April 13, 2024
Speedway Hub - British Speedway News

“We need to be sharp from the off” Ipswich Witches V Belle Vue Aces

The Ipswich ‘Tru7 Group’ Witches begin their 2024 ROWE Motor Oil Premiership campaign on Thursday 21st March as they host the Belle Vue Aces at Foxhall which starts at 7.30pm. The Suffolk side finished as runners-up in the top-flight last season and are aiming to go one better this year as the race to put points on the board starts with all seven clubs battling it out to make the top four and qualify for the play-offs.

Ipswich have kept the majority of their 2023 side together with just two changes to the line-up. 2021 British champion Adam Ellis is back at a place he knows well having represented the Witches earlier in his career and he starts the season at number two. Jordan Jenkins is the other new signing, and he starts the season at reserve and is another rider who knows the club well having raced many laps at Foxhall as a youngster.

The formidable duo of Emil Sayfutdinov and Jason Doyle lead the team again and are sure to provide plenty of entertainment again over the course of the season whilst captain Danny King returns for another year with the club. Keynan Rew will be looking to continue his development with a year of British experience now under his belt whilst Rising Star Dan Thompson will hope to recapture the form he was showing last season before injury curtailed his campaign with Ipswich.

Belle Vue finished comfortably at the top of the 2023 Premiership table before suffering a dramatic exit in the play-off semi-finals to Ipswich. The Aces have been serious contenders for a number of seasons now, lifting the trophy in 2022 and are sure to use last season’s disappointment to drive them on and recapture the title in 2024.

Similarly to the Witches, there were just two changes to the Belle Vue side over the winter with Ben Cook and Connor Mountain replacing Charles Wright and Tom Brennan. The Manchester-based outfit are led by captain Brady Kurtz with support from Grand Prix rider and current British champion Dan Bewley whilst Australian Jaimon Lidsey has become a consistent heat-leader at this level.

Ipswich ‘Tru7 Group’ Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins gives us his pre-match thoughts…

“It’s the first night of the season and here we go again! I feel like we have built another exciting team for everyone to watch, similarly to last year which proved successful. They provided so much entertainment every week at Foxhall so going into the new season I am massively excited to carry that on and entertain.

“Opening night is always tricky but as we have kept the majority of last year’s side who were doing so well at the end of last season and a couple of riders who have good experience at Foxhall, we will hope for a strong start on Thursday. There will be nerves for a few of them and everyone will need time to get back to race pace but we feel we are as well prepared as you can be.

“We have kept the riding order the same as last season, just with two new riders slotting into the positions of the riders they replaced essentially. We want to carry on from last year by keeping things the same and I’m sure it will change throughout the season, but I feel that is the best way to go for now.

“Belle Vue have probably been the best team over the last two years in the country and were certainly very good at Foxhall last season. We need to be sharp from the off and you couldn’t ask for a tougher test. I’m hoping for a big crowd, the boys have had a great winter with great preparation which is needed if we want to win.”

TEAMS

IPSWICH: 1. Emil Sayfutdinov 10.10 2. Adam Ellis 5.57 3. Danny King 7.05 © 4. Keynan Rew 4.00 5. Jason Doyle 9.12 6. Jordan Jenkins 3.16 7. Dan Thompson (RS). Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins

BELLE VUE: 1. Brady Kurtz 8.51 © 2. Norick Blödorn 5.83 3. Jaimon Lidsey 7.86 4. Ben Cook 6.00 5. Dan Bewley 8.00 6. Connor Mountain 3.52 7. Connor Bailey (RS). Team Manager: Mark Lemon

REFEREE: P. Carrington

Words by Henry Chard – Feature Image by British Speedway

 

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