko Nieminen with Alex Edberg at reserve.

Trip to Ipswich cancelled

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013 | Fixtures, News

Leicester’s fixture at Ipswich on Thursday 11th July when the Lions were due to race the Witches in the John Berry Memorial meeting has now been cancelled. The club accepted an invitation to honour the Witches former promoter but due to the non-availability of three riders and possibly four the format of the meeting will not include the Leicester team.

“When we accepted the invitation prior to the start of the season we did not have Magnus Karlsson or Alex Edberg in the team and therefore our original seven riders were available to race at Ipswich. The picture has changed since then of course and now Magnus and Alex are required to fulfil league fixtures back home in Sweden on the day we were due at Ipswich, Lasse is injured and Kauko is awaiting confirmation as to whether he will be required to race for Rospiggarna. So all in all Ipswich felt it best to scrap the idea of us possibly only turning up with three riders and instead to change the fixture” commented the Lions co-promoter Alan Jones.

Karlsson and Edberg return

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013 | Fixtures, News

The Harry Jordan Lions welcome back their two injured Swedish riders, Magnus Karlsson and Alex Edberg to the side for their trip to Workington on Saturday. Both riders missed the match at Edinburgh where Leicester went down by 52 points to 37 after leading with six races to go.

Saturday’s fixture is a top of the table clash between the Premier League leaders as the Comets are two points ahead of Leicester with a match in hand. Leicester though will be without Lasse Bjerre who is ruled out following an injury he sustained whilst playing football in Denmark on Sunday. The teenager has suffered a nasty cut to the inside of his lower arm and has damaged the blood vessels. The injury has required stitches to his lower arm and hand and doctors have advised Lasse to rest for at least ten days after the surgery which rules him out of the fixture at Workington and Ipswich next week.

“Magnus has been carrying a shoulder injury now since the beginning of June and Alex hurt his foot during our last home fixture against Somerset so it will be a boost to the team to have them both back on Saturday. Unfortunately, as they return we then lose Lasse so will be requesting permission to operate rider replacement for him at Workington.

“The race to be one of the six teams to qualify for the play-offs is really hotting up now and Saturday is seen as an important fixture for us. We have to deliver a top performance at Derwent Park where the Comets are near invincible on their own circuit. Both Kauko Nieminen and Kevin Doolan are former Workington riders so hopefully their track knowledge will stand us in good stead. Fortunately, as Lasse is second in the club’s averages Glyn Taylor will have the pick of the other five riders to choose from for the replacement rides” commented the Lions co-promoter Alan Jones.

Lions make further change

Friday, June 28th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

Micky Dyer has had to turn down the chance of riding for Leicester at his former track tonight due to his engines going in for service. The Lions have now engaged Peterborough’s Dakota North for tonight’s Premier League fixture against the Edinburgh Monarchs.

Leicester will now use rider replacement to cover for Magnus Karlsson and North will take the place of Lasse Bjerre in the team.

Lions make late change

Thursday, June 27th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

The Harry Jordan Lions have been forced into two late changes for their Premier League fixture at Edinburgh tomorrow night. Alex Edberg, who injured his foot in the meeting against Somerset on Saturday, has not recovered in time and Adam Ellis the teenage Ipswich reserve will take his place at number six in Leicester’s team.

Also missing is Magnus Karlsson who rode through the pain for Leicester at the weekend. The Lions Heat Leader crashed earlier this month whilst riding for his Swedish club Ornarna and despite treatment this week is not fit to ride at Edinburgh. The Lions have engaged Micky Dyer the former Monarchs rider to take his place at Armadale.

Teams:

Edinburgh: 1. Craig Cook, 2. Derek Sneddon, 3. Theo Pijper, 4. Jozsef Tabaka, 5. Claus Vissing, 6. Tommy Fenwick, 7. Max Fricke

Leicester: 1. Kauko Nieminen, 2. Jan Graversen, 3. Kevin Doolan, 4. Rider Replacement, 5. Micky Dyer, 6. Adam Ellis, 7. Robert Branford

FIM Flat Track Cup

Thursday, June 27th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

On Saturday at the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium there is racing with a difference as the venue is the stage for a FIM Flat Track Cup, Gold Trophy Championship event. Leicester Stadium has been selected by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) to host the UK Round of this competition, which breaks new ground as it is a first occasion the competition has been staged in this country. Afterwards the series moves on to Slovakia in July followed by two rounds in the Czech Republic with the final and sixth meeting in Italy during October.

Last season’s competition ended with a gold medal for Vesprini Fabrizio of Italy who finished top of the leader-board, just four points ahead of Tom Woolley who rides speedway for the Buxton Hitman in the National League.

The first staging of the 2013 competition opened earlier this month at Forssa in Finland. Fabrizio started his defence of the title in good form having finished second to the home rider Janne Rantala of Finland in Round 1 and just four points separate the two riders entering Saturday’s meeting. Amongst the field at Leicester is Aidan Collins, the son of the former captain of the Leicester Lions, Les Collins. Aidan is the reigning British Flat Track Champion and a serious contender for a place on the rostrum.

Normal speedway admission prices apply and the first race gets underway at the usual time of 7.30 pm. This meeting is valid for season ticket members.

Lasse missing at Edinburgh

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

Leicester travel to Edinburgh on Friday for their Premier League fixture against the Monarchs without Lasse Bjerre who has been selected by the Danish Motor Union to represent his country in the opening round of the World Under-21 Championship competition in Poland the following day. The Lions will cover for the teenager’s absence by giving additional rides to four of his teammates as they go in search of league points to boost their position as leaders of the Premier League.

Team Manager Glyn Taylor is awaiting news from Alex Edberg as to his fitness. The Swede who joined Leicester from Berwick last month hurt his foot during the home defeat against Somerset on Saturday. It was first feared that Edberg had broken his foot but a further examination revealed that he had suffered damaged ligaments and hopes to be fit to ride in Scotland.

“Edinburgh suffered a surprise defeat at home to Redcar at the beginning of the month but generally they have a very good record and are hard to beat at Armadale. Being without Lasse makes the task much harder for us but we are fortunate in some ways that he is positioned second in the club’s averages which means we are entitled under the rules to select any four riders in the team to take his rides” commented the Lions co-promoter Alan Jones.

The Monarchs are still without Mitchell Davey who is not quite ready to return to the side following his broken wrist and so the club have drafted in local teenager Tommy Fenwick at reserve.

Lions team for Peterborough

Thursday, June 20th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

Team Manager Glyn Taylor has named his side for the Premier League Fours’ competition at Peterborough on Sunday 14th July. Kauko Nieminen, Lasse Bjerre, Kevin Doolan and Magnus Karlsson will carry the hopes for success along with Alex Edberg as the meeting reserve. Taylor will decide the actual riding order nearer the time.

The Lions have twice just missed out on first place in the final having conceded second best to Ipswich in 2011 and Berwick last year.

“When you have four riders of heat leader quality in every race it is impossible to forecast the result because after all there are no team partners to help one another so basically it is an individual meeting within a team event. No-one wants to let the side down so the pressure to perform is enormous. It is a great day out for fans and we have been so close to winning a major trophy which would mean so much to the club and our loyal fans if we can go one better this year” commented the Lions Team Manager Glyn Taylor.

Leicester have been drawn in Group B alongside Edinburgh, Somerset and Newcastle. The meeting starts at 2.30 pm on Sunday 14th July.

Leicester v Somerset Preview

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

The Harry Jordan Lions face a stern test on Saturday with the visit of the Somerset Rebels to Leicester.   The visitors came within a whisker of being crowned 2012 Premier League Champions; in fact it went down to the very last race of the season, only to be usurped by Scunthorpe. They had come close before, four years earlier when the Rebels came second. This time round though it went to a play-off situation and whilst they were again the bridesmaid, Somerset tasted success in the League Cup Final, beating Ipswich on aggregate over two legs.

“The Somerset team are always there or thereabouts in most competitions. They have an out and out number one in Jason Doyle and he receives strong backing from his fellow Australian countrymen Nick Morris and Josh Grajczonek. Along with a middle order of Alex Davies and Kyle Newman the visitors have a solid look about them” commented the Lions co-promoter Alan Jones.

Tipped by many to be the favourites for the Premier League Championship title, the Rebels took a knock to their aspirations when they forfeited their proud home record two weeks ago against Edinburgh. It was the first time that Somerset had been on the wrong end of a result since October 2011.

“Saturday’s match marks the half way stage in our fixtures and another three points are a must have situation. There have been some shocks recently and no doubt there are more to come. Who’d have thought that Somerset would have surrendered their unbeaten home record against Edinburgh, who themselves were still smarting from losing at home the week before to the surprise package of them all, the Redcar Bears. Newcastle winning at Ipswich was another big result for the Diamonds but then in the return match three days later the two teams fought out a draw which was a huge performance from the Witches as you have to go some to get a result up there on Tyneside.  Despite losing at home last week, Somerset have not just turned into a non-runner as they have too many quality riders in their side and it would be folly for us to discount them on Saturday” added Jones.

Leicester’s Team Manager Glyn Taylor has named the same riding order that beat Glasgow two weeks ago for the visit of Somerset who sit just one place off the play-off positions and are at full strength apart from their reserve Tom Perry who took ill at the weekend whilst riding for his National League club. Perry’s place will be taken by the former Lions rider Lewis Blackbird.

Lions unchanged for Glasgow visit

Thursday, June 6th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

The Harry Jordan Lions return to Premier League action on Saturday with the visit of the Glasgow Tigers to Leicester and Team Manager Glyn Taylor has decided not to make a change to the side following Adam Roynon’s return to the sport on Sunday in the Testimonial meeting for Kauko Nieminen.

“It has been the most important decision we have had to make regarding team selection since we opened in 2011. It was agreed with Adam that he would work towards a comeback in Kauko’s Testimonial meeting where points were not at stake as it would be a nice event to ease his way back in and then see where we went from there depending on how he came through it.

“After Adam’s accident Magnus Karlsson stepped in at such short notice to help us out and his form of late particularly on away tracks at Glasgow and Plymouth cannot be ignored. Adam as we all know is a class act and gives everything so you can see the predicament we were in. After Sunday’s meeting we had to make a quick decision either way for the sake of Magnus and Adam. So rather than change a winning team we have decided to allow Adam the opportunity to find another club and have circulated his name as available and wish him well” commented the Lions co-promoter Alan Jones.

Leicester are currently top of the league table and go into the fixture against Glasgow hoping to complete the double over the Scottish club and extend their unbeaten run to seven matches. The Tigers have selection problems following the announcement earlier in the week by James Wright that he was taking a break from the sport and have co-opted the Scunthorpe rider Ashley Birks to deputise. Added to their woes Joey Ringwood is missing due to a swollen knee following a crash in the home fixture against Edinburgh two weeks ago and so Glasgow are operating the rider replacement facility to cover for their absent Australian.

Kauko’s big day!

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

Kauko Nieminen, the Leicester Lions captain, celebrates eleven full seasons in British Speedway with a Testimonial meeting at the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium on Sunday. Nieminen signed for Leicester in July 2011 and his presence soon helped to improve Leicester’s results as the Lions ended the season on a winning note and second place in the Premier League Fours’ Final.

The three times Finnish National Champion will take his place in a Leicester team to face a Kauko Select seven which includes one of Team GB’s rising stars in Craig Cook. The Edinburgh rider is a Leicester track specialist; having broken Nieminen’s track record for the circuit during the first heat of last week’s meeting and has been chosen as a reserve at the British Grand Prix at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday.

Cook’s teammates will include Adam Roynon who returns to the sport after picking up an injury on the first day of the season. Roynon, who was a winter signing, made his debut in the afternoon meeting for Leicester at Scunthorpe but later that evening he was involved in a crash whilst riding for his parent club the Coventry Bees. Now given the all-clear to race again, the Testimonial at Leicester will be Adam’s first meeting back on the track.

Kim Nilsson who was a teammate of Nieminen’s in the Elite League at Lakeside will be making his first appearance at Leicester and leading out the side is one of Nieminen’s closest friends Rusty Harrison. The Australian befriended Nieminen when he first came to the UK in 2002 and helped him settle into the British way of life. Both were riding for the Comets at the time and were in the same team that won the Premier League Fours’ Final.

Joe Haines, a double British Under-21 Champion and Sheffield Tiger has also accepted an invitation to ride and so too has one of last season’s favourites at Leicester, Jari Mäkinen. Completing the ‘Select’ team is Henric Lindqvist, a nineteen year old who is making his British track debut and has impressed Nieminen during their time racing together in the Swedish Allsvenskan League for Rospiggarna.

“When Kauko Nieminen first came to Leicester in 2011 we were in the midst of a poor run of form but his arrival heralded the start of a new beginning really for the club as our results began to pick up. Since then our stature has steadily grown and we will be forever grateful for Kauko’s leadership as captain of the Lions. People who have met Kauko talk warmly about the man, not just from a riding perspective but about him as a person. He has given eleven full seasons to British Speedway and we sincerely hope that fans turn out in large numbers on Sunday in support of a truly nice guy” commented the Lions co-promoter, Alan Jones.

There will be an element of nostalgia to savour as well on the day as Les Collins, the last captain of the first era of the Lions and a former World number 2 will open the proceedings with a number of demonstration laps of the track.

Why not have a pre-meeting drink in Yulia’s Bar which will be open from 1.00pm.

Tickets for the Testimonial are on sale on the day of the meeting at the stadium ticket office from 1.45pm and normal Leicester Speedway admission prices apply. The parade of riders will take place at 3.45pm with the first race at 4.00pm.

Tigers make change at Number One

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

OLLY Allen will stand in for the Sheffield number one Simon Stead in tomorrow’s Premier League meeting with Leicester at Owlerton. Stead has failed a fitness test as he has insufficient strength in his hand and shoulder but Allen, who rides for Rye House and Coventry, has agreed to make a guest appearance. The Sheffield Window Centre side are boosted by the return of Richard Hall the former Leicester captain for the meeting after a two week break.

