Blackbird ready to start flying again for Panthers

Lewis Blackbird in action for Panthers last season.
Lewis Blackbird in action for Panthers last season.
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Panthers star Lewis Blackbird hopes his injury hell is behind him.

The city-born and Cambridgeshire-based rider was a revelation until his 2014 season was cut short by a broken leg and ankle sustained in an early-August crash when making his debut in Danish racing.

Blackbird, who turned 28 last weekend, got back on a bike for the first time since that spill when completed a practice session at Scunthorpe last Monday.

He admits it was a daunting but ultimately rewarding experience as he received no ill effects from the injuries.

Blackbird said: “I had quite a few nerves beforehand because it was the first time for more than six months that I had ridden a speedway bike.

“Everything came back to me pretty quickly and it went well. It was good to get a few laps under my belt.

“I’m feeling good in myself and I’ve not had any grief from the injuries so hopefully they are behind me.

“I’ve been training hard in the gym and doing some moto-cross, and now I can’t wait for the season to start.

But Panthers have received a blow where Blackbird is concerned due to an unexpected rule change regarding the use of doubling-up riders (those racing in more than one British league).

Blackbird will also represent Elite League outfit Wolverhampton in 2015 and, as he is not owned by either club, they are set to have priority on his services in the event of a fixture clash.

Last season Panthers had priority over him when he also raced at the highest-level for Eastbourne.

Doubling-up rules affect three Panthers riders in total in 2015 with namesakes Robert and Simon Lambert also having top-flight rides.

Robert Lambert is a King’s Lynn asset so they will have automatic priority over his services in the event of a fixture clash.

Simon Lambert is due to ride for Leicester in the top-flight and they will have priority over him due to the fact he is owned by another Elite League club, King’s Lynn.