WORLD Champion Jason Doyle has completed a sensational return to Somerset for the 2018 SGB Premiership season.
Doyle, who led Swindon to the top flight title this year, was a winner of the old Premier League with the Rebels back in 2013, one of three previous campaigns spent at the Oaktree Arena.
He now lines up for the club at Premiership level for the first time after two years with the Robins, and two prior to that with Leicester.
Somerset manager Garry May said: “I think this was the signing all Somerset fans had hoped for, but perhaps never thought it would actually happen.
“But I know that Jason considers Somerset has his ‘home’ as far as speedway is concerned, and his signing is a statement of intent by the club for the 2018 campaign.”
FORMER British Champions Scott Nicholls and Chris Harris will be back to spearhead Rye House’s SGB Premiership challenge next season.
The experienced duo, with a remarkable ten British titles between them, formed the foundations of the Rockets’ debut top-flight campaign in 2017, with a late charge seeing them fall agonisingly short of a play-off place.
Co-promoter Steve Jenson said: “They are both great ambassadors for the sport, and we want to have them here at Rye House as long as they want to ride for us.
“In many ways, they are very different riders - in their styles on the track, the way they operate in the pits, and yet they are also very similar in terms of their strengths, in what they have achieved and in wanting the same results.
“We’ve learned so much off the pair of them. They are both so positive.”
SOMERSET will hand a UK debut to former Danish Under-21 Champion Jonas Jeppesen next season.
And the Rebels have also confirmed the popular Charles Wright will be back in 2018 for his sixth year with the club.
19-year-old Jeppesen’s signing has been endorsed by ex-GP star Bjarne Pedersen and former Rebels rider Rasmus Jensen – whilst Wright returns after finishing second in the Rebels’ averages this year.
Manager Garry May said: “I had been tracking Jonas’ results in Europe throughout last season and asked Bjarne if he felt that the lad was ready for coming over to the UK, and he felt that Jonas was more than ready for the challenge.
“Jonas comes to us on an assessed 4.00 average, and will start out at reserve alongside Bradley [Wilson-Dean], but I expect both to be not only challenging each other for the top reserve berth, but to put pressure on Jake [Allen] for a place in the main body of the team.
“Charles is the type of ride that the fans love to see, all-action with a never-say-die attitude, and although he might provide everyone with one or two scary moments every now and then, to be honest, I wouldn’t want it any other way with Charles.”
REDCAR have completed the capture of Danish youngster Mikkel B Andersen – who will now join brother Jonas in the Bears’ side.
The younger Andersen, 21, had been lined up to make his British debut with Swindon this year only for that move to fall through.
And the Teesside club have also announced the signing of experienced Dutchman Theo Pijper, who attained a 4.23 average in a spell with parent club Edinburgh last season.
Pijper said: “I feel it’s a great promotion to be part of and any time I’ve been down I’ve been made very welcome.
“I have two completely new bikes so I’m committed and I have my determination and hunger back for racing – I hope it proves to both me and the team to be beneficial starting at reserve. If there’s one thing about me that’s the fact I’ll always give 110 per cent.”
BIRMINGHAM have added to their heat-leader strength with the signing of Mitchell Davey.
The 27-year-old guested successfully for the club in their National League title campaign in 2016, including in the Grand Final against Eastbourne, and then scored a 15-point maximum at Perry Barr for Stoke last season.
Co-promoter David Mason said: “Mitchell is going to bring so much to our team both on and off the track and this is a key signing in my eyes. He's a real classy performer and for me he is one of the standout riders in the National League.
“He's got a real liking for the Perry Barr track and with a full season under his belt there, I just think he's going to get better and better as the year goes on.
“I really do think that there's even more to come from Mitchell and his skills and talent on a bike are unquestionable.”
PLYMOUTH have completed their 2018 National League line-up with the signings of James Cockle and Ryan Terry-Daley.
Cockle returns to the St. Boniface Arena for the first time since 2012 having spent the last two years with Isle of Wight, and Terry-Daley arrives for his debut campaign with the Devils fresh from a 2017 stint with Stoke.
Promoter Mark Phillips said: “When the points limit was agreed at the National League AGM James became our primary target with the points we had to play with.
“He’s a great signing and a true heat-leader who will inspire our younger developing riders.
“Ryan, meanwhile, is a very solid performer at most tracks in the league and is dependable when we need the points. We believe he can go on and be a very valuable team member for the coming season.”
CONNOR Coles has become Buxton’s second new signing for the 2018 National League campaign.
Coles joins the Hitmen on a 6.75 average after recent third tier spells with Mildenhall and then Eastbourne and the Isle of Wight last season, and is targeting a move up to the No.1 race-jacket at the Hi-Edge Raceway next year.
Manager Josh Moss said: “I’m really pleased to have Connor on board, I feel we have a really good rider on a bargain average - he is more than capable of scoring double figures home and away, and I feel he will thrive here at Buxton next season.
“I’d like to thank Mildenhall and Kevin Jolly for allowing us to bring Connor here to Hi-Edge raceway for the 2018 campaign.”
ADAM Extance is set to return to the National League with Stoke next year after sitting out the last two seasons due to injury.
Former Buxton rider Extance had seen a move to Eastbourne last winter fall through due to a long-term knee problem, but he is now back to fitness and has been on-track extensively at Loomer Road.
Potters promoter Dave Tattum said: “I’ve known Adam for a while now, he has been coming regularly to our Monday afternoon practice sessions and he now feels ready to return to racing in 2018.
“He is a very accomplished motorcyclist, he feels he has a lot to prove and is looking for a good season in Stoke colours next year. We are delighted to have him on board.”