Ashworth set to return to Bandits’ team

Ricky Ashworth has been given the all-clear by doctors to climb back into the saddle again after a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

The Bandits’ skipper, who has been out of action for almost three months, will make a dramatic return to action for the club this weekend.

Berwick Bandits Speedway'Ricky Ashworth

Berwick Bandits Speedway'Ricky Ashworth

The Salford-based rider, who has been sidelined after suffering from severe concussion, will be back to lead the team against Redcar in the league on Saturday.

And less than 48 hours later he will help the Bandits to try and defend the Premier League Fours title, which they won at Peterborough last season.

It means a parting of the ways for GB international Edward Kennett, who now returns to ride exclusively for his parent club, Swindon, in the Elite League.

News of Ashworth’s return was indicated to fans at the end of Saturday’s home victory over Scunthorpe at Shielfield when Kennett thanked the club and the supporters for their backing during his temporary spell in the black and gold.

Kennett said: “It’s been great racing for Berwick and it’s been a real pleasure. I hear Ricky is fit to race again and I wish him well and hope he can lead the Bandits to some good results.”

Ashworth spent more than two months out after suffering from concussion and dizzy spells after two early season crashes.

Last week he was finally given the all-clear by doctors to start riding again, but a press release issued by Berwick said that despite the fact he had been practising at some tracks, he was not fully match fit and they expected it might be some time before he made a full return to racing.

Team manager Ian Rae said: “It will be great to have Ricky back in the team again.

“When we signed Edward we always said it was only temporary until Ricky was declared fit to ride again.

“At first we thought it might take Ricky a couple of weeks to get back in the swing of things again, but he says he is okay and so he will be back racing for us again this weekend.

In the meantime I would personally like to thank Edward very much for everything he has done for us over the past couple of months.

“He has been very professional in his approach, which you would expect from a rider of his calibre, and we wish him well for the future, especially for the forthcoming Speedway World Cup, where he will be representing Great Britain.”

Kennett is due to ride for GB in their opening match of the competition at King’s Lynn on Monday,