Practice makes perfect ahead of busy speedway season

The new speedway season is just over a week away and Berwick are gearing themselves up for a busy 2022.

By Keith Hamblin
Monday, 21st March 2022, 9:02 am
Updated Monday, 21st March 2022, 9:03 am
Chris Harris and Leon Flint in action at Shielfield last season - this year the pair will ride as team-mates with the Bandits.

The tapes go up in the new campaign with the club’s first team, the Bandits, racing a Championship league fixture against Birmingham at Shielfield on Saturday, April 2.

Before that, all riders will meet for the traditional press and practice at the track this Saturday ( March 26), giving them the chance to blow off the cobwebs.

And on Friday (March 25), this will be preceded by a ‘Meet the Riders’ night at the Black & Gold when the riders and management will meet fans eager to get a gliumpse of the new-look squad.

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Both events will see proceeds from the events go to the Ryan Renton Fund.

Team manager Gary Flint says: “The press and practice is always an important night for us. It gives the riders a chance to dial in to the track, to try out new engines and other equipment and as its name suggests it gives the riders the chance to get in a bit of practice after what has been a long winter.

“That’s not to say the riders haven’t been busy - many of them have been testing elsewhere, been in the gym, or in the case of Leon (Flint), been attending GB training camps which has really helped get him in the swing of things again.

“The P&P will probably have an added benefit to us this year because we have four new faces joining us. All four are experienced riders in their own right and over the years have put in many laps around Shielfield, but it will be different for them now that it is their home track.”

The four newcomers are former GB international and GP winner Chris ‘Bomber’ Harris, American Ricky Wells, Dutchman Theo Pijper (who is a former Bandit) and Australian Tai Proctor. They will line up alongside the returning Leon Flint, Aussie Jye Etheridge and Kyle Bickley, the latter two who will start off in the reserve berths.

“At one stage last season Jye was our number one,” said Flint, “so to have him starting off at reserve shows just how much strength in depth we have in the team.”

Berwick will also run a second team, the Bullets in the National League, with Bickley, Luke Crang and Greg Blair joined by Mason Watson, Kieran Douglas and Ben Rathbone all returning alongside newcomer Ace Pijper, the son of Bandit Theo.