Why not dine and enjoy watching the racing action from the best seats in the house in the comfort of the stylish glass fronted Panorama Restaurant as the Lions go head to head with the Tigers for Premier League points. To reserve a table please telephone 0114 234 3074

Premier League Best Pairs

Monday, May 27th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

On Friday 31st May Lasse Bjerre and Kevin Doolan will represent Leicester in the Premier League Best Pairs Final competition at Somerset. The Lions duo have been drawn in Group B alongside pairs from Edinburgh, Workington, Plymouth and Sheffield. The top two pairings from each group progress to the semi-final stage with the winners going through to a grand final. Leicester reached the semi-final stage last season only to go out against the Scunthorpe Scorpions.

Karlsson to miss Sheffield fixture

Monday, May 27th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

The Harry Jordan Haulage Lions who are in the midst of their best spell since the return of the sport in 2011 travel to Sheffield on Thursday in search of another win to cement their position at the top of the Premier League table. Leicester though will be without their in-form heat leader Magnus Karlsson who has a prior commitment back home in Sweden so the club have asked Coventry’s National League rider James Sarjeant to stand-in on the night.

“It is unfortunate that we are without Magnus at Sheffield for what is an important fixture for us, particularly as we are on a roll with five consecutive league wins to our credit. Magnus is required to ride for his Swedish club Ornarna in an Allsvenskan League fixture and they have first call on his services as Magnus did not re-join Leicester until after he had signed for them” explained the Lions co-promoter Alan Jones.

Sarjeant, who recently appeared for Leicester earlier this month when he deputised for Robert Branford in the fixtures against Berwick and Ipswich, takes the number 2 race jacket and Jan Graversen moves to four in the line-up with Kevin Doolan occupying the number five position normally occupied by Karlsson.

Sheffield Team:

1. Simon Stead, 2. Facundo Albin, 3. Joe Haines, 4. Richard Hall, 5. Ricky Wells, 6. Damien Koppe and 7. Jake Knight

Leicester Team:

1. Kauko Nieminen, 2. James Sarjeant, 3. Lasse Bjerre, 4. Jan Graversen, 5. Kevin Doolan, 6. Alex Edberg and 7. Robert Branford

Lions face double date with Devils

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013 | Fixtures, News

The Harry Jordan Haulage Leicester Lions visit the team currently rooted at the bottom of the Premier League table on Friday, the Plymouth Devils. The Devon club have started the season with two defeats on the road at Redcar and Edinburgh and in the return the following night the Scottish club achieved the double.

Plymouth co-promoter Ashley Taylor says the club will keep faith with their current line-up for their fixtures against Leicester. “We will be taking a close look at things, especially with the new averages coming into force for the start of June, and want to make sure that any changes we make are the right ones for the Plymouth team.”

The Devils are led by the high scoring Australian Ty Proctor, who doubles up in the Elite League with Wolverhampton. Proctor is joined by their Swedish ace Ricky Kling, another rider with bags of Elite League experience from riding for the Poole Pirates last season and Mark Lemon who is still posting big figures despite celebrating his fortieth birthday earlier this year. Backing up their top three is Cory Gathercole who captain’s the side along with Todd Kurtz who recently starred for Australia in a World Under-21 Team Cup qualifier and recent signing Jake Anderson. Completing the side is Chris Schramm, the only British rider amongst a team of five Australians and a Swede!

“The Plymouth promotion has assembled a team that we thought would be a surprise package this year with plenty of experience and a dash of youth. Why it has not worked out for them so far is a mystery but we will not underestimate their capability especially around their own circuit where they have a very good record.” commented the Lions co-promoter Alan Jones.

Leicester will host the return fixture twenty-four hours later at the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium and have named the same side that completed a successful weekend’s racing with wins at home to Workington and away at Glasgow which propelled them into third place in the Premier League table. “The only positional change we have made for both fixtures is to switch the two reserves around so Alex Edberg moves to number six and Robert Branford to seven in the team for both fixtures” added Jones.

Lions face League leaders

Thursday, May 16th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

The Harry Jordan Haulage Lions play host to the Workington Comets at home on Saturday. The visitors are currently top of the Premier League table with twelve points from five matches and they will test Leicester’s unbeaten home record to the full.

“Workington will present us with a stern test of our resolve to maintain an unbeaten home record and they are big track specialists so should be relishing their visit here. They had an injury jinxed season in 2012 but still managed to be one of the fore-runners in the Premier League. Now they have resumed where they left off and are again a formidable outfit that oozes class and respect – but not too much respect as we cannot afford to stand on ceremony” commented the Lions co-promoter Alan Jones.

The Lions will be back to full strength for the first time in five weeks; the last occasion was their second leg Knock-out Cup win against Edinburgh on 13th April and the fixture will mark the new reserve partnership of Robert Branford and Alex Edberg. The British Under-21 Champion missed Leicester’s win against Ipswich last week due to a commitment to ride in a World Under-21 qualifier at Rawicz, Poland.

Meanwhile Workington are without Tero Aarnio who has four broken bones in his foot and will cover for his absence by operating the rider replacement rule and there is a fitness doubt over reserve Chris Mills.

It is a busy weekend for the Leicester team who the following day head north to race against the Glasgow Tigers. The Scottish club have begun the season in winning form having won four out of their first five home meetings and are led by two of British Speedway’s longest serving riders Joe Screen and James Grieves. Supporting these two evergreens is the former Leicester rider Henning Bager and winter signing from Somerset James Wright. The remainder of the side is made up by first year Premier League riders, Joe Jacobs, who also rides in the lower tier for Coventry, and two newcomers from Australia, Joey Ringwood and Harley Horwood.

“We have another long trip ahead of us on Sunday to Glasgow and last season we came back with the points. The Tigers have three new faces themselves in the team and with Scunthorpe coming away with a draw there last week we have to believe it is within ourselves to at least achieve a similar outcome as the Scorpions” added Jones.

STOP PRESS: We have been informed that Chris Mills is not fit to ride on Saturday and will be replaced by Cameron Heeps

Nieminen set to return

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

Leicester welcomes back their captain Kauko Nieminen to the team for this weekend’s meetings after he missed the fixture at Ipswich on Bank Holiday Monday due to mild concussion following a crash at Somerset the previous Friday.

Whilst Nieminen returns the Harry Jordan Haulage Lions will be without Lasse Bjerre again on Saturday for their visit to Berwick in the Premier League and also missing is Robert Branford as both riders are riding in a World Under-21 Championship qualifier in Rawicz, Poland. It will be the fourth consecutive match that Leicester have been one rider short and his team mates will again be expected to take extra rides to cover for Bjerre’s absence. James Sarjeant, who is the captain of Coventry’s National League side, will replace Branford and he retains his place for the visit of Ipswich to the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium the following day.

Berwick have team selection problems of their own as their number one Ricky Ashworth will miss the meeting on Saturday.  The Manchester-based racer suffered severe concussion in two recent high-speed crashes – at Glasgow and then a fortnight later at Edinburgh – and despite several neurological consultations has not yet been cleared again for action. The Border club are also without David Bellego who is riding in the same competition as Bjerre and Branford and will replace the Frenchman with a guest.

Ipswich, who won at home against the Lions on Monday by 53 points to 37, have named an unchanged line-up for their visit to Leicester on Sunday and apart from Branford Leicester will be at full strength. Bjerre is due to fly into the UK in the morning from Poland but as Branford is travelling overland he will not be available to make his home debut for the Lions.

“We won at Berwick last season and although the Bandits have lost three times at home already we are going there under no illusion that it will be easy. Three of our last four away results have been disappointing and whilst it is early days we just cannot rely on our home form to ensure we reach the play-off stage. Despite being without Kauko Nieminen at Ipswich on Monday we were in the meeting right up to the halfway stage. The return fixture against the Witches at Leicester on Sunday is one of the most attractive meetings of the year particularly as the visitors are led by Ben Barker who is a top performer in the Premier League. For us it is a must win match and we can take some satisfaction from the way we applied ourselves at their place” commented the Lions co-promoter Alan Jones.

Lewis leaves the Lions

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013 | Fixtures, News

The Harry Jordan Lions travel to Somerset tomorrow to face the Rebels in what is their first away Premier League fixture of the season. The meeting will mark the debut of their new signing Robert Branford who won the British Under-21 Championship last week. The nineteen year old takes the place of Lewis Blackbird who has decided to leave the club.

“After careful thought Lewis has asked to be allowed to move to another club where he will be guaranteed regular rides. He was due to share the role with new signing Robert Branford and now the British Under-21 Champion will occupy one of the reserve positions in the team on a full-time basis” commented co-promoter Alan Jones.

Blackbird made twenty-five appearances for Leicester with his best meeting coming in the opening fixture this season at Scunthorpe where he shared top spot on the score-board with Kauko Nieminen. “During the winter we set out on a policy of creating opportunities for young British riders to step up from the National League and into the next tier of racing at Leicester. Our initial entry before the start of the season did not get off the ground because Lewis Kerr, who was earmarked for a similar role, received an offer to go full-time at Newcastle and it has confirmed so far that our assessment of Kerr is proving spot on as Lewis is delivering good results for the Diamonds. We were undeterred and never lost sight of repeating the initiative resulting in an agreement with Robert Branford. Unfortunately we are back to square one again but we will park the idea for now and take stock of the situation at a later date” added Jones.

The Lions will be looking to improve upon previous visits to the Oak Tree Arena which has never been a good hunting ground. Somerset came within a whisker of being crowned Premier League Champions in 2012, only to lose the title in the very last race to Scunthorpe. The Rebels have started the season in winning form and are currently top of the Southern Section of the League Cup table, a competition they won last year.

The Lions are on the road again on Bank Holiday Monday where they are due at Ipswich in a Premier League fixture. The Witches started the season in good form and are poised to leapfrog defending Champions the Somerset Rebels in the Southern Section of the League Cup if they beat Plymouth later this month and have begun their Premier League campaign with a hard fought draw at Scunthorpe.

 “Last season we collected a consolation bonus point in the corresponding fixture and with Lasse Bjerre and Kevin Doolan, two former Ipswich riders in the side, we are looking to get something out of this meeting. Ipswich have won all of their home meetings so far but by only a two point margin against Rye House and Plymouth so there is quiet optimism that we can be as equally effective on Monday” commented the Lions co-promoter, Alan Jones.

British Youth Championships

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013 | Fixtures, News

The future of British Speedway is on show on Saturday at the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium when forty-one riders take part in the British Youth Championships. The competition is open to any British rider under the age of sixteen and the series will be staged at six different venues throughout the season and gets underway at Leicester.

There are three classes catered for, with a British Championship at 500cc and 250cc levels, and a 125cc support class. With over forty riders registered the 2013 series is going to be the biggest to date since its inception.

The competition is seen to be a stepping stone into league racing and last season’s winner of the 500cc event Josh Bates, is now riding for the Premier League Champions, the Scunthorpe Scorpions. This season there are a number of riders in the senior class who have previously ridden at Leicester and now compete in the thriving Midland Development League namely Belle Vue’s representative Michael Neale; Connor Mountain and Josh Bailey from King’s Lynn and Nathan Greaves who rides for the Milton Keynes Knights.

GB Youth co-boss Neil Vatcher said “I would urge fans to come along and cheer on the future talent for GB, and I’m sure many people will be surprised at that talent as we have riders as young as eight years of age coming through the ranks. There will be a total of 42 races, and we try to get the meeting finished in under three hours so the track action is always fast and furious. We would like to thank the following for their invaluable assistance in getting the British Youth Championships to the level we currently enjoy: our four series sponsors Friends of Speedway, Wessex Marina, NSSC and Duck Smart, and also the BSPA and SCB for funding of the events.”

For Leicester fans the interest will without doubt centre on the junior competition where their three mascots will be competing against one another for the first time. Luke Whitehead who is now into his third year as the Lions mascot and rode in the competition last season is joined by Leicester’s youngest club representatives, Dan and Joe Thompson. The twins aged eight years are making their first appearance in an official competition.

The first race gets underway at 5.30pm and admission prices have been reduced to £5.00 for adults, £2.50 for children aged between ten and sixteen and children under 10 are free.

Bjerre misses Redcar fixture

Thursday, April 18th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

The Harry Jordan Leicester Lions are without their Danish teenager Lasse Bjerre for the fixture against the Redcar Bears at home on Saturday. Bjerre is taking part in a meeting on his home track in Denmark which has been arranged by the Danish Motor Union to determine their country’s qualifiers for the World Under-21 Individual Championship competition which starts next month.

If Bjerre gets through as one of the qualifiers he will face a World Under-21 preliminary fixture next month at one of three venues, Chervonograd (Ukraine), Rawicz (Poland) or Lonigo (Italy). His absence means that the Lions go into Saturday’s meeting with six riders and rider replacement against a Redcar team that won at Berwick in the Knock-out Cup last weekend.

The Lions will be hoping to put their disappointment of going out of two cup competitions behind them and collect all three Premier League points. “As it is an official fixture covered by an agreement between the Danish Motor Union and the British Speedway Promoters Association we have no option but to allow Lasse to miss our match against Redcar. It is not ideal to have a gap in our team and means that all remaining six riders need to be scoring well to cover for Lasse’s absence” explained the Lions Co-promoter Alan Jones.

It will be the first occasion that Kevin Doolan will face his former club since his transfer during the winter to Leicester. The Australian ended the year with the highest match average for the Bears and the visitors have re-signed Ulrich Ostergaard, Aaron Summers, Matej Kus and Carl Wilkinson from the team that finished last season in ninth position. The new faces are Hugh Skidmore from Sheffield who set the first track record when the Leicester stadium opened in April 2011 and the Australian is joined by two fellow countrymen, Mitchell Davey and Micky Dyer.

Teams

Leicester: 1 Kauko Nieminen, 2 Rider Replacement, 3 Kevin Doolan, 4 Jan Graversen, 5 Magnus Karlsson, 6 Simon Nielsen and 7 Lewis Blackbird

Redcar: 1 Ulrich Ostergaard, 2 Hugh Skidmore, 3 Matej Kus, 4 Carl Wilkinson, 5 Aaron Summers, 6 Mitchell Davey and 7 Micky Dyer

Important three days ahead

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

Leicester face three important meetings in as many days which will define how their season will turn out in two competitions. First of all the Harry Jordan Lions travel to Sheffield on Thursday as Group 3 leaders of the League Cup competition and a point at Owlerton will secure their place in the semi-final draw. Sheffield can also qualify if they collect all three match points and both teams are at full strength.

