Belle Vue’s Lee Payne has suffered a recurring shoulder injury whilst out practicing motocross, ruling him out of the 2018 season. The club has moved swiftly to bring in Tom Perry in his place.
Perry, who has predominantly featured amongst teams in the Midlands, had in fact expressed an interest in riding for the Colts this year after his original deal to ride for Birmingham fell through.
He rounded off 2017 at the top of the Cradley averages and looks set to pick up Dan Bewley’s mantle at No.1 when he makes his debut at the National Speedway Stadium on March 30.
Perry said: “At first I thought about taking a year out of the sport to enjoy myself, go on holiday and focus on other commitments but I couldn’t refuse the opportunity to ride for Belle Vue.
“I did have a deal in place with Birmingham but after that contract was signed and sealed it turned out my average was such that they couldn’t actually fit me in, which was devastating.
“I did have a few other offers come in but at that point I was pretty much sold on not racing in 2018. But when Mark Lemon called to say there was a place in the Colts, I jumped at the chance.
“I’m so excited about riding for this club. It’s a great stadium with a fantastic track and a loyal following. I don’t think it’s sunk in yet but I just can’t wait for that first meeting to come around.”
Words: Hayley Bromley,Images: Ian Adam