Sunday December 24, 2017
Four down. Three to go. After already announcing Edward Kennett, Ben Barker, Stuart Robson and Max Clegg, the BMR Rockets can now name two of the three heat leaders that will take them into battle for the forthcoming 2018 SGB Premiership campaign.

SCOTT NICHOLLS’ first season in Hoddeson saw him finish as the Rockets’ top scorer with 256 points, en route to collecting the club’s Rider of the Year award. The 7-time British Champion and long-time Grand Prix star was also the recipient of an Outstanding Contribution award from the All Party Parliamentary Group for Motorcycle Speedway at the Houses of Parliament.

Nicholls himself has admitted that he was effectively re-born at the Hertfordshire club this last season. “2016 was a really tough year for me at Belle Vue. When you’ve been around a while, the fire can start to dwindle, and I began to give some thought as to whether I would carry on and for how long.

“I definitely needed a new challenge and a fresh start, and Rye House ticked those boxes for me, especially as I had only ever ridden there once before. I also liked the enthusiasm and professionalism of the management there.

“There were still no guarantees that it would work, but it certainly did. 2017 ended up being huge for me, and I really enjoyed everything: the team…. the track…. the people. The only disappointment was that we didn’t quite make the Play-Offs, because we would have been a strong contender if we had made that cut. There’s unfinished business there.

“So, yes, my fire is definitely rekindled. In fact, it’s roaring again!

“The 2018 side is looking like a team that can have some fun – and that’s important. As the saying goes: a happy worker is a good worker, and that’s definitely the case here. It all starts with the track walks; they really do set the theme for the night, and we’ve got a great bunch there.

“We’ve also got a team of racers, myself included, who will give everything right the way to the chequered flag. That’s going to be exciting for the club, the fans and our prospects for the title.”

The Hot Shot will be joined in the Rockets’ 2018 roster by the rider he edged out by just 6 points in the club’s high-scoring stakes, 3-time British Champion and 2010 World No.6 CHRIS HARRIS. The star universally known as “Bomber” more than lived up to his reputation for from-the-back passing in 2017, bringing the house down on numerous occasions with his never-take-no-for-an-answer efforts. He also caught the eye of Great Britain team manager Alun Rossiter, returning to the Lions’ fold to lead them into the World Cup Final, and now holds their all-time records for both appearances and points in that competition. On the individual front, he came within a race point of reaching the Grand Prix Challenge Final and finished 8th in the World Longtrack series.

He said, “I really enjoyed my first year at Rye House. There was a great atmosphere, both in the pits and on the terraces.

“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to keep the core of the side for next year, and the aim will be to build on the momentum we achieved in the second half of last season to crack the Play-Offs.

“In terms of my own general personal goals, I obviously want to have a good season for the Rockets in the Premiership. I also want to represent Team GB at any level I can: to have the chance to get back into the Grand Prix by doing the Qualifiers, to do the World Cup – or the Speedway of Nations, as it will be – and to build on what I’ve achieved so far in the Longtrack. Nice and simple!”

Rye House Co-Promoter Steve Jenson is delighted to have both stars back on board for 2018. “They are both great ambassadors for the sport, and we want to have them here at Rye House as long as they want to ride for us.

“In many ways, they are very different riders: in their styles on the track… the way they operate in the pits…. and yet they are also very similar in terms of their strengths, in what they have achieved and in wanting the same results. We’ve learned so much off the pair of them. They are both so positive.”

The final piece of the BMR Rockets’ rider jigsaw will be announced early in the New Year!