LEICESTER launch a new era of Premiership racing with a home clash against Peterborough at the Pidcock Motorcycles Arena, Beaumont Park on Thursday (7.30pm).

The Watling JCB Lions showed clear signs that they should be a force at this level with an encouraging KO Cup display at Ipswich last week, and now look to put league points on the board for the first time.

It’s the first of three home matches in eight days to give the new season real momentum, as the re-arranged second leg against the Witches comes up on Monday, before champions Belle Vue are in town next Thursday.

But the Panthers are the first test, and despite the relative lack of distance between the clubs, meetings between them in the past have been few and far between.

There is plenty of Leicester familiarity in the visiting line-up, with captain Hans Andersen and Richie Worrall both having had two previous spells in Lions colours, Worrall enjoying an excellent campaign in the Championship last year.

Former Grand Prix winner Niels-Kristian Iversen is back in British racing this season but the Panthers will operate rider replacement for fellow countryman Nicki Pedersen.

The Lions are unchanged from the team on duty at Foxhall last week with skipper Chris Harris, GP star Max Fricke and fellow heat leader Richard Lawson amongst the riders making their home debuts.

Team manager Stewart Dickson said: “It’s our first Premiership match on our return so obviously we’re looking to get off to a good start and get a couple of points on the league table.

“We know Peterborough have their problems and our supporters would have loved to see Nicki Pedersen riding – as I would have done too with my supporter hat on, but we’ve been told it’s r/r for him and we have to accept that, whatever the reasons for it.

“I can only concentrate on our team, and getting us ready, and the riders are itching to go, they’re desperate to get some meetings under their belt.

“It’s still going to be a stiff test because we know Peterborough have riders who ride our track – Richie Worrall has proved before, Iversen is a former track record holder, and Hans Andersen is ex-Leicester too, and others have done plenty of laps here.

“I’m pretty sure Rob Lyon will cover Nicki Pedersen’s rides as well as he can to maximise their points, but for us it’s all about getting a home win.

“This is almost a banana skin first home meeting, and I’m not getting any fanciful ideas about winning by 12 or 14 points and trying to put the aggregate point beyond doubt.

“It’s all about making sure we win our first league match of the season, that’s all we can focus on, and if it turns out to be 46-44 then it’ll be closer than I would have hoped, but at the same time we just need to get our home campaign off to a home win.”

Gates open at the Pidcock Motorcycles Arena, Beaumont Park at 6pm, with the meeting getting underway at 7.30pm.

LEICESTER: Max Fricke, Justin Sedgmen, Richard Lawson, Chris Harris, Nick Morris, Jake Allen, Dan Thompson.
PETERBOROUGH: Nicki Pedersen r/r, Hans Andersen, Richie Worrall, Benjamin Basso, Niels-Kristian Iversen, Ben Cook, Jordan Jenkins.

Next Home Meeting

Leicester Cubs V Scunthorpe Stags / Sheffield Prowlers
May 19, 2024

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