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When Berwick’s Olympus Marquees Bandits (powered by Mike Hope of Wooler) roll out their bikes on Thursday at Ipswich, and again at home on Saturday night, their line-up will have a very different look about it!

“Sadly, the team as signed up at the start of the season has so far proved to be less than successful,” admitted team manager and co-owner Gary Havelock.

“Everything here has gone so well with our improved infrastructure, excellent public entertainment and much-improved Saturday-night attendances, except for one thing – the team’s results have been pretty woeful! We know the fans are desperately disappointed and we had to go for changes, not just for our own anger and frustrations, but the fans who are our life-blood who have been so patient with us. Without the fans we would be in a right state!

“As a result, we have released the Dane Claus Vissing and French rider Dimitri Berge.

“Neither has been able to pull in points with any regularity, and in addition they have both at times failed to show the kind of enthusiasm for racing as Bandits we expect from our riders. On our management we have different people who all have different strengths, but all who pull hard for the Bandits, whatever it takes, and when we sign a rider we expect them to buy into the Bandits' way and that means whenever they come off track they have given us 100% and no less!

“Thus, we are delighted to welcome Australian World Cup rider Nick Morris as our new No 1, a role he will relish and allows Lewis Bridger, who has been facing mechanical problems, time to take on new machinery and race at the No 5 position for a while.

“Also coming on board will be Jye Etheridge, another young Australian who finished the 2016 season strongly in Redcar’s colours, anxious to extend his British racing as a Berwick rider.

“Finally, with our No 7 reserve Ryan Blacklock still side-lined with back and pelvic injuries sustained in a series of alarming crashes, we have invited 30-year-old former moto-x star Lee Payne, who is an asset of the Belle Vue club in Manchester to take over our No 7 race-jacket in Ryan’s place. Lee was mentored and looked after by Joe Screen who wholly believes in him and he has also done enduros with road racer John McGuinness so he's associated with the best and is very welcome at Berwick!" 

Co-promoter Scott Courtney added his views: "Results-wise things had to change and unfortunately changes are something we have to enforce.   Our new line-up is still awaiting BSPA approval as I’m speaking, but we are confident it will be given the OK.

“The fans deserve some rewards for their loyalty and we can't go expecting different results while doing the same thing. 

“It's not too late to make a big difference this season and we will be doing everything we can to add league points to the results of some of the most spectacular matches at Shielfield Park in recent memory!”


1. Nick Morris,  2. Jye Etheridge,  3. Kevin Doolan (captain),  4. Liam Carr,  5. Lewis Bridger,  6. Dany Gappmaier, 7. Lee Payne.