After fearing he’d be left with a “part-time job” following the collapse of Coventry, Danish star Kenneth Bjerre has sealed a return to the British Premiership with the rebooted Belle Vue Aces.
The Esbjerg-born rider was left out of work in the UK after the Bees were sensationally kicked out of top flight competition, while similar concerns continue to plague his Swedish club, Indianerna.
But 32-year old Bjerre did not have long to ponder his future in Britain before Belle Vue’s Director of Speedway Mark Lemon got in touch to offer him a spot amongst his new-look 2017 septet.
The former Grand Prix star completed a three-year stint with the club between 2004-2006 and will this year make his full National Speedway Stadium debut after a decade away from Manchester.
In his previous tenure, he proved instrumental in the Aces’ League title efforts and has gone on to emerge as one of Denmark’s key figures on the world stage, in both team and individual events.
In addition to his UK commitments, Bjerre has a busy season on his hands on the continent having also signed deals with Polish First Division team Tarnow and Danish League side Holstebro.
On his return to Belle Vue, Bjerre said: “It’s one of those clubs where I’ve always felt I would like to go back if the opportunity ever arose, I mean I raced three season with the Aces many years ago.
“I was always very happy to ride for them. This time around though things are very different. They not only have a new promotion in charge but they also have a very good-looking new stadium.
“I took a year out of the Elite League in 2016 but I felt ready to come back this season, and I initially signed a deal with Coventry. But then everything fell apart there and I was left with no job.
“The situation with my Swedish team isn’t exactly stable either. From week to week my club either is or isn’t going bankrupt. If they did close down, it could’ve left me with only Denmark and Poland.
“With no club in the UK, potentially racing only half the meetings in Denmark and with Poland providing the only full-time team spot, as a rider, it just wouldn’t have been enough for me.
“When I base myself primarily in the UK, it makes sense for me to be racing frequently here. So when I got a phone call from Mark Lemon, I was really happy with the idea of racing for Belle Vue.
“I’m looking forward to a new challenge, and I’m really looking forward to having some laps around the new stadium. This is a positive step forward for me and I’m happy to again be part of this club.”
Words: Hayley Bromley
Images: Steve Hone