CONNOR Bailey is targeting further progress as the clubs Rising Star in 2024 after confirming his return to the National Speedway Stadium for his first full season in the British Speedway Premiership.
The British U-21 Champion came in mid-way through the club’s last campaign to replace injury victim Jake Mulford, and it was a baptism of fire in his first meeting for the ATPI Aces.
Describing the spectacular crash in his first heat at Monmore Green, he said: “It wasn’t exactly the flying start I was hoping to get off to!
“But I bounced back quite nicely, pun unintended, and I must’ve been doing something right for Mark [Lemon] to invite me back into the team next year.
“This is a huge opportunity. I had a lot of fingers in a lot of pies last year and I don’t see this season being any different. I want to be the best and having track time is what makes the difference.
“The biggest one for me is that I have decided to step away from the National league in order to focus on my racing in the senior leagues.
“The last few years have been amazing but I feel I’ve got everything out of the National League that I can and it’s just naturally the time to move on.
“And with all these big names coming back into the league it’s another huge plus. I don’t what’s caused the shift but there’s definitely ore of a divide between the Championship and Premiership.
It’s not difficult to see the meteoric improvement Bailey has made in just a short space of time after he was summoned to Wroclaw for their Ekstraliga (Poland’s equivalent of the British Premiership) Grand Final.
He said: “That was an opportunity unheard of for a rider of my experience and I knew I had to make the most of it. I mean, starting the year just doing NDL to ending it in the Ekstraliga was crazy!
“I’m hoping that more chances like that will come along, but I am very happy to be competing in the Polish u-24 League, as well as with Redcar and Belle Vue here in the UK.”
With so much to look forward to in the New Year, Bailey is staying focused on commitments closer to home rather than trying to cram in even more laps in Australia.
He said: “I’d love to go back to Australia but I feel it’d be money better spent on my equipment and preparations for 2024 here in Europe.
“I feel like this could be my breakout year. I’ve established a level for myself now and I want to push those boundaries to further improve myself.”
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: Connor Bailey; ©Taylor Lanning