Triple world champion Nicki Pedersen has completed a sensational return to British racing with SGB Premiership side Peterborough.

Pedersen last appeared in the UK with the Panthers in 2011 and is set for an extremely busy season. He will also race for Polish side Grudziadz and Danish team Holsted, as well as managing the Danish national side and appearing in Discovery+ and Kanal 5 reality TV series Team Pedersen.

There’s no doubt Pedersen’s comeback is another huge step forward for a league, which has already regained Belle Vue’s double Speedway GP winner Dan Bewley and Ipswich’s former world No.3 Emil Sayfutdinov this winter. Aussie Speedway GP trio Jason Doyle, Max Fricke and Jack Holder will also compete in the SGB Premiership.

Pedersen is delighted to be joining forces with a club, whose starting line-up also features former Danish international teammates Niels-Kristian Iversen and Hans Andersen, SGP2 star Benjamin Basso, Richie Worrall, Ben Cook and Jordan Jenkins.

The Odense-born ace hopes his arrival will enthuse fans at the East of England Showground. He said: “I’m pretty sure I can excite a few fans over there on and off the track!

“One of the feelings that felt good in my stomach was the impression of what I can bring to British Speedway and to the fans, especially the Peterborough Panthers fans.

“I still have many friends there, people who I know and remember, so there will be bums on seats as we always say, and good racing! But also off the track the fans can have a chat with me, and those are the things you can’t buy for money, so hopefully I’m going to put some positivity into everything. We want to lift the Peterborough Panthers to the next level.”

The 45-year-old admits he gets on well with Panthers owner Keith ‘Buster’ Chapman. He said: “Buster and me, and also his wife, we’ve always had a good relationship. I’ve always respected him, and he has always respected me. I even remember four or five years ago he came to Torun for the GP; we hadn’t seen each other for many years, and they just love me to pieces. I’ve always done my work for them. I’ve never let them down and I’ve got such respect for people like that.

“When the Peterborough opportunity came up, I said to him, ‘give me a couple of days, let me think about it, because I need to feel good in my stomach.’ I needed to sleep on things, and every day I was waking up thinking ‘this might be interesting.’”

Chapman is delighted to have Pedersen in Panthers colours. He said: “I’m so pleased Nicki will be riding for Peterborough. I’ve known him for many, many years. Ever since he first came to England, I have had a lot of respect for him, and it’s going to be good to work with him.

“What you get with Nicki is a racer from the heart, and that’s what I love about him. He’s a lovely guy off the track. On the track he’s a different person, and he’s great to have around.

“I’m pleased he took the time to talk to us and consider us, and in the end came forward and agreed. I know how busy he is this year, and there were non-stop phone calls and messages to each other, but it was worth it in the end.

“You have to keep pushing things, and with the mutual respect that exists between us, we are both honest with each other about what we expect.

“Nicki has always been so good with the public, and that’s what has always impressed me about him. I’ve seen him at GPs talking to fans outside the pits, and in towns, and he’s always approachable.

“The only difference is when he’s racing because that’s when his head is in gear for that. He’s not difficult; he’s just the ultimate professional, and I’m very excited to bring him in.”

There are concerns over Panthers’ long-term future with their Showground home set to be redeveloped, possibly after the end of the 2023 season. If this year proves the club’s last there, Chapman is determined to see Peterborough depart in style.

He said: “We know this may be our last season at the Showground, and if that’s the case I want to go out with a bang there and do the public proud, and this hopefully will push us on to do that.”