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Kevin Doolan's picture

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The Bandits are back … and I’ve rarely felt readier, more excited or for that matter fitter, going into what will be my 21st season in British speedway!

With Press and Practice on Thursday night and then the Bordernapolis on Saturday I’m possibly the most excited I’ve been for years.

Everyone is well aware of the all hard work that has gone in over the winter to bring the Bandits to tapes this year -- but not only are we here but we have a great team, full of familiar faces who know only too well what speedway means to the people of Berwick.

I have spent most my winter working with my mate’s building company and in my spare time have been climbing hills and mountains on my MTB.

I think that this is the fittest version of Kev Doolan there has ever been -- and not returning to Aussie this winter means that I am extra keen to get back on a bike and racing.

It’s always good to recharge the batteries and refocus in preparation for a new season and I feel like my time has been well spent and I’m keen and ready to go.

By and large I consider winter practice little more than an opportunity for burning out motors and tyres in conditions that are nothing like a real race meet conditions -- but when I heard that some of the Bandits were considering heading to Burgundy to get in some laps I got giddy and fished my passport out of the sock drawer ready for a road trip to Macon!

Along with Leon, Aaron and Busk I had two days riding there and it felt great to be back on the bike.

I felt comfortable, fit and most importantly, I was having fun.

The only downside was destroying a motor when the con-rod decided it no longer wanted to reside inside the engine!

It was still a great trip and big thanks to Tony and Gary Flint organising it and doing the driving.

There was also a group from the British Under-19 squad there who joined us for track time and we enjoyed some warm sunshine on the second day.

It was a pretty productive trip all round and it should lead us nicely into the start of our racing season here.

I’ve mentioned before how important it is for riders to get open meetings like the Bordernapolis or the Stars of Tomorrow under their belts and I’m sure the racing will be great on Saturday night.

It will be a great help to our own riders and allow them to dial their bikes into Shielfield before the Shield, league and cup matches start.

That’s when our sights are firmly set on progressing at least one step further than last year!

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