LEICESTER kick off the new Premiership campaign with a big clash against regular contenders Belle Vue at the Pidcock Motorcycles Arena, Beaumont Park on Thursday (7.30pm).
The Watling JCB Lions completed press and practice on Wednesday with a full day of team activities – and, most importantly, an extensive on-track session.
All seven Lions riders completed plenty of laps on a circuit which has received significant work over the winter, with the club battling poor weather on several occasions, even as recently as the rainfall of Sunday and Tuesday.
But the overall reaction was positive and the Lions can now look forward to the showdown with the Aces, who travel with a familiar looking side led by a powerful spearhead of Aussie ace Brady Kurtz, British Champion Dan Bewley and the fast-improving Jaimon Lidsey.
The Manchester side have two new signings this season having recruited Ben Cook from Peterborough, who are unable to race in 2024, and former Lions rider Connor Mountain comes in at reserve.
Leicester hand a full debut to USA star Luke Becker whilst Sam Masters, Ryan Douglas and Joe Thompson all return after previous senior spells with the club, the latter two at Championship level.
And with preparations all complete, Lions boss Stewart Dickson is keen to see his side put two league points on the board by kicking off with a home win.
Dickson said: “The general consensus of opinion was the boys were happy with the track. We knew it took a bit of rain on Sunday and Tuesday, so I didn’t join them at the karting and other activities because I was on the track from 7am.
“But we got there, and I was pleasantly surprised with the reaction of the track, and the riders on it. Collectively they seem fine, and we now look forward to a big meeting against Belle Vue.
“They will have ambitions the same as us, and I think it was very important that we got on the track on Wednesday, because this is going to be a tough opening meeting.
“We had a couple of good matches with them last season and they bring a strong team with Kurtz, Bewley and Lidsey, not forgetting the other guys, they’re a good side.
“But it’s about us. This is our home track, and although as everybody does they looked good when they were out by themselves, the real test will come on Thursday when there’s four bikes going into the corner at the same time.
“But I’m feeling much better after seeing the guys on track, and they got a good couple of hours which is really important at this stage of the season.”
LEICESTER: Max Fricke, Richard Lawson, Sam Masters, Luke Becker, Ryan Douglas, Drew Kemp, Joe Thompson.
BELLE VUE: Brady Kurtz, Norick Blodorn, Jaimon Lidsey, Ben Cook, Dan Bewley, Connor Mountain, Connor Bailey.
*Gates open at the Pidcock Motorcycles Arena, Beaumont Park at 6pm with the meeting getting underway at 7.30pm.
Supporters are advised that there are no shows on Thursday from the circus currently operating at Beaumont Park, and there are no changes to normal parking arrangements.

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Leicester Lions V Oxford Spires
May 27, 2024

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