Sheffield Speedway: Ready, Steady go..

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Simon Stead has confirmed he will be ready to return to the Sheffield side for their opening home meeting of the season with Leicester on Thursday.

Stead has been forced to take a nine-day break after suffering concussion in the Ben Fund charity meeting at King’s Lynn and under new regulations he had no alternative but to miss Saturday’s first leg in the East Midlands.

Tigers went down 59-34 at Beaumont Park against Elite League opposition but with Stead making his first Owlerton appearance in almost a year on Thursday hopes are high for revenge.

He said: “I will be back on Thursday for sure. I had to take the nine days out because of the rules and I’m looking forward to getting back on it.”

The gulf in class between Elite and Premier became obvious at Leicester as then Lions roared to 12 race wins and had too much firepower for Sheffield.

Tigers were on the ropes early on with two successive 5-1 maximums for the home side – but it was a handy workout for the Owlerton men.

Co-boss Marc Bates said: “It’s been good for all the riders to get some track time and get some racing. You can practice as much as you want, nothing can compare to being lined up next to three other riders at the tapes.

“There were some positives to take from it. Jason (Garrity) rode extremely well, Dimitri (Berge) improved as the meeting went on, Richard (Hall) scored some good points and everyone kept trying until the end.

“Considering it was against an Elite League team in an Elite League format I think we held our own, and I’m sure we’ll give a much better account of ourselves in the return fixture on Thursday.”

LEICESTER 59: Josh Auty 12, Patrick Hougaard 11, Szymon Wozniak 10+1, Paul Starke 7+3, Nicolai Klindt 7+2, Sebastian Ulamek 7+2, Grzegorz Walasek 5+1.

SHEFFIELD 34: Jason Garrity 14, Richard Hall 7+1, Kyle Howarth 4, Dimitri Berge 3+1, Josh Grajczonek 3, Josh Bates 2, Nathan Greaves 1.