British racer Richard Lawson is backing Leicester to make a triumphant return to the SGB Premiership after being confirmed as their third 2023 signing.

Lawson joins Speedway GP rider Max Fricke and triple British champion Chris Harris in Lions’ side for their comeback season at British speedway’s highest level – their first since they dropped down to the SGB Championship after the 2018 season.

Their last spell at the top level was far from easy, but after making the switch from King’s Lynn, Lawson insisted: “There’s definitely not going to be a repeat of that. This team is being built to make a bit of a statement, and I’m sure it’s going to deliver that.

“I’m enjoying this league. It’s really competitive, and I’m excited to be a part of the Leicester side. They’ve got some really good riders coming in.

“I worked with (Lions promoter) Stewart (Dickson) a number of years ago and we’ve stayed good friends, so I was keen to get back under his wing, and that’s pretty exciting too.

“The track is also a big factor. I’ve had a lot of good scores around that place, mainly as an away rider apart from a couple of guest bookings here and there, and being a home rider there really appeals to me. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Dickson’s 2022 Leicester side saw their SGB Championship title hopes ended by Lawson’s Poole team, which completed a league and cup double. He’s much happier to have Lawson racing on his side rather than against the Lions in 2023, and he is also encouraged by the Cumbrian’s strong recent SGB Premiership form.

He said: “Richard should be a good, solid signing for us. He’s a rider who has really stepped up in the last year or two, and he has increased his performances at Premiership level.

“I think he showed that at the end of the season when he scored 14 for King’s Lynn at Sheffield in their last match, and I think even our owners were surprised at how powerful he was on that night.

“He’s also very, very good around Leicester as we’ve found to our cost a number of times, and he was very keen to come here.

“I’ve worked with him before at Glasgow, so I know what I’m going to get. He’s keen and hungry, and the fact that he wanted to come to Leicester ticks a lot of boxes for me.”

Photo: Taylor Lanning