LIONS MOVE FOR HAGON

03/05/2024

LIONS MOVE FOR HAGON

LEICESTER have made a team change in their Rising Star position ahead of their ROWE Motor Oil Premiership fixture at Oxford on Monday.

The Watling JCB Lions have moved to sign 19-year-old Sam Hagon, who will be stepping up as a full-time Premiership rider for the first time.

Hagon, who won the British Youth 250cc title in 2019, has made an encouraging start to the season at Championship level for Poole, and he scored a 15-point maximum in the British Under-21 qualifier at Plymouth earlier this week.

He comes into the team in place of Joe Thompson, who will remain with the Lion Cubs in the National Development League along with his Championship commitments for Plymouth.

Manager Stewart Dickson said: “I’d like to thank Joe for his efforts, and I just feel from looking at his body language in the pits, racing in the Premiership isn’t helping him at the moment.

“He hasn’t scored in the last two home matches and I feel at the moment maybe it’s best for him to concentrate on his Championship and NDL racing.

“Speedway should also be about enjoyment and I don’t think it’s enjoyable for him at the moment, so the promotion collectively made the decision to bring in Sam, but we do wish Joe well and look forward to him still leading the Lion Cubs.

“We welcome Sam to the club, I worked with him for a short time when I was at Birmingham last season and I liked what I saw.

“Looking at where he is now compared to where he was then, he’s made improvement, and I think improvement is the key word.

“I’m not asking or expecting him to come in and score a bundle of points straight away, because we know it’s a very tough league, but I also spoke to (Poole promoter) Matt Ford about him, someone whose opinions I do respect, and he was of the same view.

“It might take him a few meetings to get up to speed but for me he’s only going one way, and if he needs any practices at Leicester we can certainly get him in.

“He jumped at the chance and is very keen, he’s desperate to race his bike and fingers crossed he can get us a couple of points each meeting, that will be his target.”

Hagon is the son of former rider Martin and came through the British Youth system before racing for Mildenhall and Oxford in the NDL, prior to Championship spells with Birmingham and now Poole, and he also has an NDL team place at Belle Vue.

He said: “I know it’s a big step up for me and I’m going straight into two away matches, although I’m quite fortunate that I rode for a season at Oxford and I’m an asset of King’s Lynn so it’s not like I don’t know those tracks.

“I don’t really think I didn’t deserve a spot in the Premiership at the start of the year, and I think it was probably because I ended up with an injury last year, but then I did Australia and started well with Poole.

“The best thing with Leicester is you’ve got time to practice there and time to learn, and you’ve got people there like Max Fricke, Dougy (Ryan Douglas) and Sam Masters, so it’s pretty strong.

“It’s going to be a good step up and hopefully I can start scoring points and help them win matches home and away.”

With the Lions currently having a break from home matches, Hagon’s home debut will come on Monday May 27 when they host Oxford.

But he will have the opportunity of a meeting at the Pidcock Motorcycles Arena, Beaumont Park before that, as he will be racing against the Lion Cubs for Belle Vue in the NDL on Sunday May 12.

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Leicester Lions V Ipswich Witches
July 18, 2024 19.30

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