Ipswich Witches swoop to sign former world champion and current GP ace

Jason Doyle in action in the opening heat of the Ipswich v Swindon (SGB Premiership 1) meeting at Fo

Jason Doyle, the 2017 world champion, who has joined Ipswich Witches. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

Ipswich Witches have swooped to sensationally sign 2017 world champion and current Grand Prix star, Jason Doyle.

The 36-year-old Australian is returning to British Speedway after a two-season absence, to lead the Suffolk side in 2022 and wants to make lifting the Premiership title with the Witches one of his key goals for next year.

Ipswich v Swindon (SGB Premiership 1) meeting at Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich, on 15 August 2019. Pic

Jason Doyle, hopes to lead the Witches to title glory in 2022. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

It's a huge coup for Chris Louis and his Witches team and the Foxhall fans are sure to be delighted with such a big name to spearhead the club next summer.

“I’ve been speaking to Chris Louis for many years now about joining Ipswich, but it just never worked out,” said Doyle.

“I went to Sweden and then obviously the pandemic happened so the last two years I have been over in just Poland and Sweden. I made the decision after this year that I wanted to come back to British speedway and Chris was the first one I spoke to and obviously from the years before where we were close to signing contracts, I thought it was time to go to Ipswich for the first time.”

Media savvy, Chris Louis. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Witches owner Chris Louis, a big statement of intent by signing Jason Doyle - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

The current world number nine says that a liking for the Foxhall track played a big part in his decision and already being based in East Anglia sealed the deal.

“I had a few offers, so I had to sit down and pick through the pros and cons and the main pros are that I like the Ipswich track and have rode well there so that was a big plus point," he said.

Adam Ellis and Jason Doyle celebrate a 5-1 in heat 11. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller

Adam Ellis, yellow, and Jason Doyle celebrate a maximum when the Robins last rode the Witches in 2019 in the Premiership final. - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

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"Plus, living so close to Ipswich as well and going to airports after a Thursday meeting for Grand Prix was another major factor. The final one was being so close to home; I can get back to home from Ipswich within an hour and I’m back in my own bed and not travelling through the night.” 

While many top riders have decided not to ride in British Speedway in recent years, the 2017 world champion feels that being busy in the UK helps your form over the course of the season. 

“For myself racing in England is a massive plus because I’m riding all the time on the bike," Doyle added.

"The young kids always speak about being in Poland and Sweden but if you’re on the bike you are getting a lot more confidence and a lot more money if you are riding twice a week compared to only doing one in Sweden and one in Poland. 

“Sometimes if you are not in the top five in the team, you are probably in and out of the team all year. For myself, riding a lot in England helps me riding in Poland and in the Grand Prix and I seem to go a lot better when I’m on the bike and not thinking as much as perhaps I have the last couple of years when I have been doing just Poland and Sweden.

"The young kids need to look at the way I do it because for myself I think it benefits my racing when I do go to other major competitions.” 

Doyle is now enjoying a couple of weeks off after a long hard season before he will begin preparations for the 2022 campaign.

The Australian international last rode in the top-flight with the Swindon Robins in 2019 as they beat the Witches in the play-off final to lift the trophy and Doyle is hoping for a similar success story in 2022, only in Witches colours this time.

“Firstly, for Ipswich, they haven’t won the championship for a while so that is the main goal for myself and the team," he said.

"Obviously, we beat Ipswich when I was riding for Swindon so hopefully, I can be in the team with Ipswich to lift the title next season.

"That’s the main goal for us, just get to that final and then we can go for it. For myself, I just want to enjoy my racing again and hopefully have fun with my new teammates and the club and have some fun times.” 

MEANWHILE Ipswich Speedway Supporters’ Club has produced a full colour 2022 ‘Witches Legends & Heroes’ A4 wall calendar with all profits going to support the speedway club.

There are still a few copies left and these can be purchased for just £6.00 + £2 P&P (UK only) by visiting http://www.ipswich-ssc.co.uk or by post from ISSC, 7 Penshurst Road, Ipswich IP3 8QZ (cheques payable to Save Our Speedway) while stocks last.