REIGNING Premiership champions Belle Vue return to the scene of their biggest triumph in nearly three decades when they travel to Sheffield’s Owlerton Stadium on Thursday, March 23.
The ATPI Aces launch their title defence against their local rivals in an action-packed replay of last year’s Grand Final, which also kicks off the 2023 British Speedway season.
It’s a highly anticipated meeting, with both teams matching each other almost like-for-like on paper, and the Manchester outfit will be looking to replicate their performance when battle is joined.
Club No.4 Charles Wright is keen to see the results of his off-season shoulder surgery, after he underwent an invasive procedure to reconstruct his right shoulder.
He said: “The shoulder operation saved my career, no doubt about it. I couldn’t have carried on. It was a total mess. I have been putting it off for the last two seasons.
“Even just in my daily life, I’ve noticed a massive difference and I’m convinced it will only continue to improve throughout the year and right now I can’t wait to get on with business.
“It was disappointing when we had to call off the Peter Craven Memorial so this will be the first meeting for all of us, but me and the boys are feeling good and we’re ready to go.
“Local derbies always have that extra kick, and I’m sure the Grand Final is still fresh in Sheffield’s minds so we’re anticipating they’ll be looking to even the score.
“We’d like to begin our title defence with a win and with this team, I think we have more than enough gas in the tank to bring it home.”
Belle Vue launches their home Premiership campaign at the National Speedway Stadium on Monday, March 27 with the return fixture versus Sheffield, tapes up 7:30pm.
Meeting tickets, race day hospitality and south stand parking are available to pre-book via the club’s online ticket portal at bellevue-speedway.com.
SHEFFIELD V BELLE VUE – THURSDAY, MARCH 23 @ 7:30PM [PR1]
Sheffield ‘TruPlant’ Tigers: Jack Holder 8.61, David Bellego 5.80, Adam Ellis 6.72, Kyle Howarth (C) 5.28, Tobiasz Musielak 7.91, Lewis Kerr 4.59, Dan Gilkes (RS); TM: Simon Stead
Belle Vue ‘ATPI’ Aces: Dan Bewley 8.91, Norick Blodorn 5.45, Jaimon Lidsey 5.16, Charles Wright 6.26, Brady Kurtz (C) 8.24, Tom Brennan 4.40, Jake Mulford (RS); TM: Mark Lemon
Image: ©Eddie Garvey