Buxton Speedway have signalled their early intent to be amongst the forerunners in the 2016 National League by signing former Coventry rider Oliver Greenwood as the number one for the 2016 season.
Greenwood sat out last season’s National league campaign and is keen to get his career back on track with the Hitmen.
Speaking at the end of season presentation, where he was the surprise guest and unveiled to the supporters, Greenwood said he felt that last season he missed out by not riding in the third tier and was looking forward to spending the 2016 season at Hi Edge
“I like Buxton, it’s not the track for everyone but I’ve always done well there. I also look forward to linking up with team manager Jason Pipe who played a big part in my decision to return to this level of the sport.
“I am excited joining Buxton and building on the great progress the team has undoubtedly made on the 2015 season.”
Greenwood finished his last National League campaign on an average of 9.22 and team manager Pipe knows that he will have to box clever in structuring the team around his new top rider.
He also announced that a deal had been done to retain Rider of the Season Ryan Blacklock.
Pipe said: “I’m absolutely over the moon to get a quality number one like Oliver Greenwood.
“I got to know Ollie more last season with him being at Peterborough and my involvement at Peterborough.
“Ollie did mention to me last season that he wished he’d also done NL alongside PL, but at the time we couldn’t fit him in.
“I’d always kept him in my thoughts for the 2016 season and the more I thought about Ollie and looked at his 2014 NL scores, I knew I had to try and bring him in at Buxton if it was at all possible.
“I believe we now have an out and out number one rider in Ollie and I’m so excited about working with him throughout the 2016 season.
“I’m sure Ollie will instantly become a crowd favourite and is very easily approachable, so our fans shouldn’t be too shy in going up and speaking to him.
“Last season we really didn’t have an out and out number one, who could go out and hit around at least 11-12 points every meeting home and away from five rides and we now have that rider who can win you heat 13 or/and 15 nine times out of 10.
“I’d like to thank the relevant parties for their help and agreement in allowing Ollie to be able to come to Buxton.
Most of all I’d like to thank my bosses, Jayne and Richard Moss for showing faith in me and for supporting me and allowing me this season to go out and bring in my own riders and riders like Ollie, who will hopefully make next season a much better season for the Hitmen.”
On Blacklock Pipe added: “I’m also over the moon that fans favourite Ryan Blacklock has agreed to return to Hi Edge for at least another season.
“Ryan and I worked well together this year and it was great to see him put over two points on his starting average.
“He has settled down more this year and has started to use his head more when racing, which has been a big factor of why he rode as well as he did and achieved his career best average.
“I still believe that if Ryan starts off next season like he’s ended this year, then I’m convinced that he will put at least another point on his average No PL club has come in for Ryan so far next season, which has disappointed him a little, but I’ve told him to bide his time and that time will come.
“If he doesn’t start the season as a PL number seven, I’ve told him that if he knuckles down straight from the off in the NL, then he’ll have PL promoters and team managers ringing him up a month or two in to the season.
“When that happens, it will also be good for his NL racing as well because he’ll come back to his NL meetings even sharper and will be flying even more, which can then only be good for Ryan Blacklock and Buxton Speedway.
“I’m thrilled I get the chance to work with him for another season and I’ll look forward to him pushing for that number one race jacket that he so desperately wants and with that little extra in the tank next season, there’s no reason why he can’t be pushing Ollie for that top spot.”
It was a good night for Blacklock as he picked up the Rider of the Year trophy for 2015 earlier in the evening.