Due to demand Tai Woffinden is now to do an EXTRA SHOW at Workington earlier the same day!
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Meeting Preview - Comets v Rye House (PL)
Photo by Dave Payne
Fri 02 Aug 2013 by Comets Press Office
Workington Comets v Rye House Rockets (PL)
Saturday 3rd August at 7:00pm, Derwent Park, Workington

Tomorrow (Saturday) evening sees the Rye House Rockets visit Derwent Park as yet another southern side using us as the first match of a ‘two-match mini-Northern Tour' with the Rockets moving on up to Glasgow on Sunday.

Just like last season the Rockets have been hit pretty hard by injuries – almost from the off this year – however some riders have now returned from injury while some are very close to making a comeback – just not quite in time for this weekend.

Five of their side have been injured at one time or another already this season, which has caused many problems for the Rockets promotion.

Winter signing at number one, Oliver Allen (8.77), failed a fitness test on his broken arm on Wednesday of this week and will now be replaced by a guest rider, Somerset's Josh Grajczonek.

The loss of the experienced Allen is a major blow to the Hertfordshire-based club as is the loss of up and coming British rider Jason Garrity (5.35), who will be replaced by Ben Hopwood on Saturday.

Garrity was enjoying the best season of his short Premier League career until he broke his leg at Sheffield back in mid-May and, like Allen, he also failed a fitness test on Wednesday of this week. In fact Garrity is no stranger to Workington having raced many a lap around the Northside Training Track from aged 13; and he has even had interval demonstration laps around Derwent Park while still too young to race competitively.

The Rockets skipper, Jason Bunyan (5.73), has spent the last few years wintering in New Zealand and while racing there has won their national championship on several occasions. As their national champion he has, in both 2012 and 2013, been awarded the ‘wild-card' nomination at the New Zealand Speedway Grand Prix in Auckland.

The hard-riding Bunyan guested for the Comets a couple of times last season, however this season didn't get off to the best of starts for him with the Rockets as, shortly after returning from the NZ Grand Prix, he was involved in a spill at Hoddesdon and suffered a back injury, which kept him out of action for several weeks. But, now recovered and back in action, Jason has since been putting in some good scores in recent weeks.

Twenty-two year-old Swede Anders Mellgren (7.13) shocked a few people when he finished runner-up in last years' Premier League Riders' Championship at Sheffield but he has continued to improve over the past two seasons and his never say die attitude means that he will be a constant threat in every race on Saturday night.

Exciting Australian Tyson Nelson (5.99) will be disappointed to miss this weekend's matches after suffering a hand injury in the Australian sides' Test Match victory at Sheffield last week. In his place the Rockets will be utilising Rider Replacement, which means that everyone except guest Josh Grajczonek is available to take one of his rides.

At reserve are two Scandinavians. Young Dane Kasper Lykke (4.27) actually made his Rockets debut against the Comets at Hoddesdon in August of last year, while Swede Pontus Aspgren (5.25) is one to watch out for having joined the Rockets mid-season following the ankle injury suffered by Simon Lambert. Pontus spent last season with Wolverhampton in the Elite League, however when not offered a return to Monmore Green this year he kept a watching brief on both the Elite and Premier Leagues waiting for an opportunity, which he was given by the Rockets; and in doing so they now have a very potent reserve.

1 Rene Bach 8.56, 2 Tero Aarnio 5.59, 3 Rusty Harrison 6.95, 4 Kyle Howarth 6.24, 5 Richard Lawson (c) 8.29, 6 Ashley Morris 3.62, 7 Chris Mills 3.81.

1 Josh Grajczonek (G) 8.77, 2 Jason Bunyan (c), 5.73, 3 Anders Mellgren 7.13, 4 Ben Hopwood (G) 5.35, 5 Rider Replacement for Tyson Nelson 5.99, 6 Kasper Lykke 4.27, 7 Pontus Aspgren 5.25.
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Last Updated :  Sat 03 Aug 2013, 09:17 UK
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Dave Payne, Adrian Randall