“Let’s not kid ourselves, Sheffield are almost invincible at Owlerton where they have lost just eighteen Premier League matches in sixteen years. From these statistics you can begin to see that everyone has to be on their game on Thursday night. I believe that we are riding well enough to make a real go of it and have only one thought in mind and that is to win. We can afford to draw or as a bare minimum lose by six which will give us the bonus match point. But that is defensive talk when in fact we will be going there on the offensive” commented the Lions Team Manager Glyn Taylor.

Twenty-four hours later Leicester journey further north to Edinburgh where they take on the Monarchs in the first leg of the Knock-out Cup. The Scottish club are renowned cup specialists and are three times winners of the title.  Last year Edinburgh came close to making the final again but went out in the last stage to Ipswich.

“Edinburgh are another team with a very good home record and at the very least we need to keep in contention throughout the meeting up in Scotland to give ourselves a chance of outscoring them over the two leg tie. The rules of the competition do not favour the away team as there are no tactical changes a team manager can make to gain double points if their side is losing and as in any sport there is a higher percentage of home wins” explained Taylor.

The Lions make two positional changes to the team that gained a convincing win against Scunthorpe with Jan Graversen and Kevin Doolan switching places for all three fixtures.

Teams

Leicester:
1 Kauko Nieminen, 2 Jan Graversen, 3 Lasse Bjerre, 4 Kevin Doolan, 5 Magnus Karlsson, 6 Simon Nielsen and 7 Lewis Blackbird

Sheffield
1 Simon Stead, 2 Facundo Albin, 3 Joe Haines, 4 Richard Hall, 5 Ricky Wells, 6 Damien Koppe and 7 Jake Knight

Edinburgh
1 Craig Cook, 2 Derek Sneddon, 3 Theo Pijper, 4 Max Fricke, 5 Claus Vissing, 6 Marcel Helfer and 7 Jozsef Tabaka

Lions back at full strength

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013 | Fixtures, News

The Harry Jordan Haulage sponsored Leicester Lions complete their home fixtures in the League Cup competition on Saturday with a visit from the Scunthorpe Scorpions. The two clubs last met on Good Friday when Leicester pushed the home side to a last heat decider at the Eddie Wright Stadium in North Lincolnshire and the result in the return fixture is important to both teams to enhance their chances of being one of the four teams in the semi-final draw.

Leicester are buoyed by the inclusion of Magnus Karlsson who re-joins the club following the injury to Adam Roynon last week and he faces his old club on Saturday. “Magnus had a big following at Leicester during his eighteen months at the club and his return has been warmly received. Adam is still very much in our plans but competing with six of our riders up against a team of seven is not sustainable and as it is not clear how long Adam will be missing we had to move quickly to bring the Leicester team back up to strength” remarked the Lions Co-promoter, Alan Jones.

Scunthorpe are the Premier League Champions and have kept the nucleus of the side from last year with the only changes being at reserve where Josh Bates has been promoted from the lower tier of league racing and Ryan Douglas, a nineteen year old Australian, is a newcomer to British Speedway.

Teams

Leicester: 1 Kauko Nieminen, 2 Kevin Doolan, 3 Lasse Bjerre, 4 Jan Graversen, 5 Magnus Karlsson, 6 Simon Nielsen and 7 Lewis Blackbird

Scunthorpe: 1 Josh Auty, 2 Thomas Jorgensen, 3 Michael Palm Toft, 4 Ashley Birks, 5 David Howe, 6 Josh Bates and 7 Ryan Douglas

The Leicester Lion Cubs are in action for the very first time later in the evening when they take on the Mercia Vikings in the first round of the Midland Development League Knock-out Cup competition at the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium.

Lions face the League Champions

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

After the cancellation of Leicester’s pre-season warm-up match against the Coventry Bees the Harry Jordan Haulage Lions are thrust into a League Cup fixture at Scunthorpe on Good Friday without the advantage of a team practice match beforehand. It will not be the easiest of starts either for Leicester who face last season’s Premier League Champions who edged home by one point on aggregate in the Play-off Final against Somerset to win the title.

“Ideally we would have liked a meeting beforehand to get ourselves back into the swing of things but the same applies to the Scunthorpe riders. Kauko Nieminen and Kevin Doolan were hoping to get some laps under their belts in David Howe’s Testimonial meeting at Scunthorpe last weekend but that fell foul to the weather. It is an important meeting to go into cold for both teams particularly as so much is at stake so early in the season” commented the Lions Co-promoter Alan Jones. Leicester have been drawn with Scunthorpe and Sheffield and the winners of Group 3 will progress through to the semi-finals of the competition.

Scunthorpe: 1. Josh Auty, 2. Thomas Jorgensen, 3. Michael Palm Toft, 4. Ashley Birks, 5. David Howe, 6. Josh Bates and 7. Ryan Douglas

Leicester:  1. Kauko Nieminen, 2. Jan Graversen, 3. Lasse Bjerre, 4. Adam Roynon, 5. Kevin Doolan, 6, Simon Nielsen and 7. Lewis Blackbird

On Saturday Leicester host a fixture against the Sheffield Tigers at the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium and Taylor has named the same riding order. “The visitors have a solid top four but also have three riders who are starting out on a path to a career in the Premier League so it will be intriguing to see whether the trio will hit the ground running and so provide their top end scorers with enough points to see them win matches” added Jones.

Sheffield: 1. Simon Stead, 2. Facundo Albin, 3. Joe Haines, 4. Richard Hall, 5, Ricky Wells, 6. Jake Knight and 7. Damien Koppe

Lions open against Coventry

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

One of the aristocrat clubs of British Speedway, the Coventry Bees make their first appearance at Leicester’s Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium in a seven-a-side fixture on Saturday when the two teams race for the East Midlands Bowl.

Since returning to the sport in 2011 the Harry Jordan Haulage sponsored Leicester Lions have been bereft of regular local derby meetings so Saturday’s fixture is one to savour and for the longer standing Leicester supporters it will conjure up those heady days when Leicester met Coventry.

The pre-season opener against Elite League opposition will pose a stern challenge for Leicester against Coventry who are three-times league champions. Last year was not the best of campaigns for the Bees by their own high standards, although they did reach the final of the Knock-out Cup only to lose against Poole.

The visitors are geared up to rectify the situation with the acquisition of Krzysztof Kasprzak to front the Bees scoring and the Grand Prix rider will be a big draw-card on Saturday. It is the Polish International’s second spell with the club having arrived at Brandon in May 2010 when Coventry was in the midst of a run of poor form. His presence helped the Bees to climb the table and into a play-off position from where they won the league title with Krzysztof heading the team’s averages. The Bees number one rider holds the distinction of being the first person to complete a few laps of the Leicester track in the days leading up to the stadium opening and alongside Kasprzak at the helm of the Coventry team is Scott Nicholls who last season became British Champion for a record seventh time and is a world class rider of some considerable standing.

“This is a meeting that fans have been asking us to arrange and whilst there are no league points at stake the mere fact that the two clubs are facing one another for the first time in a full fifteen heat team meeting has created much interest and excitement” commented the Lions Co-promoter Alan Jones. “Saturday will be the first time that four riders will compete against one another following the track alterations last month and we are grateful to Lafarge Tarmac who kindly supplied different materials which enabled us to carry out the work at very little cost to the club” added Jones.

With the track now measuring 317 metres a new track record will be created in the opening race which will feature Krzysztof Kasprzak and Leicester’s captain Kauko Nieminen who holds the record for the fastest four laps when the circuit measured 321 metres.

A large attendance is expected and the stadium ticket office will be open at 5.30pm.

John Berry Memorial Trophy

Sunday, February 17th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

Leicester have accepted an invitation from Ipswich for the Lions to race against the Witches for the John Berry Memorial Trophy on Thursday 11th July. John, who presided over a golden era when Ipswich were one of the top clubs in British speedway passed away suddenly last year. The meeting will follow a 13-heat format with a traditional old style second half event.

Press, Practice and Preview Day

Monday, February 11th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

Friday 15th March has been set for Leicester’s press, practice and preview day at Beaumont Park when the team will be together for the first time. “Ideally the event should be staged at a weekend to allow fans the opportunity to attend if they so wish but we have taken into consideration the fact that three of the team live outside of the UK and to fly in for a few practice laps and then return home proves to be an expensive visit. We were mindful of this and therefore have decided to hold the event on the day before we open against Coventry” explained the Lions co-promoter Alan Jones.

The day starts at 1.00pm when the stadium gates will be open for people to come in and watch until 4.00pm when the session is due to finish. For people who cannot make the event due to work commitments there will be an opportunity for fans to meet the team during a Q and A forum which will be held in the Stadium bar that day from 5.00pm onwards. With David, Alan and Glyn also in attendance it is an ideal time to catch up on the latest news.

The East Midlands Bowl comes back to life!

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

The Lions will open their season at Beaumont Park on Saturday 16th March with a visit from their near neighbours the Coventry Bees who will race for the East Midlands Bowl. The competition was the traditional season opener between the two clubs that followed through to the last era of the Lions.

Leicester Promoter David Hemsley had this to say: “It is great to resurrect the East Midlands Bowl competition and the traditional rivalry from these two clubs who are full of history. This will be the first time in the modern era of Leicester Speedway that the two teams have come face to face on a full 1 to 7 basis and it is fantastic we have that opportunity here at Leicester. It is an excellent way to start our 2013 campaign, and it continues to demonstrate that Leicester Speedway is fully committed to operating at the highest level of competition. We look forward to the Grand Prix stars such as Krzysztof Kasprzak and British Champion Scott Nicholls gracing our shale and I am sure the supporters will turn out in force to support the Lions and the Bees when the oldest Midland’s derby of them all recommences on 16th March.”

Coventry will be at full strength apart from Adam Roynon who will be making his debut for the Lions against his parent club that night so the Bees will be tracking a guest for as a replacement. “No doubt this is a mouth watering opener for both Coventry and Leicester. This meeting will generate a big crowd and will give Leicester a real test against the mighty Bees. Our relationship is very good with Leicester and I am more than happy to take this challenge, We will be at full strength and this meeting will give the boys a chance to brush off the cobwebs. I think the Leicester promotion have done a great job with the club and I certainly hope they will join us in the top flight for 2014″ commented Mick Horton, Coventry Promoter.

Lions face an early test

Thursday, January 24th, 2013 | Fixtures, News

Leicester are set to launch their season with a trip to Scunthorpe, the current Premier League Champions on Good Friday when League Cup points are at stake. Twenty-four hours later the Lions entertain the Sheffield Tigers at Beaumont Park in the same competition and the team that finishes top of the group after meeting each other home and away will go forward to the semi-final stage. “It is an interesting start to the season having to face the league champions so early on. Scunthorpe have basically the same side that won the title but in contrast Sheffield have four new faces in the team” commented the Lions Co-promoter Alan Jones.

The first home meeting has been pencilled in for Saturday 23rd March but the type of fixture has yet to be agreed. “Ideally we do not want to start our season with an away meeting at Scunthorpe in the League Cup and therefore we are in discussions with another club as to the viability of a challenge match at Beaumont Park, possibly taking place the previous Saturday, but until the details are finalised we are unable to confirm the visiting team” added Jones.

The Lions embark on their Premier League programme with a visit from Redcar on Saturday 20th April and it will be the first occasion for Kevin Doolan who will ride against the club he left to join Leicester. With Adam Roynon and Jan Graversen also former Redcar riders, there will be great incentive to begin the competition with a win over the North-east side. During April, Leicester enter the Knock-out Cup with back-to-back meetings against Edinburgh with the winners going through to meet either Plymouth or Newcastle in the next stage.

Leicester to host MDL Final in 2013

Monday, December 31st, 2012 | Fixtures, News

Beaumont Park Stadium will again be the venue for the Midland Development League Riders’ Championship Final next season. “We see the benefits of a grass roots organised league structure whereby newcomers can gain valuable experience of different tracks and also to learn the techniques of team racing. As a club we are fully committed to doing our bit for junior development through our support for the Long Eaton Invaders and are delighted to be asked to stage the flagship Riders’ Championship Final again” commented the Lions Co-promoter Alan Jones.

“I’d like to thank both David and Alan for agreeing to stage this event for the second year running. The 2012 staging was a huge success and was enjoyed by both spectators and riders alike. It is our plan to once again run the meeting under the current GP format with 16 of the MDL’s best riders fighting it out to be crowned the 2013 champion. In line with MDL rules none of the riders will receive points and travel money for this event, however we will be offering a whole range of sponsorship packages to help the riders out. Details of these sponsorship packages will be available shortly, in the meantime anyone that is interested in coming forward to help can contact me at teamvikingsw@aol.co.uk or Laurence Rogers on laurencerogers@blueyonder.co.uk” stated Kelvin Lapworth, the Midland Development League Co-ordinator.

The final will take place on Saturday, 28th September with a 7.30 pm start-time.

Lions missing Bjerre

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 | Fixtures, News

Leicester prepare for their back-to-back play-off fixtures against the Somerset Rebels without Lasse Bjerre who has two prior engagements in the Czech Republic. The teenager also has had to withdraw from the re-staging of the Premier League Riders’ Championship Final at Sheffield on Sunday.

Bjerre’s rides in the two meetings against Somerset will be shared out between his teammates with the exception of Kauko Nieminen who, as the top rider at the club, is ineligible to deputise under the rules of the competition. The Lions are also missing Lewis Blackbird who broke his collarbone in the play-off fixture at Newcastle on Sunday and his place will be taken by Lewis Kerr who rides for King’s Lynn in the National League.

Leicester require a match point at the Oaktree Arena and three at Beaumont Park to guarantee them a place in the Grand Final against the winners of Group 1.

“It is a great shame that we are without Lasse for what are important matches for the club against Somerset. He had no alternative but to fulfil his contract to his main sponsor Jawa, which has been in his diary for some time now. Had these dates been firm fixtures in our calendar then Lasse would have been obliged to ride for Leicester but they were only ever pencilled in as reserved dates in the hope that we were to make the play-offs” said the Lions Co-promoter Alan Jones.

“The situation is not ideal for us but it is not insurmountable. There have been many examples of rider replacement working for a team but to be successful everyone has to be on their game” added Jones.

