Kus faces big guns in Grand Prix Qualifier

Matej Kus at the Berwick Bandits Press and Practise night
Matej Kus at the Berwick Bandits Press and Practise night

Berwick’s own Matej Kus will fly the flag for club and country at this weekend’s Grand Prix Qualifier at Shielfield.

Kus, who rides for the Bandits in the Premier League, will enjoy some home track advantage when he rides as a Czech Republic representative in the meeting on Saturday.

With the likes of Hans Andersen, Kenneth Bjerre, Przemyslaw Pawlicki, Maciej Janowski, Chris Harris and Craig Cook in the line-up, Kus will not start as one of the favourites, but at least he can expect some home support at Shielfield.

Current Grand Prix rider Harris is looking to retain his place in the series for 2014 whilst fellow-Brit Cook, who has made great strides in recent years, wants to establish himself on the international stage.

Both are Shielfield experts and will be looking to grab one of the qualification places.

Should the duo qualify from the Shielfield Park event, they will be just one meeting away from the Grand Prix Challenge which this year takes place at Italian venue Lonigo.

Berwick will also welcome, for the first time, Poole’s Polish duo Pawlicki and Janowski , who is a former World U21 champion, and the line-up also includes top Danes Andersen and Bjerre.

Josh Grajczonek makes it three Pirates riders in the field and former Rye House and Peterborough star Linus Sundstrom (Sweden) is also included along with Leicester No.1 Jason Doyle from Australia.

Berwick Bandits bosses are delighted to have stepped in to stage the event after problems with the previous venue in Austria, and they expect it to provide a major boost to the local area too.

Berwick promoter John Anderson said: “The quality of the riders speaks for itself. It is a very exciting line-up and I am sure we will be in for a great night’s racing.”

Director George Hepburn said: “Last season when we staged the World U21 Final there were visitors here from Latvia, the Czech Republic, Denmark and, notably, Poland.

“Local businesses, hotels and the like reported a really impressive boom in business over that weekend, and with 11 nations to be represented here on June 7, an even greater influx of visitors has to be expected this time around.”

Berwick have confirmed that special arrangements have been put in place for the event, with turnstiles open from 5pm ahead of the start of the meeting at 7pm.

There will be additional catering and sales-points installed around the stadium.

It has also been confirmed that the public will be permitted access to official practice earlier in the day.

Doors will be open from 11.45am until 2pm, with the riders on-track for one hour from 12.30pm.