Speedway News

(SPEEDWAY 1)BIRMINGHAM have finalised their Elite League squad with the addition of Swedish international Magnus Karlsson.Karlsson, a former Wolverhampton rider, will share one of the team places with Ben Barker and will double-up with Premier League Leicester.Brummies boss Graham Drury said: "Magnus will very much be second choice for this role behind Ben, but I'm thinking he can do a job for us and then become first choice for the 2013 season."I've seen him ride Perry Barr superbly in the past when he was with Scunthorpe and I've got no doubt he can do a solid job for us when we call on him. He can be a valuable member of the squad without a doubt."(SPEEDWAY 2)LAKESIDE skipper Lee Richardson has backed the club's winter recruitment policy which has seen two new heat-leaders arrive at Purfleet.And Richardson says he is up for the challenge of maintaining his No.1 spot with the Hammers, who have been bolstered by the signings of Davey Watt and Peter Karlsson.Richardson said: "When I met up with Jon (Cook) in November he told me the club's main aim was to sign a recognised heat leader. To now have them both in the line up is a real bonus and gives us an excellent chance of going into the latter stages of the season with a real opportunity of success in two-legged meetings, where we have fallen short in the past."I know both Peter and Davey well and I am sure we will have a friendly rivalry all season long for the No.1 spot, and I am determined it will be mine again when the first Green Sheets come out. That can only be good for all three of us."(SPEEDWAY 3)BERWICK are seeking a second replacement rider after receiving confirmation that Australian youngster Brenton Barnfield will not be fit to start the season.Neurological experts have been unable to give Barnfield the all-clear following an horrific crash at Kurri-Kurri last month, and the club have now turned their attentions elsewhere having already signed Ricky Ashworth to replace the injured Kozza Smith.Manager Ian Rae said: "This is a heart-breaker for the lad, who has already invested so much in carving a career with the Bandits. However, he has our assurance that, once he is passed fully fit by the doctors and has been able to resume racing at the level he had reached prior to the crash, we will not forget about him, even if he has to wait until 2013."To replace Brenton in the line-up we have decided the rider we will introduce - and no, we don't know who he is yet - is someone who will become a club asset. We are not interested in taking on a loanee from another club at this time."(SPEEDWAY 4)PHIL Morris has been tempted out of retirement to make one last bid to win the British Open Ice title.Morris, the popular Welshman, will take his place in the final staging of the Telford Ice meetings on Sunday week, February 26 - having finished on the rostrum twice with top spot just eluding him.Telford promoter Graham Drury said: "When I spoke to Phil he told me he wanted to have one last go at the title. He's in training and deadly serious about it. Without doubt he is consistently the best rider we have had at Telford who has never won the title. He's gone close, he got a maximum in the team event once, he knows what he's doing and he will be a threat."Even though he's not raced competitively for a couple of years he will be well and truly up for this."