July 17, 2024
Speedway Hub - British Speedway News

Leicester Lions confirm 2024 Reserve pairing

LEICESTER Speedway are pleased to confirm their reserve pairing for the 2024 Sports Insure Premiership campaign will be Drew Kemp and Joe Thompson.

Kemp continues with the Watling JCB Lions after a successful spell having joined the club in mid-season this year, whilst Thompson is named in the Rising Star berth.

That was the position held by Kemp in 2023, with his 4.04 average now meaning he moves out of the Rising Star scheme, but with a 25 per cent discount applied meaning he will start the new season on 3.03.

Thompson, meanwhile, gained Premiership experience this year with Ipswich and continued to captain the Lion Cubs in the National Development League, and will now line up at senior level with his parent club for the first time.

Team manager Stewart Dickson said: “It’s a young reserve pairing and for me they will still get better. I’m very happy to get both of them on board.

“Drew was always in my plans because he did so well this year, and we’re getting him one point below his actual average so effectively in terms of last season’s numbers we’re building to a 41 rather than a 40, that’s the way I see it, and I’m sure he’ll continue to improve.

“I’m pleased to get him back and he was keen to come back. It’s quite ironic because I’ve known him for a while, he used to come on the training days, but not once did he ever want to race for Leicester – but now he’s had a taste of the place, and at the end of the season he said he wanted to come back next year!

“I touched base with Joe around ten days ago, before I knew what Birmingham and Oxford were doing with their Rising Stars, and for me he was always the obvious candidate because he rides Beaumont Park so well.

“I’m trying to build a team to win our home matches first and foremost, and he fits into exactly what we’re trying to do as a club – and I think the supporters will see that with the other signings that are coming.

“Whatever Joe can pick up on the road will be a bonus, but looking at the signings and rumoured signings elsewhere, we need to make our home track a fortress. We lost three or four this year and for me that’s three or four too many.

There was an extensive list of riders on the Rising Star list but Joe was the one who stood out, and I’m pleased to have two good young British riders at the bottom end of the team.”

Kemp and Thompson join Max Fricke and Sam Masters as confirmed starters for 2024, and the Lions expect to name another rider over the coming week.

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