BIRMINGHAM Speedway have swooped for one of the most highly rated teenage prospects in world speedway with 16-year-old Australian James Pearson joining the club.
Pearson, who turns 17 in May, will be on loan for the 2022 season from Premiership rivals Belle Vue after the two clubs worked together to bring him over to the UK.
And he’s not totally unfamiliar to Perry Barr having paid a visit to the venue three years ago when he was in Europe for the World 85cc Championship when he finished runner-up.
He is mentored by former Brummies favourite Craig Watson and is highly rated by former Grand Prix star Leigh Adams.
Brummies boss Laurence Rogers said: “I’ve monitored James’ progress back in Australia and he came third in his state championship to qualify him for a visa.
“A few clubs were after him but he has committed his future to Belle Vue under the guidance of Australian team manager Mark Lemon, who has been most helpful along with ‘Watto’ in getting him to Birmingham.
“There is no pressure on him at all and he will be given time to settle in and will be living locally.
“He will also be riding in Poland and Denmark so will be flying in and out with a good set up behind him with machinery in the UK and in Poland.
“He is a very level-headed lad and well organised.”
Pearson joins the returning Claus Vissing, Ashley Morris, James Shanes and Josh Auty in the side along with new signing Stefan Nielsen.
He’ll make his home debut on opening night, Wednesday, March 30 against Coventry with a big crowd expected for that meeting.
Tickets are now on sale for the meeting from the Birmingham Speedway website with plenty of Bees fans expected to make the short trip.
Pearson will have his first laps at Perry Barr next Wednesday, March 23, at the club’s press and practice with fans welcome from 1.30pm followed by an evening event at nearby Aston Manor Cricket Club with riders and management from 7.30pm.
Admission to both is by donation to a bucket collection set up by the Supporters Club to raise funds for the new air barriers at Perry Barr.
With the full quota of seven riders due to be in attendance, the day presents an opportunity for members of the media and fans alike to get their pre-season taste of bikes on track.
The riders will meet the media between 12.30-1.30pm with interviews and photographs.
Then from 1.30pm fans are welcome to attend with bikes due out on track for practice at 2pm.
Then in the evening there will be a talk-in featuring members of the management and some riders at Aston Manor Cricket Club, Church Road, Perry Barr B42 2LA from 7.30pm.
Once again entry is by donation to a collection towards the air fence.