CONNOR Mountain is relishing the opportunity to return to the Premiership full-time in 2024 with the Belle Vue ‘ATPI’ Aces and says that this season will likely be the biggest he has faced in his career.
The 26-year-old rode for both Sheffield and Leicester in 2022 but sat out of full-time racing in the top flight last year as a result of the infamous numbers game.
But this year, with a new points limit for team managers to build their teams to and two vacancies in the side, it was an easy decision for the Norfolk racer to make the switch to Manchester.
He said: “I had a few guest bookings for King’s Lynn and Sheffield last year but nothing full time so I’m looking forward to, hopefully, having a full season with the Aces under my belt.
“It was pretty much the perfect opportunity for me to join Belle Vue. I am serious about my racing and I want to improve, and what better way to do that than ride for one of the best clubs!
“I’m really grateful to Mark [Lemon] for the opportunity and I want to show that I am capable of stepping up my game and I can’t wait to get started.”
In addition to his Premiership commitments, Mountain will also double up in British Speedway’s Championship League and he hopes the extra track time will work in his favour.
He continued: “I rode only the one league in 2023 and it was tough.
“I was hoping that after such a successful season with Sheffield that they might’ve been able to fit me in, but it was clear they couldn’t.
“That was the only reason I didn’t race Premiership this year, but now I have the chance to spend more time on track, more time learning and improving and I’m really excited.
“Plus, with all of these world class riders coming back to the UK to race, I mean for someone like me it’s a massive plus because these are the guys I aspire to be like.
“It’s not often you get to learn from the likes of Janowski and Sayfutdinov and I want to show I can mix it up with those boys.”
Like a handful of his Aces team mates, Mountain is looking forward to a quiet Christmas before the preparations for the New year get underway, but he hasn’t been completely neglecting his training.
He said: “I’ve not been on a Speedway bike since the end of the season but I’ve been doing a lot of motocross to keep me fresh.
“I’ll be starting my preparations come January, but for now I just want to enjoy a nice, peaceful festive period with my family before things really start to pick up.”
2024 Season Tickets applications are now available online at BELLEVUE-SPEEDWAY.COM/SEASON-TICKETS, with the club offering a Premiership package or combined Premiership/NDL package.
Image: Belle Vue CEO Mark Lemon (L) with Connor Mountain (R); ©Ian Charles