Bandits gearing up for the season ahead

Legend Kevin Doolan in action
Legend Kevin Doolan in action

Berwick Speedway have made their first three signings for the 2018 season with newcomer Aaron Summers joining skipper Kevin Doolan and the returning David Howe in the starting line-up.

Australian Summers, Who lives at Milfield near Wooler, previously raced with Edinburgh and Redcar and has spent the past three seasons with Glasgow, spending part of his time with the Tigers as their captain and number one rider.

Aaron Summers

Aaron Summers

Summers has also revealed how he intends to run the 15 miles from Milfield to Berwick on race nights in an effort to stay fit.

He said: “It’s the perfect move at the perfect time for me. I will run the 15 miles to every home meeting I can, that will keep me so sharp and ready to race.

“I’m looking forward to racing for another management that’s so ambitious. The new promotion did so much locally last season and Berwick is really buzzing as a club again. Now we just need to get better luck and results on the track.”

Doolan, who celebrated his testimonial last season, returns to lead the team once again.

The Australian is regarded as one of the best captains in the business and he is a major influence on the team in the pits as well as on the track.

Howe, after an absence of nearly two years, returned to the sport midway through last season when he was called up by the injury-hit Bandits and he became an instant hit with the fans, revelling in his nickname of ‘The Phoenix.’

He made no secret of the fact that he wanted to return in 2018 and says he is keen to try and get back to the form which made him such a driving force in the old Premier League, now the Championship.

Berwick co-promoter Scott Courtney said: “This is a good, positive start to our team-building and we hope to be in a position to name more signings sooner rather than later.

“Aaron is a rider who has caused us quite a few problems when he has raced against us over the years, so it will be nice to have him on our side for a change.

“Everyone knows what Kevin means to Berwick, he is a team man through and through. We are delighted to welcome him back for another season and I know he is delighted to be back as well.

“David was one of the riders who helped transform our season towards the back end of 2017. After nearly two years out he was playing catch-up a lot of the time, but starting out the same as everyone else in 2018 I think we will reap the benefits of that.”

Unfortunately, Bandits have missed out on a big winter target in the shape of another Australian, Nick Morris, who spearheaded the team in the second half of last season after joining them as their number one rider.

His win in the Riders’ Championship at the end of the season was the icing on the cake. Berwick would obviously have loved for him to return to another season, but instead he opted for a switch to league newcomers Lakeside, where he will ‘double up’ with defending champions Swindon in the Premiership.

Another of last year’s Bandits, Claus Vissing has joined what looks like a strong Glasgow side.