Makinen out – Hawkins in!

Jari Makinen Picture: Steve Waller

Jari Makinen Picture: Steve Waller - Credit: Archant

IPSWICH Witches have axed Finnish star Jari Makinen.

IPSWICH Witches have axed Finnish star Jari Makinen.

The 22-year-old has only scored two points in six meetings for the Witches – his place in the side is taken by Ritchie Hawkins, on a short-term deal.

Makinen’s final meeting was at Scunthorpe on Friday for the Suffolk side who managed a creditable draw despite Makinen failing to score.

“It is always difficult to have to make changes and especially so, this early on in the season, but unfortunately Jari needs to take some time out of competitive racing and spend more time in his native Finland to help him cope with the loss of a loved one,” director of speedway Chris Louis said.

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“It is a terrible time in anyone’s life and I fully understand how difficult it must be for Jari spending so much time away from home and being expected to focus fully on his racing.

“In our roles with the club both Pete (Simmons) and myself have to consider both the rider and the club and this is the right decision for both parties at this time. Jari will be a frequent visitor to Foxhall and we will offer him all the help he needs.

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It’s great to welcome back Ritchie and although he has only signed a short-term contract he is keener than ever to give 100% for a club that he admits he loves to ride for. I know our fans will be right behind him and who knows between us we might even be able to convince him to stay a little longer!”

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