Miskowiak signs for Witches

IPSWICH Evening Star Witches fans have been given a New Year boost with the news Robert Miskowiak will be riding for the club in 2006.The 22-year-old Polish former world under-21 champion has contacted the Witches management to tell them he wants a return to Foxhall Stadium after a successful time in 2005.

By Mike Bacon

IPSWICH Evening Star Witches fans have been given a New Year boost with the news Robert Miskowiak will be riding for the club in 2006.

The 22-year-old Polish former world under-21 champion has contacted the Witches management to tell them he wants a return to Foxhall Stadium after a successful time in 2005.

The amiable Miskowiak made plenty of friends at Ipswich last season and his incredible gating ability saw him rattle up plenty of points, especially from the reserve berth early in the campaign.


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“We are absolutely delighted Robert has decided to ride for us in 2005,” Witches team manager Mike Smillie said.

“I think it is safe to say Robert has the ability to up his average considerably from 5.92 to at least seven points. Last season, with bonus points, he almost achieved that anyhow.

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“Robert is a very quiet individual, but is a typical Polish rider and is a great starter. I'm glad he is coming back otherwise last year would have just been a waste for him, getting used to British tracks. And now he has seen all of them, he will be better for it.”

Although far from certain, the Witches starting line-up for March is beginning to take some sort of shape.

With Chris Louis (7.49), Piotr Protasiewicz (7.30), Miskowiak (5.92), Kim Jansson (5.40) and Daniel King (3.11) all 99% certain starters for the Witches in 2006, it leaves the Suffolk club with 10.78 points to play with for their last two riders.

While there has been talk of Wolves asset Mikael Max joining the club as their No.1 in 2006, Smillie, although not giving much away, edged away from that possibility.

“I don't know whether John Louis wants to take the chance on a rider with an average of 8.5 like Max, who could take some time to find his form again after an awful injury,” Smillie added.

“Max has been linked now with a return to Oxford anyhow and I would think that seems the most likely after Tony Rickardsson leaves in May.

“Mark Loram is another rider we have been linked with and I'm not really sure if he is available. If he is of course we would be interested, but he is an asset of Terry Russell and until we know Mark's situation, then speculation is all it is.”

The strong money is now on Ipswich going for a more solid-looking unit than one with an out and out No.1. Whether that will work in a league that has enjoyed a points reduction in its team-building plans for next season remains to be seen.

With no disrespect to Louis and Protasiewicz, they will know they are likely to be one of the weakest heat leader pairings, average-wise, in the Elite League, although on their day both are capable of holding their own, especially at Foxhall.

However on the flip side while the likes of Swindon only have 16 points to get four riders in their side after signing Leigh Adams, Lee Richardson and Sebastian Ulamek, and Belle Vue could well have three three-point riders in their starting seven, Ipswich should have riders in all positions more than capable of winning races.

Although not confirmed, the first meeting of the season at Foxhall is set to be Thursday, March 16, with press and practice day the week before on Wednesday the 8th and 9th.

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