Aussie racer Max Fricke declared his switch to SGB Premiership newcomers Leicester an “exciting opportunity” as he makes the move from Belle Vue.

The Lions have made the leap into British speedway’s top flight for 2023 and Fricke will lead their title challenge alongside triple British champion Chris Harris.

The Speedway GP rider missed out on a spot in Belle Vue’s 2023 side, with the Aces linked with a move for world No.6 Dan Bewley. But Fricke is backing Leicester to make their mark at the highest level after falling just short of winning the SGB Championship this season.

He told the Lions website: “I’m happy to be a part of this team as they make their return to the Premiership. I have high hopes we can be a competitive force in the top league come next season. Now I just have to wait patiently to get the 2023 season underway.

“I’ve spent a long time at Belle Vue, and with Leicester moving back up to the Premiership, it’s an exciting opportunity for me.

“It’s great to see the management taking on the challenge of the top league, and so far, the team is shaping up to be impressive.

“It’s been a while since I’ve ridden at Leicester so I’m looking forward to getting a go on this track again and working with the team to make 2023 a success.”

Leicester bosses have confirmed their Paul Chapman & Sons Arena circuit will undergo extensive improvements in the off-season after the club was unable to host their home leg of the SGB Championship Grand Final, which they eventually lost to Poole on November 4.

The meeting was switched to King’s Lynn after Lions were forced to admit defeat in their efforts to repair a wet and heavy track, which had been battered by weeks of rain.

In a statement on their website, Lions have announced plans to upgrade their plant and their drainage. They revealed: “The Lions have purchased all track equipment from Swindon Speedway including a motorway blade, water tanker and crop sprayer. There will also be a hard-standing area on the centre green which will aid movement of the equipment.

“Following the problems last month which resulted in the play-off Grand Final being switched away from Leicester after heavy rain, new drainage systems will be put in place for next year.

“The club has invested in new lighting which will be installed before the start of the season, and they also plan to carry out a full upgrade of the PA system, being aware of fans’ concerns this year.”