Teams (both fixtures)

Leicester: 1. Kauko Nieminen, 2. Rider Replacement, 3. Linus Eklӧf, 4. Jan Graversen, 5. Magnus Karlsson, 6. Jari Mäkinen and 7. Lewis Kerr

Somerset: 1. Jason Doyle, 2. Alex Davies, 3. Jesper B Monberg, 4. James Wright, 5. Claus Vissing, 6. Kyle Newman and 7. Tom Perry

Lions face high flying Diamonds

Thursday, October 4th, 2012 | Fixtures, News

Beaumont Park is expecting one of its largest attendances of the season on Saturday for the visit of the Newcastle Diamonds in a play-off fixture. The two teams last met at Leicester in June with the Lions gaining a narrow win by 46 points to 44.

It has been a wonderful year for Newcastle who finished the season top of the Premier League table which is no mean feat for any club in a super competitive league set-up. Their progress in the League Cup and Knock-out Cup competitions also has to be admired having reached the semi-finals in both.

The club has had to endure the loss of both Steve and Richie Worrall through injury which was a double blow but the Diamonds have kept the match points flowing. At home the only team to gain a bonus point was Ipswich that was until last Sunday when Somerset achieved the same outcome in a play-off fixture.

Fronting the Diamonds challenge on Saturday is Mark Lemon and Stuart Robson two of the most experienced riders in the Premier League. Supporting the duo are three riders who have upped their averages from the figures they started out with in March. Christian Henry, a winter capture from Glasgow, has put almost one and a half points on his CMA and Ludvig Lindgren and Claes Nedermark have both seen an upward trend of one additional point per meeting on their averages.

Newcastle have included two guest riders to cover for the Worrall twins on Saturday. One is the British Under-21 Individual Champion Joe Haines who rides for the Sheffield Tigers and was a recent visitor to Beaumont Park when he rode for Coventry in the Midland Fours’ event, scoring 6 points. The seventh rider is Paul Starke who rides in the National League for the Isle of Wight club.

“All three match points are a must against Newcastle and secondly we have to go for every available point on the table because in a tie situation it could be settled on points scored for and against that count. There is no doubt we are perceived to be the underdogs in Group 2. The results between Newcastle and Somerset last weekend has given Somerset the edge so Newcastle need to win here on Saturday. So that is our challenge to not only win but win handsomely. We are not kidding ourselves, it will be tough, very tough, but there are no easy meetings when you reach this stage of the competition and we need a great turn-out of people to add vocal support to cheer the team on” stated the Lions Co-promoter, Alan Jones.

Teams:

Leicester: 1. Kauko Nieminen, 2. Linus Eklӧf, 3. Lasse Bjerre, 4. Jan Graversen, 5. Magnus Karlsson, 6. Jari Mäkinen and 7. Lewis Blackbird

Newcastle: 1, Stuart Robson, 2. Claes Nedermark, 3. Mark Lemon, 4. Christian Henry, 5. Ludvig Lindgren, 6. Paul Starke and 7. Joe Haines

Lions boosted by Karlsson’s return

Monday, October 1st, 2012 | Fixtures, News

Leicester go into the Premier League Play-off’s on Friday at Somerset and welcome back Magnus Karlsson who missed the final league fixture at Workington following an injury sustained at Edinburgh the night before. Lasse Bjerre and Jari Mäkinen, who also picked up knocks on the Northern tour, have also confirmed their fitness in what is an important weekend for Leicester who face three matches in as many days with a visit from Newcastle on Saturday and the return fixture on Tyneside twenty-four hours later.

“Somerset currently head Group 2 after a convincing win against Newcastle on Friday and two days later they picked up a bonus point in the return fixture on Tyneside. The Rebels are in the driving seat and will be quietly confident of consolidating their position against us on Friday. Titles are won on performances away from your own backyard when you have to raise your game above the home team. That is where successful teams are judged as to whether they have the mental character to pull it off. In our group all three teams have not lost at home so something has to give. It will be tight and there is no leeway for errors which makes the play-off’s an exciting position to be in and hopefully we can do ourselves justice” commented the Lions Co-promoter, Alan Jones.

Teams

Somerset: 1. Jason Doyle, 2, Alex Davies, 3. Jesper B Monberg, 4. James Wright, 5. Claus Vissing, 6. Kyle Newman and 7. Tom Perry

Leicester: 1. Kauko Nieminen, 2. Linus Eklӧf, 3. Lasse Bjerre, 4. Jan Graversen, 5. Magnus Karlsson, 6. Jari Mäkinen and 7. Lewis Blackbird

Stars of the Future at Beaumont Park

Monday, September 24th, 2012 | Fixtures, News

Sixteen riders in the Midland Development League will be in competition against one another on Friday 28th September at Beaumont Park. The event is the first ever staging of a Riders’ Championship Final and the seven league clubs will be represented by their top two riders with two ‘Wild Cards’ invited to complete the number of contestants.

One of the two ‘Wild Cards’ is the Leicester born rider Chris Widman who will generate a great deal of local interest. The Leicester born rider who currently rides for the Buxton Hitmen in the National League starred for Long Eaton at their adopted Beaumont Park stadium last season and his high scoring points’ contributions helped the Invaders win the Midland Development League Championship. Widman will encounter strong opposition from a number of the contestants among them his former Long Eaton teammates Liam Rumsey and Lee Geary who are regulars at the Leicester track.

“Along with the Grand Final play-off this will be the showpiece of the MDL season and will give 16 of the league’s riders an opportunity to prove who the best is and I’m sure we are in for some very exciting racing. The meeting will take on the Grand Prix format with the top 8 riders after 20 qualifying heats going through to the semi-finals and then a grand final” stated the Midland Development League Co-ordinator, Kelvin Lapworth.

The parade of riders will take place at 7.15pm when they will be presented to the guest of honour, the 1991 World Speedway Champion Jan O’ Pedersen and the first race will start at 7.30pm.

Line-up

Ollie Greenwood (Milton Keynes), Michael Neale (Belle Vue), Martin Wrathall (Stoke), Lee Springthorpe (Halifax), Andy Braithwaite (Sheffield), Chris Widman (Long Eaton), Lee Geary (Long Eaton), Danny Phillips (Scunthorpe), Liam Rumsey (Long Eaton), Dan Greenwood (Coventry-Mercia), Tom Woolley (Sheffield), Shaun Tedham (Stoke), Nick Laurence (Milton Keynes), Martin Knuckey (Coventry-Mercia), Max Clegg (Belle Vue) and Tommy Fenwick (Scunthorpe). Meeting Reserves David Holt (Belle Vue) and Adam Kirby (Scunthorpe)

Elite League clubs at Beaumont Park

Thursday, September 6th, 2012 | Fixtures, News

Three Elite League clubs are coming to Beaumont Park on Saturday to compete against the Leicester Lions in a Midland Fours’ Team Tournament. The competition will be run over sixteen heats with one rider from each team in a race.

Leicester have named Magnus Karlsson, Lasse Bjerre, Jan Graversen and Linus Eklӧf as their quartet who will face stiff opposition from their neighbouring Midland clubs. The Lions completed their home Premier League programme on Sunday with a win against Workington which was the first time a Leicester team has achieved the feat in thirty-five seasons of league competition but their captain Kauko Nieminen who led the side to a club record will be missing as he has a prior engagement in Germany that day.

The meeting will be an opportunity for Leicester fans to see the Argentinian Nicolas Covatti, a new name to British Speedway. Covatti has recently joined Birmingham after being recommended to the club by Team Manager Phil Morris. Nicolas was a ‘wild card’ in the Italian Grand Prix last month and in only his third appearance for his new club he was the top scorer in the West Midlands derby against Wolverhampton at Perry Barr. Covatti will be joined by the Brummies’ captain Danny King and Josh Auty.

Wolverhampton have named a strong foursome that is headed by Nicolai Klindt and Ty Proctor but the one to look out for is Jacob Thorssell who impressed onlookers on his first visit to Leicester when he scored nine points in the Pride of the Midlands event. The Wolves team is completed by Pontus Aspgren.

Another one to watch is Max Fricke a trialist who will be riding for Coventry. Max delivered a dazzling performance on his first appearance on a British track last month in the Matthew Wethers Testimonial Meeting. The Australian took to the track and finished ahead of Kevin Doolan and Magnus Karlsson in his opening ride. It was the first time that Max had ridden a 500cc speedway bike in a competitive race and just to prove that it was no lucky ride he then beat James Grieves, Joe Screen, Charles Wright and Matthew Wethers. Such a baptism has him being watched by a number of clubs and Max who is being courted by Coventry has been practicing at Brandon and the Bees have no qualms about giving the newcomer a team place in the Midlands Fours’.

Joining Fricke in the Coventry team is Michal Szczepaniak and this will be his eighth appearance for the Bees since joining the club. Michal made his debut for the Bees in the home fixture against Swindon last month and achieved his best score in the defeat at Birmingham a week later when the twenty-nine year old ended the evening with ten points. The remaining two team members are still to be confirmed.

Team changes to both Lions and Comets

Saturday, September 1st, 2012 | Fixtures, News

Don’t forget tomorrow’s action at Beaumont Park starts at 6.00pm when the Lions face the Workington Comets in their last home Premier League fixture of the season.

Can the Lions retain their unbeaten home league record?

Ben Morley comes in for Lewis Blackbird who injured his wrist whilst riding for Mildenhall on Monday and the visitors have engaged Rohan Tungate for the injured Adam Roynon and Carl Wilkinson takes the place of Kyle Howarth.

Fans can also meet Linus Eklof between 4.30pm and 5.00pm.

Double fixture against the Comets

Thursday, August 30th, 2012 | Fixtures, News

Leicester’s Team Manager Glyn Taylor is keeping with the same pairing for Saturday’s away Premier League fixture at Workington with Magnus Karlsson continuing his partnership with Kauko Nieminen as the Lions opening pairing. With the new averages for September coming into effect for this match Jari Mäkinen and Jan Graversen change places in the team.

On their last visit to Workington in the Quarter Final of the Knock-out Cup the scores were close at the halfway stage only for Workington to push on to win by 54 points to 36. “It is a similar situation to the one we faced at Rye House on Monday when earlier in the season we did not do very well in a League Cup match down there. Workington are on a high having reached two cup semi-finals already and are one of our rivals in the chase for the league title. They are not there by luck and we have every respect for them but that is as far as it goes. Our mission is to at least take a point on Saturday and win our home meeting the following day” explained the Lions Team Manager Glyn Taylor.

The Workington fixture marks the last Premier League match at Leicester and the Lions have an unbeaten home record at Beaumont Park. Workington are still without their American Kenny Ingalls and continue to operate the rider replacement facility in his absence. Also missing for the same reason is Kyle Howarth and the Comets have appointed the Redcar rider Carl Wilkinson as a guest to take his place in the team.

Teams for Sunday

Leicester: 1. Kauko Nieminen, 2. Magnus Karlsson, 3. Lasse Bjerre, 4. Linus Eklӧf, 5. Jan Graversen, 6. Jari Mäkinen and 7. Lewis Blackbird

Workington: 1. Richard Lawson, 2. Tero Aarnio, 3. Rene Bach, 4. Rider replacement for Kenny Ingalls, 5. Adam Roynon, 6. Ashley Morris and 7. Carl Wilkinson

Large crowd expected

Saturday, August 25th, 2012 | Fixtures, News

The AFS (1993) Limited sponsored Pride of the Midlands event tomorrow afternoon is expected to draw a large crowd to watch some of the Premier League’s top performers on show together with the current holder of the title, Patrick Hougaard who rides in the Elite League for the Belle Vue Aces.

“With a number of fans returning home from Cardiff on the day of our event we have received confirmation that there are coaches stopping off at Leicester on their way back to Belle Vue, Glasgow and Ipswich and therefore we have invited riders from those clubs to give fans added interest. We believe that we have put together a line-up that will make it hard to predict who will be the eventual winner. We have invited back a number of riders who have excelled this season at the Beaumont Park track, and add in the first appearance of Adam Skornicki who is a big attraction, together with five of the Lions the stage is set for an exciting twenty heats of racing” stated the Lions Co-promoter Alan Jones.

On Monday the Lions return to team racing with a visit to Rye House where they will be looking to consolidate their position amongst the fore-runners in the Premier League table. Team Manager Glyn Taylor has made a positional change bringing together Kauko Nieminen and Magnus Karlsson as the opening pairing and moving Jari Mäkinen to number five.

Rye House will be without the former Leicester rider Jason Garrity who broke his hand whilst guesting for Mildenhall last week and his place will be taken by Ben Morley who rides for the Rockets National League team. With Charlie Gjedde still on the injured list following his crash at Leicester two weeks ago, Rye House have engaged Josh Grajczonek as a guest. The meeting will mark the debut of Simon Lambert who has just joined the Hertfordshire club from Stoke.

Teams

Rye House: 1. Josh Grajczonek, 2. Rider Replacement, 3. Anders Mellgren, 4. Simon Lambert, 5. Kasper Lykke, 6. Ben Morley and 7. Jason Bunyan

Leicester: 1. Kauko Nieminen, 2. Magnus Karlsson, 3. Lasse Bjerre, 4. Linus Eklӧf, 5. Jari Mäkinen, 6. Jan Graversen and 7. Lewis Blackbird

AFS (1993) Limited Pride of the Midlands

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012 | Fixtures, News

Joe Haines the British Under-21 Champion who rides for the Sheffield Tigers and Mason Campton the high flying teenage Australian who amassed seventeen points on his first visit to Beaumont Park complete the line-up for Leicester’s flagship individual event of the season, the Pride of the Midlands which takes place on Sunday 26th August at 2.30pm.

Leicester’s Co-promoter Alan Jones says: “There is a real mixture of talent on show ranging from those who are on an upward curve in their career to those at the top so the chemistry should make for an absorbing twenty heats of speedway. We are pleased that Patrick Hougaard accepted an invitation to return to defend the title he won last year and there should be plenty of competition to keep him on his toes.”

