GREAT Britain launch their Speedway of Nations campaign when they compete at Belle Vue tonight (Tuesday).
Alun Rossiter’s side require a top-three finish on the night to book their place in the final stages of the competition in Poland on Friday and Saturday.
Tai Woffinden, Craig Cook and Robert Lambert line up for GB in a meeting which also includes World Champion Jason Doyle for Australia, and fellow big-hitters Sweden.
Rossiter said: “I don’t think it’s going to be as easy as people make it out to be. You get other teams coming to the fore like the Germans did on Saturday. Kai Huckenbeck was riding really well.
“Here we’ll have people like Vaclav Milik and David Bellego riding – David rides Belle Vue very well. There’s the potential of people taking points off everybody, so while we look pretty good, it’s not going to be as easy as people make it out to be.”
REDCAR are set to make a double change in time for their Championship clash with Berwick at the Media Prima Arena on Thursday.
The Bears have released Matej Kus after a disappointing run of form, whilst Tobias Busch faces time out with a hand injury after an accident at home.
In their places the Teesside club have moved to bring French prospect Dimitri Berge – who had a brief spell with them in 2015 - back to British racing, and youngster Nathan Greaves is also joining on a 28-day contract.
Manager Jitendra Duffill said: “Dimitri is very excited to be back racing in the UK and the Media Prima Arena will suit him well. He is a rider who thrives on big, fast tracks and I am sure he will be very quick around our circuit.
“Nathan was very impressive last week when guesting for us against Sheffield. He is a rider that never gives up and I am sure he will do a good job for us at reserve. He is a rider I rate highly and he is very keen to make an impression.
“It gives Tobias time to recover from his injuries as I am reluctant to use a rider unless they are at 100 per cent.”
CRADLEY’s class of 2018 romped to the club’s biggest win in almost four years with a 68-22 demolition of Buxton.
The Heathens were always major favourites for the clash with the visitors severely depleted through injury, and the hosts were dominant from start to finish as they returned to the top of their National Trophy group.
Kyle Bickley stormed to a 15-point maximum and skipper Adam Roynon was also unbeaten from five rides as he notched 12+3. Tom Woolley scored eight for the Hitmen.
Bickley said: “Right from my first race everything just clicked, I didn’t make any mistakes and I was really pleased with how I rode.
“That’s a paid max and a 15-point max I’ve had in a row for Cradley now so I’m enjoying my racing again.
“The team absolutely smashed the win as well which is the most important thing - in fact we couldn’t have asked for much more.”
Buxton manager Josh Moss said: “We always knew this was going to be a difficult meeting especially with the riders we have missing in Connor Coles and Corban Pavitt through injury, and also using rider replacement always makes things difficult. “All the lads did their best and that is all we can ask for, I’m just pleased that we have come away with everyone fit and we will dust ourselves down and turn our attentions to our next meeting and continue our efforts to bring a rider or two in to strengthen us.”
STOKE boss Adam Isherwood insists his side’s 56-34 KO Cup defeat at Kent does not represent an insurmountable margin going into the second leg.
The Potters were beset by problems heading to Central Park with Rob Shuttleworth unable to get time off work and Tony Atkin a late arrival.
Jack Thomas scored his first-ever five ride 15-point maximum for the hosts with Luke Bowen adding 12+2, whilst Max Clegg picked up ten for the Potters and Atkin picked up nine.
Isherwood said: “Things conspired against us with not being able to get cover at work and then Tony getting caught up in traffic on route to the meeting.
“We had a couple of exclusions with Joe Alcock falling while leading heat two and Max getting disqualified for touching the tapes, so it just wasn’t our night.
“It is half-time in the tie, there are fifteen heats to do at Loomer Road in the second leg and they could have similar luck, and if we have a full team on song it is possible we can turn things around.”
TUESDAY JUNE 5:
SPEEDWAY OF NATIONS: Belle Vue 7pm
WEDNESDAY JUNE 6:
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Birmingham v Eastbourne 7.30
THURSDAY JUNE 7:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Ipswich v Sheffield 7.30, Redcar v Berwick 7.30
NATIONAL TROPHY: Isle of Wight v Eastbourne 7pm
Results Monday June 4, 2018
NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP 1st round, 1st leg
Kent 56 (Jack Thomas 15)
Stoke 34 (Max Clegg 10)
Cradley 68 (Drew Kemp 17)
Buxton 22 (Tom Woolley 8)
National Trophy points: Cradley 3 Buxton 0