THE BIG PREVIEW: BMR ROCKETS VS SOMERSET
Wednesday May 17, 2017
The BMR Rockets are set to roar back into SGB Premiership action after a fortnight’s absence this weekend as they tackle traditional rivals Somerset across consecutive nights.

Friday takes the Rockets to the South-West’s Oak Tree Arena, with the Rebels returning the favour when they visit Hoddesdon on Saturday (7pm start).

The Rockets are set to welcome back Stuart Robson after the newly qualified British Finalist took a wallop in his Semi-Final run-off at Sheffield a fortnight ago. Ellis Perks, however, remains a doubt following his crash at Poole last Wednesday.

Additionally, Friday night sees American ace Ricky Wells double-booked with SGB Championship action, and two-times Elite League Riders’ Champion Rory Schlein will deputise as guest cover. The Rockets will be hoping that the Roo Boy can repeat the form he showed on his LAST visit to the venue – he was responsible for no less than 11 points when Wolverhampton won at the Oak Tree Arena earlier this month!

Schlein’s guest spot is for one night only. 2009 AMA Champion Wells will be back in the Black, Chrome and Orange for Saturday’s return fixture in Hertfordshire.

The Rebels, meanwhile, will hand debuts to three new signings, with Rohan Tungate, Paul Starke and Jan Graversen having departed the club in the last week and been replaced by double Lakeside rider of the year Richard Lawson, Lewis Kerr and 2016 BMR Rocket Cameron Heeps. The trio will join team captain Josh Grajczonek, 2010 U-21 World Cup winner Patrick Hougaard, second year Reb Jake Allen and the established Charles Wright in a Rebel Army that is aiming to bounce back from three successive home defeats but which also boasts a stunning away victory at high-flying Belle Vue.

In looking ahead to the weekend’s action, Rye House Team Manager Peter Schroeck starts his appraisal with an update on Ellis Perks. “Ellis is seeing a physio, but he is still not there yet, and I would have to admit that he is a real doubt for Friday night, and possibly Saturday too.

“We are looking at our options in terms of guest cover, but there are not too many out there that fall into Ellis’ 2.32 points bracket. It is always going to be a problem when you have a rider performing above his average, as Ellis so clearly is.

“The good news on Robbo, though, is that he is good to go again on Friday. He’s fired up, and all the rest of the Rockets are ready too. Scotty (Nicholls) and Bomber (Chris Harris) gave a really good display at Somerset in the Pairs at the start of the season, and if the rest of the boys chip in with their bit then we should be fine.

“We know the rider changes that the Rebels have made, but our concern is with ourselves.

“Then, after Friday, we get cracking on Saturday again - and the aim will be to do at our place what we do best.”

BMR Rockets (Friday):

Rob Branford, Chris Harris, Edward Kennett (captain), Scott Nicholls, Ellis Perks or guest, Stuart Robson, Rory Schlein (guest)

BMR Rockets (Saturday):

Rob Branford, Chris Harris, Edward Kennett (captain), Scott Nicholls, Ellis Perks or guest, Stuart Robson, Ricky Wells

Somerset (both matches):

Jake Allen, Josh Grajczonek (captain), Cameron Heeps, Patrick Hougaard, Lewis Kerr, Richard Lawson, Charles Wright

Saturday Admission at Rye House: Adults £18, Seniors (over 60s) £16, Full Time Students (17-22) £10, Children (12-16) £6, Children (under 12) Free. Match Programme £2.00

In addition to the main event, Saturday’s meeting in Hoddesdon will include six youth heats across 150cc and 250cc classifications, with these Rocketeers races getting underway at 6.30pm.