Australian Troy Batchelor will return to King’s Lynn Speedway next season as they challenge for Elite League honours.
Batchelor, 28, a previous Australian champion and Elite League Riders’ Championship winner, joins Robert Lambert in the King’s Lynn Stars top five next season and will fill one of the heat leader positions when tapes go up next March.
Team manager Rob Lyon admits that having Batchelor in the team will bring more than just points.
Lyon said: “Troy is, of course, no stranger to me or the club. I am delighted he will be coming back to us next season.
“He is an accomplished rider that will bring a lot to the team, on and off the track. Troy is a character and I believe we need that, we missed a bit of personality in the team last year, especially after Rory’s (Schlein) injury.
“On the track he has the ability to win meetings. Over the years as a visiting rider he has been excellent and we want to see him winning plenty of races at the Adrian Flux Arena next year.”
Batchelor last rode for the club in 2006, when he was part of the famous treble-winning side that claimed the Premier League, Knockout Cup and Premier Trophy. It will be 11 years since the Queenslander first made his Saddlebow Road debut.
The Stars management have also confirmed that Elite League racing at the Adrian Flux Arena will now take place on Thursday nights.
Explaining the reasons behind the change, Stars chief Buster Chapman said: “For the long-term future of the club we feel that switching race nights will be more beneficial for many reasons.
“The likelihood is that the Elite League will be pushed towards fixed night racing and we want to be prepared for that possibility.
“More and more riders are becoming unavailable on Wednesday’s due to the Danish Superleague so moving to a Thursday night will give us more options.”
The switch of race night does come at a cost, however, with announced reserve Lewis Kerr now being ruled out, after he signed up to ride for Premier League side Ipswich.
Kerr was informed that the management were considering a race night change before his move to the Witches.
Chapman added: “We wish Lewis well and I am sure he will be picked up by another Elite League club soon. We need to look at the bigger picture and unfortunately that means losing Lewis for 2016. He has a lot of potential and I am sure he will be back with us in the future.
“We are now looking at all our options to sign a new reserve and hopefully we will be in a position to make an announcement soon.”
Moving away from the traditional team unveiling, the next rider will be announced on the club’s website http://www.kingslynnstars.co/ on Thursday at 7.45pm.
Meanwhile, King’s Lynn Young Stars team boss Dale Allitt has completed his team for the start of the 2016 National League.
More on page 39.