Thursday December 02, 2021
LEICESTER Speedway are delighted to welcome back 17-year-old Joe Thompson for his second season of Championship racing next season.

Like his twin brother Dan, Joe made his debut in senior league racing in 2021 with the Watling JCB Lions, and both produced several impressive displays as they adapted to the step-up in level.

Joe started the season with a nominal 2.00 average and raised it to 3.64 having been officially nominated in the Rising Star berth, which has been removed from the Championship next year in favour of all seven riders being built to a 42-point limit.

He also took over as skipper of the Roger Webster Lion Cubs, and admits it was a massive learning year for both himself and his brother.

Thompson said: “I can’t wait to be back with the Lions next year, and I’m already missing racing - it’s already been about a month or so now!

“It looks like a very solid team and I can’t wait to get working with them and see if we can make the play-offs again.

“We definitely gained experience this year, not just on the track but in the workshop as well.

“We’ve learnt about maintaining the bikes to a high standard which is what the Championship level needs, and I think we gained a lot more confidence by racing against bigger names.

“We’ll go into next year looking to do even better. We’ve already started training for next season in the gym, and we’ll definitely start getting the bikes refreshed, sorted and turned around for some good practices to start the season.”

Lions boss Stewart Dickson has underlined that the twins put over four-and-a-half points between them on their starting averages during the course of the season, and he believes an improvement in gating will see them quickly make further progress.

Dickson said: “There was only one place Joe was going to come back, which was to us - there’s more to achieve, and he can build on things next season.

“I know he was maybe overshadowed by Dan a couple of times, but to go from a two to a three-and-a-half in your first season is pretty good going

“Pretty much like Dan, we need to get his gating sorted. He’s very fast around the track, and sometimes you actually like to see him miss the gate at Beaumont Park because of the way he sweeps round the outside!

“I know there’s more to come from him, but we need to make things a bit easier for the two boys – but they should fear no-one.”

With Nick Morris, Richie Worrall and Connor Mountain joining the Thompsons, it means the Lions have two more riders to announce for 2022, and those team matters should be completed over the next fortnight.

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