LEMON: RETURNING ACES STAR ETHERIDGE READY FOR TOP-FIVE PUSH

PAUL BURBIDGE

Belle Vue boss Mark Lemon is backing returning Aussie star Jye Etheridge to cement his spot in the Aces top five as he returns for 2022.

After weeks of speculation over who would fill the Manchester club’s final two spots, Etheridge has been drafted in alongside Speedway GP star Max Fricke, Brady Kurtz, Tom Brennan, Charles Wright and Norick Blodorn.

The 26-year-old, who will also double up with SGB Championship side Berwick, is being tipped to progress at the National Speedway Stadium.

Lemon said: “Filling these last couple of team places has had its challenges. I was prepared to wait. However, I can say I’m delighted that Jye has agreed to re-join us in 2022.

“He’s a quite a character in the pits and committed on track, and I’m confident he will continue to develop in Premiership competition. I feel he is capable of moving into the main body of the team, and the fact that he has raced with the majority of the lads in previous seasons means he slots into this team composition nicely.”

Etheridge is also determined to fight his way out of the reserve berths as prepares for his fourth season in Aces colours – a chance he feared had passed him by.

He said: “It’s amazing to be heading back to Belle Vue this year. I’ll be honest; as time went on I didn’t think I was going to get the call. But when Lemmo got on the phone, there was no doubt in my mind that this is where I wanted to be in the Premiership.

“It’s been quite full-on getting bikes built up ready for press day, but it’ll be worth it when the season gets underway.

“I love riding the National Speedway Stadium. I’ve invested a lot of money into my equipment this year, so I’m hoping to score plenty of big points.

“My main aim is to put a few more points on my average to get into the main body of the team and hopefully stay there. I came close last year, but with a lot of the other boys scoring big points too, it just kept me out. But I think I can do it this year and I’m just looking forward to getting started.”

Photo: Taylor Lanning

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