The line-up includes a number of top performers in Sam Masters, the reigning Premier League Riders Champion, the Plymouth rider Ryan Fisher who represented the USA in the World Cup earlier this season and Leigh Lanham from the Ipswich Witches. Two of Lanham’s teammates are also in the meeting, Rohan Tungate, who won four races at Beaumont Park earlier this month and Taylor Poole who collected a gold medal in the Premier League Fours’ Final at Leicester last season. Kasper Lykke, who made his British Speedway debut for Rye House at Leicester earlier this month and scored seven points’ is also included along with Henning Bager who rode for the Lions last season. There should be a large following from Wolverhampton to watch Adam Skornicki who spent eight seasons at Monmore Green. The former National Champion of Poland now rides for Start Gniezno in the Polish Division One League and Vargarna in Sweden.

Leicester will be represented by five of the current team, Kauko Nieminen, Lasse Bjerre, Linus Eklӧf, Jan Graversen and Magnus Karlsson who will be hoping to improve on his second place in the event last season.

“The event was launched last year and we hope to make the Pride of the Midlands competition a regular attraction in our fixture calendar. To do this requires additional investment to assemble a quality field that would do justice to the event and therefore we are grateful to AFS (1993) Limited who have come forward to underpin what we hope will be a great afternoon’s racing at Beaumont Park” added Jones.

During the interval the riders will be walking around the terraces collecting donations from fans for the Speedway Riders Benevolent Fund which is a worthwhile organisation that does so much good work in aid of injured riders.

At the end of the meeting there will be an auction of the special one-off AFS (1993) Limited Pride of the Midlands race-bibs and all proceeds raised will be donated by the company to their chosen charity, the Air Ambulance. So if you want to help a good cause and are interested in making a bid for a piece of history then listen out for the details of the auction on Sunday.

Draw

1. Kasper Lykke
2. Jan Graversen
3. Joe Haines
4. Leigh Lanham
5. Henning Bager
6. Ryan Fisher
7. Sam Masters
8. Taylor Poole
9. Lasse Bjerre
10. Patrick Hougaard
11. Rohan Tungate
12. Magnus Karlsson
13 Mason Campton
14. Adam Skornicki
15. Linus Eklöf
16. Kauko Nieminen
1st Reserve: Jari Mäkinen
2nd Reserve: Chris Widman

Important weekend for the Lions

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012 | Fixtures, News

Leicester make positional changes to their riding order for the visit to Berwick on Saturday with Jari Mäkinen moving into the number two position to partner his team captain Kauko Nieminen and Linus Eklӧf is handed the number four race-bib alongside Lasse Bjerre. At reserve Jan Graversen and Lewis Blackbird switch places.

“We seem to get more points out of Jari when he is partnered with Kauko who is a good tactician. Kauko always looks for where Jari is on the track and creates space to help him work his way into better scoring positions whenever he can. I have moved Jan and Lewis around so that when we arrive at the penultimate heat we have two experienced riders in Jan and Linus programmed to ride in that race. At Ipswich we were just two points down at that stage but conceded maximum points in heat 14 which cost us the match and at Scunthorpe last Friday we were again still in contention but lost out” said the Lions Team Manager Glyn Taylor.

Since they edged home ahead of Leicester in the final of the Premier League Fours competition at Peterborough last month Berwick have been beset with injuries. In their last home fixture on Saturday Berwick suffered a heavy defeat against Somerset and lost the services of their high scoring top rider Ricky Ashworth after he broke his shoulder in the first race. The Border club will cover for Ashworth’s absence with a guest rider and to add to their woes they are also missing their captain Lee Complin and Robert Branford through injuries but have signed Micky Dyer from Edinburgh and are giving a chance to an unknown Dane, Nicki Barrett who completes their side.

Teams

Berwick: 1. Guest rider for Ricky Ashworth, 2. David Bellego, 3. Nicki Barrett, 4. Robin Aspegren, 5. Sebastian Alden, 6. Micky Dyer and 7. Klaus Jakobsen

Leicester: 1. Kauko Nieminen, 2. Jari Mäkinen, 3. Lasse Bjerre, 4. Linus Eklöf, 5. Magnus Karlsson, 6. Lewis Blackbird and 7. Jan Graversen

A day later the Lions face Workington in the Quarter Final of the Knock-out Cup at Beaumont Park with the racing starting at the later time of 7.30pm. The first leg in Cumbria ended in a 54 points to 36 defeat for Leicester. After a bright start at Workington, which saw the Lions just two points behind after eight races, their chances evaporated in the latter stages. “Eighteen points is a tall order to pull back but not impossible and of course that figure is just to force a replay let alone take us through on aggregate. The team has the capabilities of reaching that number as twice this season we have scored 53 points against Glasgow and Plymouth but it does mean that we need everyone scoring points and a good start is essential” added Taylor.

At the start of this season the Workington Comets were tipped for a top three place in the league table and presently are joint third with Leicester. The visitors have also reached the semi-final of the League Cup and are one of the in-form teams of the moment despite losing two key riders, Kenny Ingalls and Kyle Howarth through injuries. Workington have enlisted Kyle Newman from Somerset to replace Howarth and will cover for Ingalls by sharing out his rides within the team.

Teams

Leicester: 1. Kauko Nieminen, 2. Jari Mäkinen, 3. Lasse Bjerre, 4. Linus Eklöf, 5. Magnus Karlsson, 6. Jan Graversen and 7. Lewis Blackbird

Workington: 1. Richard Lawson, 2. Tero Aarnio, 3. Rene Bach, 4. Kenny Ingalls (rider replacement), 5. Adam Roynon, 6. Ashley Morris and 7. Kyle Newman

Lions face two matches in two days

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012 | Fixtures, News

The Leicester Elliott Lions will be without their teenager Lasse Bjerre for the Premier League fixture on Friday at Scunthorpe as the meeting clashes with the final of the Danish Under-21 Individual Championship at the Vojens track. Leicester will operate the rider replacement facility which means that Bjerre’s rides will be shared out amongst his teammates.

“Apart from Kauko Nieminen who is ineligible to take one of Lasse’s rides we will have the choice of five riders and have decided to operate the rider replacement facility at number two in the team with Linus Eklӧf moving down one place in the order. We have two former Scunthorpe riders in the team in Magnus Karlsson and Jan Graversen whose knowledge should be invaluable. Jan has been the match winner in our last two home fixtures and I expect that he will have additional rides on Friday” commented the Lions Co-promoter Alan Jones.

On Leicester’s last visit to Scunthorpe in March for a pre-season challenge match the home side gained a slender 46 points to 44 win. Since then Scunthorpe have made changes with Nick Morris, a recent signing from Swindon, joining the North Lincolnshire club and Gary Irving another addition from Workington.

“Scunthorpe have moved up the league table and are now in fifth position. They are unbeaten in the league at home so far and we have to go there in the same frame of mind as we did last October when we broke their winning sequence of not having lost at the Eddie Wright Raceway since April” added Jones.

Teams:

Scunthorpe: 1. David Howe, 2. Ashley Birks, 3. Nick Morris, 4. Thomas Jorgensen, 5. Josh Auty, 6. Michael Palm Toft and 7. Gary Irving

Leicester: 1. Kauko Nieminen, 2. Rider Replacement, 3. Linus Eklӧf, 4. Jari Mäkinen, 5. Magnus Karlsson, 6. Jan Graversen and 7. Lewis Blackbird

On Saturday Leicester host the Rye House Rockets in a Premier League fixture and welcome back to the side Lasse Bjerre. It has been a disrupted year for the Rockets who had to contend with the non-arrival of Tyson Nelson due to visa problems and injuries to Chris Neath and Jordan Frampton before the season had hardly began. Their troubles continued when Luke Bowen broke his thigh and recently the former Leicester rider Jason Garrity has been side-lined with a broken thumb but he hopes to return on Saturday. The latest blow to hit the Rockets was delivered last week when Frampton announced his retirement which has forced the club to search for a replacement and during the week they completed the signing of eighteen year old Kasper Lykke who will make his debut at Beaumont Park on Saturday.

The visitors have been forced into another change due to the fact that Anders Mellgren is riding in the Swedish Under-21 Individual Final on Saturday and so Swindon’s Justin Sedgmen will step in as a guest replacement.

“Rye House have had more than their share of trouble this season but to their credit the team has continued to perform and currently sit just outside the play-off positions. In their two previous visits the Rockets have run us close so we can expect another tight match. It will be interesting to see how Kasper fares during the meeting because when we were searching for a replacement for Simon Nielsen we were serious about signing the teenager. He is highly thought of but we decided against pressing ahead with our interest when it was discovered he would start off on an assessed average of seven points. This meant that we could not fit him in unless we made some drastic changes to the structure of our team which was too much of a gamble. I am sure that he is one for the future and let’s hope after the meeting we do not regret our decision” said Jones.

Teams:

Leicester: 1. Kauko Nieminen, 2. Linus Eklӧf, 3. Lasse Bjerre, 4. Jari Mäkinen, 5. Magnus Karlsson, 6. Jan Graversen and 7. Lewis Blackbird

Rye House: 1. Charlie Gjedde, 2. Rider Replacement, 3. Justin Sedgmen, 4. Ritchie Hawkins, 5. Kasper Lykke, 6. Jason Garrity and 7. Jason Bunyan

Changes to riding order

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012 | Fixtures, News

The Elliott sponsored Lions make four positional changes to their riding order for their Premier League fixture at Ipswich on Thursday following the new match averages that came into effect for the month of August. Club Captain Kauko Nieminen takes over the number one race-bib for the first time this season and Magnus Karlsson, the incumbent holder switches places and now lines up at number five in the team. After achieving a personal best score in the home win against Berwick on Saturday, Jan Graversen moves down the riding order to take the place of Jari Mäkinen who forms a new partnership with Lasse Bjerre. It is an intriguing fixture for Bjerre who faces the team he rode for last season and on the opposite side is Mathieu Trésarrieu the former Lions rider. Down at reserve is Lewis Blackbird and Cameron Heeps who are teammates at Mildenhall. Last month they won the National League Best Pairs Final but are on opposite sides of the pits on Thursday.

It is a must win meeting for Ipswich who having lost on three occasions at home in the league, need to collect all three match points to give themselves a realistic chance of making the play-offs. The Witches have just released their captain Kevin Doolan and welcome back Taylor Poole from injury.

Meanwhile, whilst the Lions are unbeaten at Beaumont Park they too are in need of points as Alan Jones the Co-promoter explains: “We are still in second place in the Premier League table but have ridden more home meetings than any other team in the league. The situation tells its own story that unless we start to pick up points in the remaining seven away fixtures our goal of a place in the top six will be under threat. That would be a big disappointment having spent all season in the top two. On our last visit to Ipswich in April for a League Cup fixture, the track was quite deep and three of our team contributed very little so that cannot happen again as it is asking too much of the remaining four to compensate for a lack of points”.

Teams:

Ipswich: 1. Taylor Poole, 2. Dakota North, 3. Leigh Lanham, 4. Mathieu Trésarrieu, 5. Rohan Tungate, 6. Cameron Heeps and 7. Morten Risager

Leicester: 1. Kauko Nieminen, 2. Linus Eklόf, 3. Lasse Bjerre, 4. Jari Mäkinen, 5. Magnus Karlsson, 6. Jan Graversen and 7. Lewis Blackbird

Lions face busy spell

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012 | Fixtures, News

The Elliott sponsored Lions have a hectic three days with two back-to-back Premier League fixtures at Sheffield and Somerset before returning home to face the Berwick Bandits at Beaumont Park. Leicester welcome back Lewis Blackbird for the trip to Sheffield on Thursday who missed the Knock-out Cup Quarter Final at Workington on Sunday as he was representing Mildenhall in the National League Best Pairs Final alongside his club teammate Cameron Heeps. The duo topped their group and went on to win the final later that day. Sheffield meanwhile are missing Emiliano Sanchez who is out nursing an injury to his hand and the Tigers will operate the rider replacement facility at number two.

Teams:

Sheffield: 1. Josef Franc, 2. Rider Replacement, 3. Chris Schramm, 4. Richard Hall, 5. Ricky Wells, 6. Hugh Skidmore and 7. Joe Haines

Leicester: 1. Magnus Karlsson, 2. Linus Eklöf, 3. Lasse Bjerre, 4. Jan Graversen, 5. Kauko Nieminen, 6. Jari Mäkinen and 7. Lewis Blackbird

Twenty-four hours later Leicester travel south to Somerset where they meet the Rebels in another key fixture. Somerset have run into injury problems in recent days with the loss of Sam Masters and Claus Vissing but have moved to sign Jesper B Monberg who until recently rode in the Elite League for the Peterborough Panthers. The former 1997 World Under-21 Champion has been signed to take the place of the injured Claus Vissing and makes his debut against Leicester on Friday.

Teams:

Somerset: 1. Jason Doyle, 2. Alex Davies, 3. Jesper B Monberg, 4. James Wright, 5. Rider Replacement, 6. Kyle Newman and 7. Tom Perry

Leicester: 1. Magnus Karlsson, 2. Linus Eklöf, 3. Lasse Bjerre, 4. Jan Graversen, 5. Kauko Nieminen, 6. Jari Mäkinen and 7. Lewis Blackbird

Leicester then return to Beaumont Park where they play hosts to the Berwick Bandits who edged the Lions out for the title of Premier League Fours Champions at Peterborough two weeks ago. The Bandits have a changed look about them following injuries to Alex Edberg, Jason King and the release of Lubos Tomicek. The Border club have signed Robin Aspegren, who recently had talks with Leicester before the Lions signed Linus Eklӧf and have added Robert Branford who rode for Redcar earlier this season and Klaus Jakobsen, a Dane who is just returning from an injury whilst riding for Sheffield in April.

Teams:

Leicester: 1. Magnus Karlsson, 2. Linus Eklöf, 3. Lasse Bjerre, 4. Jan Graversen, 5. Kauko Nieminen, 6. Jari Mäkinen and 7. Lewis Blackbird

Berwick: 1. Ricky Ashworth, 2. David Bellego, 3. Lee Complin, 4, Robin Aspegren, 5.Sebastian Alden, 6. Robert Branford and 7. Klaus Jakobsen

The Lions Co-promoter Alan Jones said: “Our top priority is to remain within the top six play-off zone and preferably to finish either first or second in the league because the rules of the competition gives the top two clubs a choice of who they want to race against. Like everyone else we would prefer to be in that position as tactically this can mean the difference between making the play-off final or not”.

