The Isle of Wight’s ‘Wightlink’ Warriors speedway team are gearing up for their first race of the season this week.

Smallbrook Stadium in Ryde will play host to the fourth staging of the Vince Mapley Memorial Trophy on Thursday (11).

Wightlink Warriors’ Ben Morley

The individual event is contested over twelve qualifying heats, two semi-finals and culminates in a winner-takes-all Grand Final.

In a bid to retain last year’s crown, Wightlink’ Warriors captain Ben Morley will go up against new team-mate Georgie Wood, Danny Ayres from Mildenhall and former Warrior Scott Campos, who has now teamed up with Plymouth.

Warrior’s co-promoter, Barry Bishop, said:

“As usual we will be getting our season underway with the Vince Mapley Memorial Trophy in recognition of a fine man who did so much for speedway on the Island.

“The meeting gives a chance to all our riders to get some valuable track time before the National Trophy competition gets going at the end of the month and I’m sure our fans will be eagerly anticipating the close battles between Ben and Georgie not to mention Danny Ayres who set the fastest time around Smallbrook last season.”

Ben Morley will have his National League Riders’ Championship trophy on hand for fan photos on the night, and there will be four outings for the Golden Oldies on their vintage bikes from years ago.

Wightlink Warriors

The Palm Court Ped-Racing Team will do some not-so-serious demonstrations, the mini-Warriors and mascot will be on track before the meeting and the children’s running/cycling race will return in the interval.