Top Premiership stars head to Peterborough Panthers for an exciting renewal of pairs competition

Peterborough Panthers stage the opening round of British Speedway’s new-look Premiership Pairs competition at the East of England Arena on Monday (7.30pm).

By Alan Swann
Monday, 23rd May 2022, 7:39 am
Chris Harris will lead Panthers in the first round of the Premiership pairs,
Chris Harris will lead Panthers in the first round of the Premiership pairs,

The Pairs is back on the calendar for the first time since 2017, but this time as a six-round series with each club staging one event, rather than as a stand-alone.And Monday’s line-up is packed full of top Premiership stars, including former World Champion Jason Doyle, fellow Grand Prix regulars Max Fricke and Jack Holder, and British Champions Adam Ellis and Danny King – as well as the Crendon Panthers’ own Chris Harris.Each club has been able to select two of their top four riders for their main pairing, and Harris will be joined by current Panthers number one Michael Palm Toft for the home side.All six clubs will race against each other once during the 15 regular heats, with Pairs scoring of 4-3-2-0 applying. The leading team after Heat 15 goes straight to the Final, with second and third racing off for the right to face them, meaning a 17-race schedule in total.Series points are then awarded based on finishing position: 12-8-6-4-2-0 which are carried into the second round at Ipswich next month.In addition, all six clubs track a Rising Star, who must take at least one ride during the regular portion of the meeting. With the Panthers’ Rising Stars unavailable for this meeting, they have called up Newcastle’s Max Clegg from the list of Rising Stars to stand in.There is also an element of choice for riders and team managers over gate positions, as although each club will be pre-programmed with gates 1 and 3 or 2 and 4 for each race, their two riders can start from those gates in either order.Peterborough Director of Operations Dale Allitt said: “We wanted to give the team managers a little more control over the meetings, and speaking as a team manager or former team manager myself, sometimes it can be frustrating that in league matches you only really get one roll of the dice sometimes.“If someone’s going better off gate 3 or 4, or they prefer an outside line, you’ve got an option with that, and I do think you’ll see a lot of tactics playing out over the meeting, which is something that’s a bit fresh.“I know most fans want to be team managers when they’re sat at the meeting, so I’m sure it will give them plenty to talk about with who should go off which gate between their own riders!“I do think it’s important that we come up with new ideas in this sport. People want changes, and that’s what’s happened. We have a lot of top guys in this meeting, and it should be a cracking night.”Normal Premiership admission prices apply, with season tickets not valid for this event. All tickets will be available for pay on the day, and there are no pre-sales.BELLE VUE: Max Fricke, Brady Kurtz, Tom Brennan (RS); IPSWICH: Jason Doyle, Danny King, Danyon Hume (RS); KING’S LYNN: Josh Pickering, Richard Lawson, Jack Thomas (RS); PETERBOROUGH: Michael Palm Toft, Chris Harris, Max Clegg (RS), SHEFFIELD: Jack Holder, Adam Ellis, Connor Mountain (RS); WOLVERHAMPTON: Sam Masters, Ryan Douglas, Joe Thompson (RS).

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