Fixture amendments

Monday, July 23rd, 2012 | Fixtures, News

Beaumont Park will host the inaugural Midland Development League Riders’ Championship Final when the top riders from the seven clubs will compete for the title. The event is planned for Friday 28th September with a 7.30pm start.

A new staging date of Sunday 19th August for the recently abandoned rain-off meeting against the Workington Comets has been agreed between the two clubs which will now become the 2nd leg of the Knock-out Cup Quarter Final. The meeting will start at 7.30pm to allow Lions rider Lewis Blackbird to compete earlier in the afternoon for Mildenhall before making his way to Leicester for the cup tie.

A new date has been agreed for the Premier League fixture that was rained-off in May. Leicester will now visit Edinburgh on Friday 21st September.

Two key matches for the Lions this weekend

Thursday, July 19th, 2012 | Fixtures, News

At the start of the season Ipswich was one of the hardest hit clubs suffering more than their share of injuries when they lost the services of Taylor Poole and Morten Risager. Despite facing a double blow so early on they have coped remarkably well to sustain their position as one of the top sides in the Premier League. The Witches are well placed at this point of the season in the league table and have reached the semi-final stage of the League Cup and Knock-out Cup competitions. The visitors currently have an impressive record at Beaumont Park having won the Premier League Fours final in October.

“Ipswich will present us with a stern test as they are a very compact side with just slightly over one point separating the top rider in their averages to the sixth person in the team. On current form that makes them without a weak link in the side and everyone is capable of winning races. At number seven in the team Ipswich have Cameron Heeps, one of the most talented riders to emerge from Australia recently. Added to that is the fact that at reserve the visitors have the former Lions rider Mathieu Trésarrieu so we can expect a close meeting on Saturday but to keep our second place in the Premier League table we must win” commented the Lions Co-promoter, Alan Jones.

Leicester’s team Manager Glyn Taylor has named an unchanged line-up from the side that ran up their best score of the season against the Glasgow Tigers on Saturday at Beaumont Park but make one change for their Quarter Final 1st leg Knock-out Cup tie at Workington on Sunday. With Lewis Blackbird due to represent Mildenhall in the National League Best Pairs final the same day, the Lions have named Stefan Nielsen as a guest replacement.

Teams

Leicester: 1. Magnus Karlsson, 2. Linus Eklӧf, 3. Lasse Bjerre, 4. Jan Graversen, 5. Kauko Nieminen, 6. Jari Mäkinen and 7 Lewis Blackbird

Ipswich: 1. Leigh Lanham, 2. Morten Risager, 3.Dakota North, 4. Kevin Doolan 5. Rohan Tungate, 6. Mathieu Trésarrieu and 7. Cameron Heeps

Lions back to full strength

Friday, July 13th, 2012 | Fixtures, News

Tomorrow Leicester meet the Glasgow Tigers, the current Premier League Champions and Knock-out Cup finalists, at Beaumont Park. The Lions won at Glasgow in May by 46 points to 44.

The Tigers retained their top two men, Joe Screen and James Grieves from the previous campaign together with the returnee Josh Grajczonek from injury but have a new look about the rest of the team this year. Chris Mills who rode for Ipswich last season joined the Scottish club in May and Mason Campton, Jayden O’Malley and Filip Sitera all make their Beaumont Park debuts.

“It is a very different Glasgow team from the all-conquering side of 2011. The Tigers have made two changes since they started the season but as yet they have not won away from home. That said we will give them the utmost respect. Our aim is to secure all three match points to consolidate our position as one of the front runners in the Premier League table. There is an interesting angle to this meeting as the top four riders from each club meet up again the following day at Peterborough when they face one another in Group 2 of the Premier League Fours semi-final along with five-times winners of the competition, the Workington Comets and also the Somerset Rebels” commented the Leicester Co-promoter, Alan Jones.

Leicester’s injured rider Simon Nielsen is travelling here from his home in Denmark and will be present at Beaumont Park tomorrow to say thank you to everyone who contributed to a collection following his injury in the meeting against Plymouth last month. Simon also plans to attend the Premier League Fours event to support his teammates at Peterborough.

Teams:

Leicester: 1. Magnus Karlsson, 2. Linus Eklöf, 3. Lasse Bjerre, 4. Jan Graversen, 5. Kauko Nieminen, 6. Jari Mäkinen and 7. Lewis Blackbird

Glasgow: 1. Joe Screen, 2. Chris Mills, 3. Josh Grajczonek, 4. Filip Sitera, 5. James Grieves, 6. Jayden O’Malley and 7. Mason Campton

On Sunday Leicester make the short journey to Peterborough to compete in the semi-final of the Premier League Fours trophy. The Lions finished runners-up in the competition last season and are represented by Kauko Nieminen, Lasse Bjerre, Magnus Karlsson, Jari Mäkinen and Jan Graversen. The semi-finals will take place over eight heats with the two highest scoring teams progressing through to a twelve race final later that day.

“The Premier League Fours is a very different proposition to team racing. It is a high pressure situation as each of the four clubs are represented in a race so really it is every rider for himself and of course riders do not want to let their teammates down. With only eight heats in the semi-final there is no margin for error. We are in a very strong group but have experience of the Peterborough track within the side with only Jari Mäkinen not having ridden in a competitive meeting there” commented the Lions Co-promoter, Alan Jones.

Busy spell for the Lions

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012 | Fixtures, News

The Elliott sponsored Lions enter a busy period of three meetings over the next four days beginning at Redcar tomorrow with a Premier League fixture. The match will mark the debut of their new signings Linus Eklöf and Lewis Blackbird as their transfers to the club were approved on Tuesday.

Leicester Team Manager Glyn Taylor has made one positional change to the team with Kauko Nieminen and Lasse Bjerre switching positions in the side.

Teams:

Redcar: 1. Ulrich Østergaard, 2. Michal Rajkowski, 3. Justin Sedgmen, 4. Aaron Summers, 5. Matëj Kus, 6. Carl Wilkinson and 7 Max Dilger

Leicester: 1. Magnus Karlsson, 2. Linus Eklöf, 3. Lasse Bjerre, 4. Jan Graversen, 5. Kauko Nieminen, 6. Jari Mäkinen and 7 Lewis Blackbird

Clash of the big cats

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012 | Fixtures, News

The Elliott sponsored Lions, who are without their injured Dane Simon Nielsen, face an in-form Sheffield Tigers team on Saturday at Beaumont Park. Nielsen broke his left femur in the win against Plymouth last week and his place in the team has been handed to Lewis Blackbird who comes in as a guest replacement at number seven in the side.

The meeting will have a local derby feel to it as the Tigers are the nearest club to Leicester in the Premier League. There is great respect between the two promotional teams as Sheffield were mentors to David Hemsley during the Lions first season back and the Tigers were invited to ride against the Lions in the Grand Opening meeting of the Beaumont Park Stadium last year.

The South Yorkshire club narrowly missed out on a place in the semi-finals of the League Cup on Monday and are at full strength. The visitors are led by Richard Hall, the first captain of the Lions in the new era who made 23 appearances and scored 214 total points in all competitions for the club before his transfer to Scunthorpe last summer.

“We will miss Simon’s presence in the team and his points’ potential. Our options are limited at the moment but we are pleased to give Lewis an opportunity at this level. He is going well for Mildenhall in the National League and whilst we cannot expect him to immediately step into Simon’s shoes I know for a fact that he is held in high regard by the former World Champion, Michael Lee and British Champion Chris Louis who are his promoters at Mildenhall” said the Lions Co-promoter Alan Jones.

Blackbird is familiar with the Beaumont Park track having won the Stars of Tomorrow meeting here last season and impressed the Lions when he guested for the team in a Premier League fixture at Ipswich in October.

Jones went on to say: “The new match averages for July come into effect on Sunday and once we receive the figures we will have a clearer picture of the points we have to play with and who is available with the right average to fit into our team to fill the vacancy”.

Teams

Leicester: 1. Magnus Karlsson, 2. Simon Lambert, 3. Kauko Nieminen, 4. Jari Mäkinen, 5. Lasse Bjerre, 6. Jan Graversen and 7. Lewis Blackbird

Sheffield: 1. Josef Franc, 2. Hugh Skidmore, 3. Chris Schramm, 4. Richard Hall, 5. Ricky Wells, 6. Emiliano Sanchez and 7. Joe Haines

Close meeting in prospect

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012 | Fixtures, News

The Elliott sponsored Lions face possibly one of the dark horses for a play-off place later this season when they meet the Plymouth Devils at Beaumont Park Stadium on Saturday. The two teams last met at Leicester in May in a League Cup fixture when the Lions ran out winners by a single point. That night Ryan Fisher was in unbeatable form winning all five of his races for Plymouth and the Californian has the best record of any visiting rider at Leicester. The Devils have made one change to their team since that night with the signing of Robert Ksiezak coming in to replace Gino Franchetti at reserve.

“In my opinion Plymouth are just one rider away from being a very good side and teams will underestimate them at their peril. We have seen at close quarters what they are capable of away from home and we all have to be on our game to get something out of the fixture. When you consider that Ben Barker and Ryan Fisher are easily capable of twenty-five points between them this means that their five teammates do not have to contribute a great deal to pull off a win. This is the challenge that we face on Saturday and I will be looking to our three heat leaders, Kauko Nieminen, Magnus Karlsson and Lasse Bjerre to take points off their top two riders” said the Lions Team Manager Glyn Taylor.

The fixture marks the start of three home meetings for Leicester who will be keen to put a disappointing performance at Newcastle on Sunday behind them and a win against Plymouth will maintain their position of third in the Premier League table.

Teams

Leicester: 1. Magnus Karlsson, 2. Simon Lambert, 3. Kauko Nieminen, 4. Jari Mäkinen, 5. Lasse Bjerre, 6. Simon Nielsen and 7. Jan Graversen

Plymouth: 1. Ben Barker, 2. James Holder, 3. Cory Gathercole, 4. Todd Kurtz, 5. Ryan Fisher, 6. Nicki Glanz and 7. Robert Ksiezak

Magnus and Lasse to face one another

Thursday, June 14th, 2012 | Fixtures, News

With no official fixture planned for this Saturday at the Beaumont Park Stadium the Leicester Speedway promotion has organised a 14 heat team meeting between a Leicester Representative side and a Long Eaton Invaders Select. Top of the bill are four familiar names to Lions fans, Lasse Bjerre who will captain the Leicester side and he will be partnered by fellow countryman Simon Nielsen. Riding for Long Eaton will be the Lions number one rider, Magnus Karlsson who will lead the visitors and he will be paired with Thomas Jorgensen who currently rides for the Scunthorpe Scorpions.

The four senior British Premier League riders will meet one another on four occasions during the course of the meeting and each team will be completed by a mix of competitors with local connections including regular performers at Leicester. On the Long Eaton side of the pits will be Lee Geary and Liam Rumsey who were members of the Invaders team that won the Midland Development League Championship last season and are based at Leicester. They will be joined by Tom Stokes who rides for King’s Lynn in the National League and Jeremy Pestell whose father rode as a junior at the old Leicester Stadium on Blackbird Road. Completing the team is Ben Holloway who progressed from the Leicester Monarchs Cycle Speedway Club into grass-track events and now rides for the Peterborough Thundercats in the Anglia Junior League.

Holloway will face two of his former cycle speedway club colleagues in the Leicester Representative side, Mick Skinner and Mark Whitehead, who have served the Monarchs with distinction over many years, helping them to a plethora of league and cup final wins. Andre Cross, who is a former cycle speedway champion, rode for the Wimbledon Dons in the Conference League and he lines up at number three in the Leicester team. Nowadays they have all become skilled motorcyclists after successful careers in the pedal power equivalent to speedway.

The two remaining competitors in the Leicester team are David Needham who rode at Leicester and Milton Keynes and Chris Widman who is returning to the track after a crash at Beaumont Park in April during a Midland Development League fixture against Halifax. After the main event, the Long Eaton Invaders race against King’s Lynn in a challenge match over six heats.

Lions Co-promoter Alan Jones said: “When Newport pulled out of the Premier League just before the season was due to start we felt their loss more than any of the other twelve clubs because we were drawn against them in the League Cup and Knock-out Cup competitions, plus of course we have also lost a league fixture which has meant three spare dates to fill. So many meetings have been cancelled up and down the country over the last two months due to rain that clubs are struggling to re-arrange official fixtures let alone thinking about coming to ride at Leicester in a friendly so rather than not run at all we have come up with this idea of at least giving fans a night out at the speedway. It is a little different from the normal fare but the teams are evenly balanced which should produce some entertaining racing. We have reduced the admission prices to five pounds for adults, one pound for children (aged 10-16) and under ten’s come in for free which for twenty heats of speedway represents good value”.

Leicester Select: 1. Lasse Bjerre, 2. Simon Nielsen, 3. Andre Cross, 4. Chris Widman, 5. Mark Whitehead, 6. Mick Skinner and 7. David Needham

Long Eaton Select: 1. Magnus Karlsson, 2. Thomas Jorgensen, 3. Tom Stokes, 4. Ben Holloway, 5. Lee Geary, 6. Liam Rumsey and 7. Jeremy Pestell

The following day the full Leicester senior team face the Newcastle Diamonds in the return Premier League fixture on Tyneside. The Elliott sponsored Lions became the first team to beat Newcastle in the league in a top of the table clash at the Beaumont Park Stadium on Saturday. Leicester remain unchanged but Newcastle are awaiting on the fitness of their Danish rider Claes Nedermark who missed the meeting between the two clubs. If Nedermark fails to recover in time, Newcastle will operate the rider replacement facility again. “Newcastle pushed us hard on Saturday and I don’t expect their three experienced riders to have such a poor night again as they did against us. They were disappointed and will be looking to make up for a below par show. They have not lost at home in any competition so far this season so that sums up the task ahead of us but we will go there in a positive frame of mind and if we can keep it close going into the final part of the meeting we have the quality in the side to cause an upset” stated the Lions Team Manager Glyn Taylor.

