Speedway: Helfer aims to silence his detractors

EDINBURGH MONARCHS’ young German ace Marcel Helfer touches down in the Capital on Tuesday to prepare for his first full season at Armadale and he is promising to step up his game to keep his detractors at bay.

Helfer joined Monarchs last July, but it proved to be an indifferent debut with performances that ranged from pretty good to very bad. Thus, serious doubts were raised if he would make it on to Monarchs team roster for 2013.

The club’s directors, however, have kept faith with him and the rider acknowledges he is going to be in the full glare of the spotlight. He said: “ I have now ridden most of the tracks in the Premier League and that has got to help me this time. I also rode in a lot of wet meetings last season in conditions I had not experienced before. Back home in Germany they called meetings off in far better conditions than I rode in at Armadale, but every Friday seemed to be wet last year.

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“I feel I’m better prepared and looking forward to the new season and hope to do well.”

If Helfer can maintain his 4.05 average, then Monarchs bosses will be more than satisfied. Meanwhile, Dutch teammate Theo Pijper has reflected on his six point score in last weekend’s Ben Fund Bonanza meeting at a bitterly cold Berwick Speedway.

Pijper said: “I think it went not too bad, apart from one heat where things went wrong. It was my first time riding in the Ben Fund and I think it was fantastic considering the weather conditions and coldness.

“Monarchs and Glasgow fans were there in good numbers. Everything was professionally organised and I was pleased with the starts I made, though I was disappointed when one race was caled back after I made a good gate.”

Pijper added: “I was quite happy with my bike and I have another two currently being built in the workshop. I can’t wait for the season to start.”

Monarchs hold their press and practice day on Friday, which starts with a team lunch before the team take to the track at 5pm.