Saturday December 23, 2017
Hot on the heels of yesterday’s announcement that stalwart Stuart Robson and 2016 British U-19 and National League Riders’ Champion Max Clegg will comprise their reserve pairing, the BMR Rockets can now reveal the duo who will open the 2018 season in second string berths.

EDWARD KENNETT will make a welcome return to Hertfordshire after his brief split from his long-time club last June. For the former World Cup international, the new term will mark his ninth season in Hoddesdon, and Co-Promoter Steve Jenson is looking forward to a renewed and revitalised relationship with the rider dubbed “Special K” because of his starring record for the Rockets. “2017 obviously did not go the way that either Edward or ourselves wanted, but we spoke about a week after his departure and he admitted he was lacking confidence away from home.

“His home form was never an issue – he knows this circuit like the back of his hand and was averaging over 10 a match here – and he is determined to prove a point by putting things right on the road.

“Edward is one of that rare breed that can race in so many disciplines. Put him on a bike, in a car or in a go-kart and he’s brilliant in all of them. He will start the season as our No.4 rider, which will take the pressure off, but his aim is to get back to being one of the best riders in the League. He is back to lead us with points, but also with his strength of character.

The former double British U-21 Champion holds a very similar viewpoint. “Everyone knows I can ride Rye House with my eyes shut, but I accept that I got into problems on the road. It was a lack of confidence, really. There were no hard feelings when Steve let me go; I hold my hands up to my away form, and he had to do what he had to do.

“Once I moved away (to Poole), though, I put in some better scoring displays, and that gave me a real boost, so I am heading back in the right direction again.

“2018 will be a fresh start for me. I’ll be out to prove a few people wrong, and it will be a big thing that this time around I will be in the middle order of the team, and not putting pressure on myself by being No.1 all the time, as I have been in the past.”

Kennett will be joined in the BMR Rockets’ ranks by the rider who originally replaced him, alongside brief Rocket Justin Sedgmen, last June, BEN BARKER. The 2017 British No.4 enjoyed a solid first term overall in Hoddesdon, contributing a near 7 point all-inclusive average and finishing with paid scores from his last few matches like 13 against King’s Lynn and 12 at Belle Vue.

Says Jenson of the Truronian: “We really enjoyed having Ben with us last season. You know that he will always give you 100% in every race. He really is part of the bulldog breed, and his fire is contagious to the team as well; he is one of the characters that you need in this sport.”

The Cornwall-based rider himself believes that 2017 was a good season, but that there is plenty more left in the tank. “It all came good for me after a bit of a slow start at home. I got dialled in, and things got better over time.

“The team that finished the season, let’s face it, would have been a real threat in the Play-Offs, and the side that is coming together for next year can definitely carry on from there.

“For me, it’s the first time in a few years that I will be starting the season with a place in both leagues (the SGB Premiership and Championship), which is a real plus.

“The biggest thing, though, is that I keep enjoying it. Every time I sit on a bike, I have a great time, so the aim is to keep that going, and to let the results speak for themselves.”

The next two riders in the BMR Rockets’ 2018 team will be announced at 9am tomorrow, as we move to the heat leaders