The 2023 Peter Craven Memorial kicks off Belle Vue Speedway’s 95th Anniversary season and we are pleased to announce the first four riders in this year’s field.
Defending champion Michael Palm Toft returns hoping to replicate his 2022 victory whilst ATPI Aces’ Premiership title winner Matej Zagar is back hoping to turn silver to gold in our flagship event.
Also joining the fray is returning Belle Vue man and Australian international Jaimon Lidsey along with former world No.2 Krzysztof Kasprzak, who are first to tapes at the National Speedway Stadium.
It will be a rare UK appearance in Manchester for ‘King of Slovenia’ Zagar who, though not featuring in regular team competition in Britain, is eager to return to his old stomping ground.
Zagar, a popular figure amongst the Belle Vue faithful, was instrumental in helping the ATPI Aces seal their first league title victory since 1993.
Palm Toft, who races for King’s Lynn, was a last-minute inclusion in the 2022 event and went on to become a deserving winner of that meeting and is keen to make it back-to-wins.
Lidsey returns to the ATPI Aces after a short absence away from British racing and is ready to help the club defend the Premiership League crown in our upcoming campaign.
Kasprzak, meanwhile, made the surprise announcement that he was returning to the UK this year to race for King’s Stars and the former Speedway Grand Prix star is a welcome addition.
Belle Vue CEO Mark Lemon is pleased to commence with such a quality assembly of riders for the 28th staging of Peter Craven Memorial, when the club pays tribute to one of our finest ever riders.
He said: “As 2023 is Belle Vue’s 95th anniversary season, a lot of planning is going into this year’s event which will open the Speedway season here in Manchester on Monday 20th March.
“It has become one of the top events that riders are keen to add to their calendar.”
“Bringing Matej into the meeting was obvious choice. He is not only a global Speedway star but also has a strong connection to this club through his exploits for the Aces, particularly last season.”
“Jaimon, likewise, is one of our Belle Vue boys again in 2023. I’m confident he is capable of performing at a world class level in the Premiership and we are happy to welcome him back to Manchester.”
“Palm Toft and Kasprzak were likewise high on my list. They are two very exciting riders to watch, and Michael is the reigning Peter Craven champion.
“It’s only right he defends his title, and Krzysztof’s Polish form of late plus his racing style suits the National Speedway Stadiums to a tee.”
“I’m delighted to have kicked off announcements with such a powerful group of top riders. We’re happy with the way the field is shaping up, one that will certainly do justice to the great Peter Craven.”
Meeting ticket details and hospitality options will soon be available to pre-book for the 2023 Peter Craven Memorial at bellevue-speedway.com.
Image: L-R: Matej Zagar, Jaimon Lidsey, Krzysztof Kasprzak, Michael Palm Toft