Newcastle: 1. Stuart Robson, 2. Claes Nedermark, 3. Mark Lemon, 4. Christian Henry, 5. Ludvig Lindgren, 6. Steve Worrall and 7. Richie Worrall

Leicester: 1.Magnus Karlsson, 2. Simon Lambert, 3. Kauko Nieminen, 4.Jari Mäkinen, 5. Lasse Bjerre, 6. Simon Nielsen and 7. Jan Graversen

Top of the table clash

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012 | Fixtures, News

It’s a top of the table fixture at the Beaumont Park Stadium on Saturday when the Elliott sponsored Lions take on the Newcastle Diamonds for Premier League points. The North-east club are six points ahead of Leicester who have two matches in hand over the visitors. Newcastle drew at Glasgow on Sunday and twenty-four hours later in the return fixture they recorded a comprehensive 62-31 win against the current league champions. Though victory came at a cost after a crash that left their Dane, Claes Nedermark with mild concussion ruling him out of the meeting against Leicester. Newcastle will cover for his absence by sharing out his rides amongst his teammates which means that under the competition rules all but Stuart Robson and Mark Lemon can replace him during the meeting.

The Lions meanwhile make one positional change to their riding order with Jari Mäkinen moving back into the main body of the team to partner his captain Kauko Nieminen and Jan Graversen drops down to the number seven berth in the side.

The night before, Leicester travel to Plymouth for a Premier League fixture and are looking to get more out of the meeting than when they were last there in April when the Lions were in front with two races remaining only to surrender their lead and the match. “After a break of two weeks without a meeting we have to hit the ground running at Plymouth. They are currently bottom of the league table but are a very good home side and we will have to be on the top of our game. We were so close to a win the last time we were there in the League Cup and it was a disappointment for everyone to lose the match the way we did after performing so well until the latter stages.

“The Newcastle fixture will be another test of character even though they will be missing Claes Nedermark. His absence means that under the rules of the meeting they cannot use either of their top two riders, Stuart Robson or Mark Lemon, to take his programmed rides but that may not necessarily weaken them because the rider replacement facility can work for you particularly if the team has a free scoring rider at reserve. I believe Newcastle have such a person in Richie Worrall who is riding well above his current match average and can take seven rides in the meeting so it is another big night for us and one we have to win in order to keep pace with the league leaders” commented the Lions Co-promoter Alan Jones.

Teams for Saturday:

Leicester: 1. Magnus Karlsson, 2. Simon Lambert, 3. Kauko Nieminen, 4. Jari Mäkinen, 5. Lasse Bjerre, 6. Simon Nielsen and 7. Jan Graversen

Newcastle: 1. Stuart Robson, 2. Rider Replacement, 3. Mark Lemon, 4. Christian Henry, 5. Ludvig Lindgren, 6. Steve Worrall and 7. Richie Worrall

Lions face stern test

Thursday, May 24th, 2012 | Fixtures, News

The Elliott sponsored Lions face their biggest test so far at home in the Premier League with the visit of the Somerset Rebels to Beaumont Park on Saturday. The visitors have been widely tipped by experts within speedway that this will be their year to win the league championship. So far the predictions have come true with seven wins out of eight in the League Cup competition, a record that guarantees the club a place in the semi-finals later this season.

Leicester are making one positional change to the side that beat Plymouth on Sunday with Jari Mäkinen and Simon Nielsen exchanging places in the line-up. The two reserves were the deciding factor in Leicester’s slender one point win against Plymouth, scoring fifteen points between them against their opposite numbers in the visiting team who could only muster a single point. Somerset are forced to make one change to their septet due to the non-availability of Tom Perry who is riding in the European Solo semi-final. His place is taken by Paul Starke who currently rides for the Isle of Wight club in the National League.

“The Rebels have a strong top four, possibly the most consistent in the league at this present time, and with the remaining three all clearly on the way up the visitors are riding high at the moment. Our three heat leaders have to be on the very top of their game and it is vital we pick up the majority of third places. They will miss Tom Perry at reserve who is a promising young British rider and so we must take advantage of any weakness that arises from his absence” commented the Lions Team Manager, Glyn Taylor.

Twenty-four hours later, Lasse Bjerre is representing Denmark in a World Under-21 Team semi-final meeting at Lakeside and Somerset have three riders of their own in the event. Kyle Newman will be riding for Team GB and in the same meeting, Sam Masters and Alex Davies have been selected for the Australian team.

Teams

Leicester: 1. Magnus Karlsson, 2. Simon Lambert, 3. Kauko Nieminen, 4. Jan Graversen, 5. Lasse Bjerre, 6. Simon Nielsen and 7. Jari Mäkinen

Somerset: 1. Claus Vissing, 2. Alex Davies, 3. Sam Masters, 4. James Wright, 5. Jason Doyle, 6. Kyle Newman and 7. Paul Starke

Lions without Lasse Bjerre at Edinburgh and Rye House

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012 | Fixtures, News

Newly appointed Team Manager Glyn Taylor is facing three meetings in as many days this weekend when the Elliott sponsored Lions first of all head north on Friday to face the Edinburgh Monarchs in a Premier League fixture. Leicester will be without their third heat leader Lasse Bjerre, who is attending a practice session on the eve of the World Under-21 Individual Championship event at the Randers track in Denmark. As the meeting is an FIM event the Lions are allowed a facility and they will be operating the rider replacement rule from the number two position with Simon Lambert taking over the number three spot.

Edinburgh may also be missing one of their own riders as Derek Sneddon is still recovering from a broken collar-bone. If Sneddon is not fit in time to take his place against Leicester on Friday his heats will be covered by his teammates.

Teams:

Leicester: 1. Magnus Karlsson, 2. Rider Replacement, 3. Simon Lambert, 4. Jari Mäkinen, 5. Kauko Nieminen, 6, Jan Graversen and 7. Simon Nielsen

Edinburgh: 1. Craig Cook, 2. Derek Sneddon, 3. Theo Pijper, 4. Matthew Wethers, 5. Andrew Tully, 6. Micky Dyer and 7. Charles Wright

The following evening Leicester complete their away fixtures in the League Cup with a visit to Hertfordshire to ride against the Rye House Rockets and are again without Bjerre who is competing in the World Under-21 event itself. The new monthly match averages come into effect for this meeting which sees Jari Mäkinen move from the main body of the side and into a role of reserve and swopping places with Jan Graversen who moves up the order.

 “It is a blow to be without Lasse particularly at Edinburgh which, of the three fixtures, is the most important to us as it is a Premier League match and that is where our main focus is. The rider replacement facility can work for you but it needs careful thought as to who you nominate in which heat to increase your chances of success. Apart from Magnus Karlsson, any one of the other team members can take an extra ride so whilst you can pre-plan who goes out in a particular race that can all change on the night if someone is struggling for points and there is a better option” added Co-promoter Alan Jones.

Teams:

Leicester: 1. Magnus Karlsson, 2. Rider Replacement, 3. Simon Lambert, 4. Jan Graversen 5. Kauko Nieminen, 6, Jari Mäkinen and 7. Simon Nielsen

Rye House: 1. Charlie Gjedde, 2. Jason Bunyan, 3. Anders Mellgren, 4. Ritchie Hawkins, 5. Jordan Frampton, 6. Jason Garrity and 7. Luke Bowen

Twenty-four hours later the Lions are at home to the Plymouth Devils in the re-staging of the League Cup fixture that was postponed due to a waterlogged track in April and they welcome back Bjerre to the side. The Lions were narrowly beaten in the corresponding fixture in Devon last month and with a strong top three of Ben Barker, the Coventry rider Ryan Fisher and Cory Gathercole, the visitors have three riders capable of challenging Leicester’s heat leaders.

The meeting starts at 6.00pm and there will be a one minute silence in remembrance of Lee Richardson who lost in life in a racing accident in Poland on Sunday and a collection will be made for his dependants.

Teams:

Leicester: 1. Magnus Karlsson, 2. Simon Lambert, 3. Kauko Nieminen, 4. Jan Graversen 5. Lasse Bjerre, 6, Jari Mäkinen and 7. Simon Nielsen

Plymouth: 1. Ben Barker, 2. Todd Kurtz, 3. Ryan Fisher, 4. James Holder, 5. Cory Gathercole, 6. Nicki Glanz and 7. Gino Franchetti

8.00pm start for the Lions on Saturday

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 | Fixtures, News

The Elliott sponsored Lions face the Scunthorpe Scorpions at the Beaumont Park Stadium on Saturday in a Premier League fixture. The visitors are without their captain and talisman, David Howe, who has missed the last four meetings for Scunthorpe after dislocating his shoulder in a grass track meeting in Worcester last month.

Scunthorpe have borrowed Nick Morris, as the replacement for Howe, who now rides in the Elite League for Swindon Robins. The Australian has a proven track record at Leicester having ridden the circuit five times since the opening last year with his best performance coming in August when he won five races for Glasgow and finished the meeting with a total of twenty points, the highest figure of any visiting rider during the course of the season.

The two clubs last met in a pre-season challenge with each team winning at home and the Scorpions are pushing for a top two finish in the Northern section of the League Cup which will guarantee them a place in the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, league leaders Leicester maintain the same pairings from the side that gained back-to-back wins against Redcar and Glasgow at the weekend. “I was pleased that the two positional changes worked out for us. Magnus Karlsson has already built up a good understanding with Simon Lambert and they were our best pairing against Redcar scoring maximum points in two of the three races they rode together. We have made the best possible start in the Premier League and it was gratifying to gather six points from our opening two matches. Redcar provided us with certain challenges throughout the meeting but we remained focused and to go to Glasgow who had not lost a league fixture at home for over a year and to come away with a win gave everyone a lift. We have a long way to go between now and the end of the season, our feet are firmly on the ground as anything can happen to push a team off course and end up disappointed. My main priority is to foster a winning mentality within the team to ensure that we give little away at Beaumont Park and a repeat of the approach we adopted at Glasgow is a must if we are to stand a realistic chance of reaching the Play-off finals in the autumn” stated the Lions Team Manager Jason Attwood.

The meeting on Saturday against Scunthorpe begins at 8.00pm to allow Tigers fans time to travel across the city to the Beaumont Park Stadium after watching the game against the Saracens.

Teams

Leicester: 1. Magnus Karlsson, 2. Simon Lambert, 3. Kauko Nieminen, 4. Jari Mäkinen, 5. Lasse Bjerre, 6. Jan Graversen and 7. Simon Nielsen

Scunthorpe: 1. Nick Morris (Guest), 2.Thomas Jorgensen, 3. Tero Aarnio, 4. Michael Palm Toft, 5. Josh Auty, 6. Jerran Hart and 7. Ashley Birks

Busy weekend ahead for the Lions

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012 | Fixtures, News

The Elliott sponsored Lions face three meetings in as many days this weekend.

On Friday Leicester travel to Somerset for a League Cup fixture and with the new match averages for May coming into effect this week, the Lions make two positional changes as team manager Jason Attwood explains: “Magnus Karlsson now goes back to wearing the number one race jacket he wore last season and Lasse Bjerre switches places and moves down the order to number five in the team. I feel sure this will benefit Lasse who said recently that he found it difficult going out in the first race for Leicester, unlike last year when he rode for Ipswich his first appearance was not until the third heat.

“I think we all have to remember that Lasse is only eighteen and maybe going out in the fourth heat will ease the pressure on him and we will see him winning more races, which we all know he’s capable of. I have left Simon Lambert at number two in the side as I feel his partnership with his friend Magnus will benefit the team. I have kept the Kauko Nieminen and Jari Mäkinen pairing together for the time being, with the Danish connection of Jan Graversen and Simon Nielsen to partner Lasse in his first three outings”.

The Somerset Rebels are currently joint top of the Southern Section of the League Cup and it is important that they consolidate their position with a win if they are to reach the semi-final stage of the competition whereas it is imperative that Leicester win their remaining three fixtures to stand a chance of finishing in third place. With Simon Nielsen returning to the side from injury, the meeting signals the first occasion that Leicester have been at full strength since the pre-season challenge match at Scunthorpe in March.

Teams

Leicester: 1. Magnus Karlsson, 2. Simon Lambert, 3. Kauko Nieminen, 4. Jari Mäkinen, 5. Lasse Bjerre, 6. Jan Graversen and 7. Simon Nielsen

Somerset: 1. Jason Doyle, 2. Alex Davies, 3. Sam Masters, 4. James Wright, 5. Claus Vissing, 6. Kyle Newman and 7. Tom Perry

On Saturday Leicester are hosts to the Redcar Bears in the first home Premier League fixture of the season and have named an unchanged line-up for the meeting. The visitors will be without the former World Champion Gary Havelock who is currently out injured but Attwood feels that they are still capable of springing a surprise. “They still have the fire power of heat leaders, Aaron Summers and the experienced Ulrich Østergaard, along with the exciting Czech youngster Matej Kus, which makes them a dangerous team to visit Beaumont Park so we have to be fully on our game to ensure that we make a winning start to the league campaign” added Attwood.

Teams:

Leicester: 1. Magnus Karlsson, 2. Simon Lambert, 3. Kauko Nieminen, 4. Jari Mäkinen, 5. Lasse Bjerre, 6. Jan Graversen and 7. Simon Nielsen

Redcar: 1. Ulrich Østergaard, 2. Carl Wilkinson, 3. Justin Sedgmen, 4. Matej Kus, 5. Aaron Summers, 6. Mark Jones and 7. Tom Perry (Guest)

The following day the team make an early start to Scotland to race against the Glasgow Tigers who are the current Premier League Champions. The Tigers have lost twice at home this season in the League Cup but have improved recently and will present Leicester with an early measure of how the season will turn out away from Beaumont Park.

Leicester:

Leicester: 1. Magnus Karlsson, 2. Simon Lambert, 3. Kauko Nieminen, 4. Jari Mäkinen, 5. Lasse Bjerre, 6. Jan Graversen and 7. Simon Nielsen

Glasgow: Awaiting confirmation of their team line-up

Rain forces Bjerre and Nielsen to miss Plymouth fixture

Saturday, April 28th, 2012 | Fixtures, News

Rain washed out two meetings in Denmark today where Lasse Bjerre and Simon Nielsen were due to compete in qualifying meetings for the Danish Under-21 Individual Championship. The Danish Motor Union have rescheduled the fixtures for tomorrow (Sunday 29th) which means they both miss Leicester’s League Cup meeting against the Plymouth Devils at the Beaumont Park Stadium.

