Sheffield speedway: Global champion is ready for Owlerton

Jason Doyle:  Picture by Steve Feeney
Jason Doyle: Picture by Steve Feeney
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World champion Jason Doyle says he’s riding in Simon Stead’s Farewell out of respect for the man.

Stead has brought the curtain down on a glittering career and hosts his big meeting at Owlerton this Sunday (4pm.)

A bumper crowd is expected for the event with extra parking made available at Hillsborough Park.

And Doyle, who won the sport’s ultimate prize in Melbourne last October, is pleased to play his part.

He said: “As a competing rider you don’t do these sorts of meetings like farewells or testimonials for the money, you do it because you have respect for whichever guy it’s for. That’s certainly the case for me riding for Simon.

“Simon has been a great ambassador for the sport, not just in Britain but all over Europe down the years. When he retired from riding at the back end of 2016, he left a gaping hole. But the one big advantage is that he hasn’t been lost to the sport all together.

“It’s great that someone like Simon has decided to stick with speedway. He obviously still enjoys it and wants to stay involved and that can only be a good thing because he’s got years of experience and knowledge to pass on.”

Doyle is joined by another world champion, 2012 winner Chris Holder, and former Grand Prix superstars Chris Harris, Peter Kildemand and Niels-Kristian Iversen.

Tigers riders Lasse Bjerre, Kyle Howarth and Todd Kurtz are all included but Josh Bates is out injured.

Doyle said: “This is a great opportunity for me to test my engines and equipment in a line-up with top quality in it.

“With the likes of Chris (Holder), Martin (Vaculik), Niels (Kristian Iversen) and a few of the other guys, they’re either in the GPs or have been in recent times so it can give you a good indication of roughly where you’re starting at. I’m bringing my Grand Prix mechanics over because of that reason and I’m using two brand new bikes that I haven’t had any practice on before this weekend.”