POOLE have announced Australian star Brady Kurtz will return for a third season at Wimborne Road next year.
The 21-year-old will start the campaign as the club’s highest-averaged rider having achieved an 8.08 figure in 2017.
Pirates promoter Matt Ford said: “I couldn't be happier that Brady is returning to Poole to race in such an important season for the club.
“It was never in doubt that I would offer Brady a place in the team and I hope he is here for many more years to come. He's extremely easy to deal with and gets along superbly with the rest of the team.
“His signing is a real statement of intent that this club is quickly overcoming the disappointment of last season and looking to secure a tenth top-flight title in what is a milestone year for us.”
LEICESTER have confirmed the return of former double British Under-21 Champion Josh Bates to Beaumont Park next season.
Bates initially rode for the Lions as part of the reserve Draft system in 2014 before completing a full campaign in their colours this year.
He said: “I like it at Leicester and I’m pleased to be sorted out to go back there. I adapted well to the track and I feel very much at home. The fans are very enthusiastic and I seem to have a lot of support there so it’s a logical move for me.
“I always give it my all whoever I ride for and the Leicester public know that’s what they’re going to get from me in 2018.
“I’m also really excited by the way the team is taking shape and I know there are exciting plans for the rest of the team.”
GLASGOW have made a sixth signing with experienced Dane Claus Vissing joining the club for the first time.
31-year-old Vissing has previously raced for the Tigers’ great rivals Edinburgh, winning the Premier League (now SGB Championship) Fours with the Monarchs in 2013.
He said: “It feels really good to join Glasgow. I was really happy when we agreed the contract and I knew I was going to be a Tiger for 2018.
“The Glasgow track is always one of my favourites in the UK because it’s a racer’s track – and that’s the type of rider I am.
“I’m based in Edinburgh so it’s quite handy for me. But I can’t wait for the rivalry between the two clubs.”
BERWICK skipper Kevin Doolan will be back for a sixth season at Shielfield Park next year.
Doolan, 37, enjoyed a highly successful Testimonial meeting in the summer and becomes the Bandits’ second signing for 2018 alongside newcomer Aaron Summers.
Co-promoter Scott Courtney said: “Kevin Doolan is a massive part of Berwick Bandits Speedway Club and his ability to encourage and inspire others around him is second to none.
“I’ve said it before and I will again, we are close friends off the track but it’s all business where Speedway is involved and Kev understands that better than most.
“It’s our utmost pleasure to welcome Kevin back and he will only bring good things to what is shaping up to be an exciting 2018.”
DAN Bewley will race for his local club in 2018 having agreed a deal to join Workington.
Bewley, who won the National League Riders’ Championship in September, links up with the Comets after previous second-tier spells with Edinburgh and Glasgow – although his first official race actually came in Workington colours as the club’s No.8 at Newcastle in 2016.
Club owner Laura Morgan said: “This is an exciting start to our team building. Dan is such a natural talent - you can see it in his track craft, you wouldn't think he's only been riding the bike for a couple of years, and I look forward to watching him ride Derwent Park every week.
“I am sure that he is capable of putting points on his average as he is a racer and our track is a racer’s track.”
SWINDON have confirmed Australian star Nick Morris will lead their defence of the SGB Premiership title next season.
Morris racked up an average of 8.87 – the third highest in the top flight – this year and will now advance to the Robins’ No.1 berth following the departure of World Champion Jason Doyle from Blunsdon.
Swindon boss Alun Rossiter said: “Nick really got his career back on track last season and I thought he was tremendous.
“We are all delighted to welcome him back next season. I think the various permutations we have in mind give us a great chance of challenging again.
“I still think there’s more to come from the boy too. He’s still young enough and has the desire and ambition to go a lot further in the sport.
“He only has to look at Jason and what he’s achieved after all these years in the UK and there’s no reason why Nick can’t draw inspiration from that and push forward for the very top level of the sport.”
BERWICK have made their first signing for 2018 with Aaron Summers making the move to Shielfield Park.
Summers, who lives locally in the Borders, joins the Bandits after three years with parent club Glasgow.
Co-promoter Scott Courtney said: “Everyone at the club is excited to welcome Aaron on-board for 2018. He ticks all the boxes for us he’s a great team man, an ultimate professional and a big point scorer!
"He’s haunted us a few too many times in Glasgow colours and to have secured his services for the Bandits is something we are very pleased about. Aaron is based locally and that only adds to positive influence he will have at the club.”
PAUL Starke is desperate to end Glasgow’s trophy-less run – after playing a part in significant results against them this year.
Starke has been unveiled as the Tigers’ fifth 2018 signing having helped Peterborough to a KO Cup semi-final victory over the Ashfield side, shortly after they had raced to a convincing away win in an SGB Championship fixture.
He said: “It's a new club for me but they're used to being a successful club. I'm hoping I can go there and really bring some major honours to the club at the end of the year.
“As a rider you see what's going on around you - and Glasgow have made big improvements and changes - they want to win. They put money in the right areas and are trying to improve speedway and promote it, and as a rider I want to be a part of that.
“They were unlucky last season, missing out on a few things, and I want to make sure that doesn't happen next year.”
CRADLEY bosses say they are still doing everything possible to be able to put a team on-track in the 2018 season.
The Heathens’ future has been put into doubt due to stadium availability and fixture congestion arising from their track-share arrangement primarily at Wolverhampton’s Monmore Green Stadium.
Co-promoter Gary Patchett said: “We enjoyed a very positive meeting on Wednesday afternoon and we are unanimously agreed we will do everything we can to keep the team on the track.
“We have some proposals we would like to present to the other clubs when we eventually get a date for the National League AGM and then we can make some firm plans. Until then we are in a state of flux.
“We need the supporters to remain patient and we thank them for that. Without going into detail, the various issues we have had to face, both individually and collectively, would have made it easier to bring the current era to a close but we are committed to keeping the Heathens going despite the challenging circumstances we have faced this year. Our hearts are definitely ruling our heads!
“We need positivity throughout the club and, most importantly, we need to be certain the support will still be there for us moving forward. Whilst there are still hurdles for us to overcome and issues to address over which we have little or no control we are optimistic of a positive result.”