NEWS Friday 29th November 2019, 9:00pm
The Monarchs' team for 2020 has been finalised with four names announced at their annual Highlights Show in Edinburgh tonight. The backup to the three heat leaders Sam Masters, Richie Worrall and Josh Pickering already announced will be an international quartet.
The names announced are William Lawson (Scotland), James Sarjeant (England), Kye Thomson (Australia) and Lasse Fredriksen (Norway). The latter two will be racing in British Speedway for the first time.
Kye Thomson brings the number of Aussies in our team for 2020 to three. He is 21 and only started speedway in 2016. He says "I'm definitely ready, I think it is about time to come to the UK. Josh Pickering is a good mate of mine, we grew up racing together in flat track.
"I have bought two good bikes which are sitting over in Britain ready to go. Josh has told me all about the Armadale track. I know he rides it well. I'm keen to get next season started, and I'll be over in March."
Half a century ago Monarchs had a couple of outstanding Norwegian riders and 22 year old Lasse Fredriksen hopes he can follow in their footsteps. "Yes I feel really ready for it. I think I have lacked meetings so coming to the UK will be the answer, riding much more.
"Armadale is a difficult track but I liked it. It is a home track, you know? If I can practise on it I will get to know the lines. I like the small technical tracks better than the long ones, I've always done better on the smaller. I think when I get used to it, it will be all right."
James Sarjeant had a short but successful spell with Monarchs last season and his return will be welcomed. Remarkably for a rider at no. 2 he had just a single last place in 25 rides for Monarchs at Armadale last season.
He said "Being with the Monarchs from the start will definitely help and I am looking forward to there being more fixtures as well, sometimes I had 2 or 3 weeks between meetings and that's not what any rider wants. So with riding more then I will be better prepared and I can't wait to get going again."
William Lawson was a Monarch as long ago as 2005 but of course had a massive 8-season gap in his career before returning late in 2018. He improved over the course of 2019 and intends to keep that going next summer.
He said "I'm delighted to be back next year, I know I need to make a right good go of it and I'll be better equipped definitely. I am going to spend a lot more money this winter, my plan is to have one entirely new bike and I have got a sponsor for another new engine as well.
"The team looks strong so far especially at the top with Sam, Richie and Josh but you need to get points all the way through and that's what I'm hoping to bring to the team, I think I was averaging around 5 points a match towards the end of last season and that's where I want to pick up from."
All announcements are subject to BSPA approval.