LEICESTER have completed the signing of former Grand Prix racer Troy Batchelor - who goes straight into the team for Monday’s home clash with King’s Lynn.

The 35-year-old has agreed to join the Watling JCB Lions as a replacement for fellow countryman Nick Morris, who is currently serving an initial 30-day suspension imposed by the Speedway Control Bureau.

Morris failed to comply with the Alcohol and Doping testing procedure when randomly selected prior to Wednesday’s fixture between Birmingham and Glasgow, and he will be summoned to attend an SCB Disciplinary Court hearing.

The Lions would have been entitled to a facility for Morris over that initial period of suspension, but given his position in the team averages it would have meant rider-replacement only.

Batchelor, who has a lengthy UK career dating back to 2005 including two top-flight league titles with Swindon, had been out of racing in the first half of the season as he was without a team place in either league.

Ironically, he then became manager Stewart Dickson’s first major signing when he took charge at Birmingham last month in a bid to improve their Championship fortunes, and he has scored double figures in both appearances for the Brummies so far.

He will line up in the No.3 riding position for the Lions as Dickson re-jigs his riding order for the first time this season, with Richard Lawson now switching to No.5.

Dickson said: “There’s really not too much I can say about the situation with Nick, and we will be able to comment more once he has had his hearing with the SCB.

“I was there on Wednesday as Birmingham team manager of course, but I wasn’t in the room, I don’t know fully what went down, and at the time I was on the track walk with the other riders.

“One thing I’m not prepared to do is to generate more speculation because we don’t know the full facts yet, so that’s all I can say for now.

“However, the situation we face is that Nick is suspended initially for 30 days, and that has led me to move quickly to bring Troy in.

“I’ve got to stress that I haven’t signed Troy Batchelor at Leicester to help Birmingham. The two clubs are separate business for me, and I’ve done it because I feel he’s the best choice for Leicester.

“Having said that, it could be a win-win situation because he definitely needs more meetings, and he was desperate to come to Leicester when I spoke to him.

“Troy is a fast gater and I think he can do well around our track. Everything is agreed and he’ll make his debut on Monday, and hopefully have a practice before that as well.”

Batchelor’s Lions debut on Monday comes against one of his former clubs, with the King’s Lynn line-up scheduled to include 2021 World Champion Artem Laguta, who will be making his first appearance at the Pidcock Motorcycles Arena, Beaumont Park.

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May 27, 2024

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