Jansson has key role to play for Witches
KIM Jansson will undergo a searching examination of his new-found maturity when Ipswich Witches ride at Belle Vue in the Sky Sports Elite League tonight (start 7.
By Elvin King
KIM Jansson will undergo a searching examination of his new-found maturity when Ipswich Witches ride at Belle Vue in the Sky Sports Elite League tonight (start 7.30pm).
Both teams are level on points at the top of the speedway table, with 24-year-old Swede Jansson having a vital part to play in the tricky No. 2 berth.
He managed just five points on two visits to Kirkmanshulme Lane last season, and will need to do much better if the Witches are to become the first side to win in Manchester this year.
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Jansson has seen his average go up this season as a direct result of drastically reducing his number of unnecessary crashes.
“My head is much cooler now,” said Jansson.
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“I said at the end of last season that I would rule out my 'stupid' rides this year and this has happened.
“When I was crashing too much I was going back to square one each time. Now I am full of confidence and can't wait for each meeting.
“I am concentrating on making good starts and then on the first bend, and it is paying dividends.”
Ipswich will be looking to Pole Robert Miskowiak to follow Jansson's example and find more consistency as they attempt to beat an Aces side that contains 2006 world champion-elect Jason Crump.
Miskowiak, 22, cannot ride at home to Eastbourne tomorrow because of a Polish Championship quarter-final with the Witches using the rider replacement facility to cover for him.
Ipswich, who switch the riding order of reserves Daniel King and Jan Jaros against the Eagles, are at full strength and they will pocket their fourth aggregate bonus point of the season if they lose by less than 10 points tonight.
Jaros made his Elite League debut with Belle Vue and will be seeking a return to form after failing to score in last Thursday's home win over Coventry.
The Aces include Simon Stead, who has been given the wild card berth in the British Grand Prix at Cardiff on Saturday week.
Stead said: “This is what I was working for during the winter and through the early part of the season.
“The Grand Prix is where I want to be and this is my chance to show I deserve to be up there on a regular basis.”
Belle Vue are unbeaten in seven home matches and include Stead, who was missing through injury in the corresponding meeting at Foxhall.
Aces boss Ian Thomas said: “It is already tight at the top and anyone apart from Oxford can make the play-offs. Ipswich have got a decent team and Mark Loram goes well at our track. Every bonus point will be vital.”