The Lions team manager Jason Attwood has engaged two of speedway’s brightest prospects in Josh Auty and Cameron Heeps to replace the absent Elliott sponsored Lions riders. “I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to the management of both Scunthorpe and Ipswich who readily gave me permission to talk to their riders. Josh knows the Leicester track as well as anyone, having ridden here the most times as a visiting rider and he is in good form for Birmingham and Scunthorpe. Cameron Heeps set the National League on fire last season and is already amongst the points after stepping up into the Premier League with Ipswich this year” commented Attwood.

Auty takes over at number one and is paired with his former Sheffield team-mate Simon Lambert, and Cameron Heeps will wear the number seven race jacket at reserve.

Revised Leicester Line-up:

1. Josh Auty (Guest), 2, Simon Lambert, 3. Kauko Nieminen, 4. Jari Mäkinen, 5. Magnus Karlsson, 6. Jan Graversen, 7. Cameron Heeps

Nielsen Returns

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 | Fixtures, News

The Elliott sponsored Leicester Lions welcome back their Danish reserve rider Simon Nielsen to the team for their final home fixture in the League Cup competition on Sunday against the Plymouth Devils.

Nielsen has been out of action since he was injured in Leicester’s pre-season challenge match at Scunthorpe last month. The twenty-one year old had earlier gained a second and third place in his heats before breaking his scaphoid after a fall on the second bend in his final race.

Kyle Hughes who covered during Nielsen’s absence made five appearances for Leicester with his best performance at Plymouth last week where he scored paid five points against his former team.

With Somerset and Ipswich within reach of securing a semi-final place, a win on Sunday against Plymouth in the return fixture at Beaumont Park is important for Leicester if they are to finish in third place in the Southern section of the League Cup table.

Plymouth are also planning to make one change to the team that came back from the brink to snatch a win against the Lions when they met in Devon last week. James Cockle makes way for their new signing Todd Kurtz who rode for Newport last season but the Australian has been without a Premier League team place since the Welsh club folded on the eve of the season. Kurtz last rode at Leicester five weeks ago as a guest for Scunthorpe, scoring seven points.

Both clubs are awaiting confirmation from the British Speedway Promoters’ Association for approval to include Nielsen and Kurtz in their team line-ups for Sunday’s meeting.

Teams

Leicester: 1. Lasse Bjerre, 2. Simon Lambert, 3. Kauko Nieminen, 4. Jari Mäkinen, 5. Magnus Karlsson, 6. Jan Graversen, 7. Simon Nielsen

Plymouth: 1. Ben Barker, 2. Todd Kurtz, 3. Ryan Fisher, 4. James Holder, 5. Cory Gathercole, 6. Gino Franchetti, 7. Nicki Glanz

Lions face Rebels for League Cup points

Thursday, April 19th, 2012 | Fixtures, News

On Saturday Leicester play host to one of the early season pacesetters the Somerset Rebels who are currently second in the League Cup table, having lost just once so far in the competition. The Rebels are widely tipped this year to figure strongly in the race for the Premier League title and have named their two Australians, Jason Doyle and the highly talented Alex Davies as their opening pairing on Saturday. Sam Masters who topped off a satisfactory year by winning the Premier League Riders’ Championship Final at Sheffield in September forms a strong pairing at three and four with James Wright whose move from Workington in September to Somerset coincided with the visit of Leicester to the Oak Tree Arena. Wright made what can only be described as a dream debut and it was his courageous ride in heat 15 that denied Leicester a bonus point.

Wearing the number five race bib in the team is Claus Vissing who on his previous two appearances at Leicester achieved high scores and at reserve the visitors are tracking two young British riders in Kyle Newman and Tom Perry. Kyle is highly regarded and has made some telling contributions so far this season. So too has Tom who spent part of the winter Down Under riding for the Young British Lions and gave a good account of himself in the three match series. The youngster was in the news last week after winning the Under-21 British semi-final at Stoke.

The Elliott sponsored Lions are again unchanged for this fixture and with Jari Mäkinen and Kyle Hughes, two former Somerset riders in the team, there is an extra incentive to deliver a match winning performance.

As a little gift for all children this Saturday, we will be giving away to each child a complimentary colour photograph of last season’s Lions riders (whilst stocks last).

Teams:
Leicester: 1 Lasse Bjerre, 2 Simon Lambert, 3 Kauko Nieminen, 4 Jari Mäkinen, 5 Magnus Karlsson, 6 Jan Graversen and 7 Kyle Hughes

Somerset: 1 Jason Doyle, 2 Alex Davies, 3 Sam Masters, 4 James Wright, 5 Claus Vissing, 6 Kyle Newman and 7 Tom Perry

 

Lions unchanged at Plymouth

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012 | Fixtures, News

The Leicester Elliott Lions face a long trip south to Plymouth on Friday for a League Cup fixture at the St. Boniface Arena. The Devils’ have yet to win a meeting at home in the competition after a draw against Rye House and defeat to Somerset last week.

The side that ended last season has undergone a significant re-vamp with only three riders retained. Their talisman Ben Barker, who carried the side away from home, remains and is continuing to ride in the Elite League with Birmingham this year. The arrangement suited the Cornishman who had an exceptional year for both clubs and his performances earned Ben a call-up to represent Team GB in the Speedway World Cup competition. His first place against a quality field in the Ben Fund meeting in March sent out a strong message of his growing status.

Barker, who on occasions last season carried the Plymouth team single handed, now has Ryan Fisher in the same corner of the pits to help share the responsibility. The Californian has stepped down from the Elite League with Coventry and along with recent signing Cory Gathercole from Somerset their presence will present Leicester’s three heat leaders with a stern challenge.

Leicester’s team manager Jason Attwood has named the same team that beat Rye House at Beaumont Park two weeks ago and with Kyle Hughes, a former Plymouth rider at reserve, the Lions are hoping his track knowledge will give the team an edge against his previous club.

Plymouth: 1 Ben Barker, 2 James Cockle, 3 Ryan Fisher, 4 James Holder, 5 Cory Gathercole, 6 Gino Franchetti and 7 Nicki Glanz

Leicester: 1 Lasse Bjerre, 2 Simon Lambert, 3 Kauko Nieminen, 4 Jari Mäkinen, 5 Magnus Karlsson, 6 Jan Graversen and 7 Kyle Hughes

Adults a FIVER and Children come in for FREE!

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012 | Fixtures, News

The top young British Speedway riders in the country will be racing at Leicester’s Beaumont Park Stadium on Saturday in the British Youth Championship. The series begins at Leicester with further rounds planned at Mildenhall, Northside, Eastbourne, Scunthorpe and Sittingbourne during the season.

Last year’s winner of the British Championship, Nathan Stoneman (pictured) begins his defence in the 500cc class and will start as favourite to retain his title. The teenager is making good progress in the sport and recently secured a team place at Mildenhall who ride in the National League. Tyler Govier, who made his track debut at Leicester two weeks ago for Long Eaton, will be competing and based on his first appearance at Beaumont Park is tipped to be amongst the forerunners.

It will be a busy day for Nathan Greaves who was last year’s winner of the 250cc class. Just turned fourteen years of age, Nathan won five out of six rounds last season with his only blemish coming at Sittingbourne where he fell when leading in the final. The Chesterfield born racer is set to defend his title and has also entered the 500cc category.

“I am really looking forward to Saturday’s meeting as it gives the club the opportunity to look at the young up and coming British riders. Maybe one or two of the field will catch my eye and could be a Lions rider in the future. These lads would be a great asset to Leicester and British Speedway! I think it’s a must for any local fan to get to Beaumont Park on Saturday and watch these lads race,” commented Leicester Team Manager Jason Attwood.

With the best British riders of their age on show and a meeting consisting of 36 heats of speedway, the admission price of five pounds for adults and all children under the age of sixteen in for free comprises exceptional value for a Saturday night out.

The event gets under way with practice laps for all the competitors at 7.10pm and the meeting starts at 7.30pm.

Photograph courtesy of Tony Fowles

EGG-Stravaganza on Easter Saturday

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 | Fixtures, News

The Leicester Elliott sponsored Lions face the Rye House Rockets at the Beaumont Park Stadium on Saturday in a League Cup fixture and the first one hundred children who enter the stadium will be handed a free chocolate Easter egg!

The Lions are back to full strength with the return of Jari Mäkinen and Kyle Hughes to the team. Both riders missed last Saturday’s home meeting against Ipswich through injury. Mäkinen was suffering from an infection of a leg wound he picked up at Scunthorpe in the opening meeting of the season and Hughes was ruled out after a crash at Plymouth.

The Rockets have also had to contend with a disruption to their team plans after losing their captain Chris Neath following a crash in the Anglian Cup and will be without their exciting teenager Tyson Nelson who has not arrived from Australia yet due to a technical error over his visa application. The Hertfordshire club have filled the vacancies by signing the high scoring Dane Charlie Gjedde and Anders Mellgren. Both riders were looking for a team place in the Premier League after Newport withdrew from the league on the eve of the season. It will be an early return to Leicester for Jason Garrity after his transfer to the Hertfordshire club during the winter. Garrity made ten appearances for the Lions and it came as no surprise when he elected to sign for Rye House, the scene of the teenager’s finest moments in the sport so far after winning the National League Riders’ Final and the British Under-19 Championship last season.

Teams:

Leicester: Lasse Bjerre, Simon Lambert, Kauko Nieminen, Jari Mäkinen, Magnus Karlsson, Jan Graversen and Kyle Hughes

Rye House: Charlie Gjedde, Ritchie Hawkins, Anders Mellgren, Luke Bowen, Jordan Frampton, Jason Garrity and Jason Bunyan

League Cup Opener

Thursday, March 29th, 2012 | Fixtures, News

The Leicester Elliott UK sponsored Lions launch into their opening home fixture of the League Cup competition on Saturday with the visit of the Ipswich Witches. The two clubs have been grouped together in the Southern section along with Rye House, Plymouth and Somerset. It is a tough looking group with the top two sides going through to the semi-final stage and the winning team progressing to a Grand Final to meet the finalists from the Northern section.

The Witches dropped down from the Elite League last year and signed-off a successful campaign in the middle tier with third place in the Premier League. The high point for the club came at Leicester in October when they were crowned Premier League Fours’ champions. Four of the five riders who were triumphant that night are still with the Suffolk club but Morten Risager and Taylor Poole are missing from the side on Saturday following serious injuries sustained recently during the home leg of the Anglian Cup fixture against Rye House.

With Poole and Risager now out of the sport for some considerable time, the profile of the team has changed with Leigh Lanham an Ipswich asset now recalled to the club where his career first started. Back for a second season is their skipper Kevin Doolan who finished third in the New Year Classic at Newport in January and the experienced number one will be a steadying influence on his fellow younger compatriots in the Ipswich team. One of which is Twenty year old Dakota North who literally flew around the Beaumont Park track on his first visit with Somerset last season and if his previous performance at Leicester for the Rest of the World side is anything to go by then Ipswich have a jewel in the making with Rohan Tungate.

Similar noises have emanated out of Mildenhall about Cameron Heeps who set people talking after some chart topping scores in the National League. Whilst still only sixteen years of age Cameron is already a five-times Under-16 Western Australian Champion and his decision to ride for Ipswich this season is seen as a major signing by the Witches promotion.

Completing the team is Mathieu Trésarrieu who covered for the absence of Iliya Bondarenko in the Leicester team last season. When the popular Russian returned to the side Mathieu was snapped up by Ipswich where he turned out a series of high scores and could be the one to watch for the visitor’s tonight.

Leicester meanwhile remain unchanged from the side that beat Scunthorpe in a challenge fixture at the Beaumont Park Stadium last Sunday whilst Ipswich will cover for Taylor Poole’s absence by using the rider replacement facility. Apart from Lanham, whose father Mike rode for Leicester in their last season during 1983, the Witches team manager can call upon any of his five riders to take an extra ride in place of Poole.

Teams:

Leicester: 1. Lasse Bjerre, 2. Simon Lambert, 3. Kauko Nieminen (c) 4. Jari Makinen 5. Magnus Karlsson 6. Jan Graversen and 7. Kyle Hughes

Ipswich: 1. Leigh Lanham, 2. Taylor Poole Rider Replacement, 3. Kevin Doolan (C), 4. Dakota North, 5. Mathieu Tresarrieu, 6. Cameron Heeps and 7. Rohan Tungate

 

Scunthorpe away starts the season

Thursday, March 15th, 2012 | Fixtures, News

The season gets underway on Friday when the Elliott UK sponsored Leicester Lions team travel to Scunthorpe for a challenge match. The fixture is being staged in memory of their former team manager Kenny Smith and the winner of Heat 15 will receive the Kenny Smith Trophy. Promoter Rob Godfrey says it will become an annual event at the start of the season: “This is how we are going to honour Kenny every year from now on. Our opening challenge meeting of the season will be a team event held in Kenny’s honour.

“It’s also fitting to have Scunthorpe competing as a team in Kenny’s meeting, since he was the team manager of the Scorpions. Whoever wins Heat 15 on Friday receives the Kenny Smith trophy for a year, and I hope they cherish it and realise what it means.”

Jan Graversen won the event two years ago and returns to the track where he had a brief spell in the club’s colours. Another returnee is Magnus Karlsson who remains one of the all-time top scorers for Scunthorpe after a three year spell at the club. The Scorpions have retained four of last season’s team and have added Josh Auty, Ashley Birks and the untried Australian, Tom Armstrong.

The fixture also marks the debut of Leicester’s four new signings, Lasse Bjerre, Simon Lambert, Jari Mäkinen and Simon Nielsen who will be keen to make a positive start for the Lions. The last time these two sides met was in September when Leicester sprung a surprise by winning on a rain lashed circuit at the Eddie Wright Raceway which ended the home team’s unbeaten sequence that extended back to mid- April.

Scunthorpe: David Howe (captain), Thomas Jorgensen, Josh Auty, Michael Palm Toft, Tero Aarnio, Tom Armstrong and Ashley Birks

Leicester: Lasse Bjerre, Simon Lambert, Kauko Nieminen (captain), Jari Makinen, Magnus Karlsson, Jan Graversen and Simon Nielsen

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