Speedway: Monarchs add Aussie teen ace Max Fricke to new-look pool

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EDINBURGH Monarchs have just one team spot left to fill after highly-rated Aussie teenager Max Fricke became their sixth signing for the 2013 speedway campaign.

Fricke, 16, impressed in an appearance at Matthew Wethers’ testimonial meeting at Armadale in August, when he scored a creditable seven points.

His arrival has caught the imagination of the Monarchs support, who reckon next year’s line-up is one of the strongest in a long time.

Fricke can’t wait to ride for Monarchs. He said: “I’m very excited about it. Joining a club like Edinburgh is the perfect place for me to start my British racing career. Armadale was one of the favourite tracks I rode in the UK this year, and that’s one of the big reasons I have decided to go there.”

Fricke won’t be the only Australian in the Monarchs squad, with compatriot Sam Masters having been snapped up a few weeks ago. “I know Sam, he is a good rider here in Australia,” said Fricke. “It will be good to have someone in the Monarchs team that I know.”

Fricke and his dad Rodger are currently busy back home riding in as many meetings as possible. “I have been riding quite well and these meetings are the building blocks for me as I try to make progress in the sport. Every time I get on a bike I seem to be improving in some way,” said Fricke. “It will take me time to learn all the tracks in the Premier League but hopefully I will do that and help the team.”

Fricke, who will occupy a second-string role within the Monarchs squad, added: “I’m bringing one bike plus two engines over with me and I’m hoping to get another bike once I’m in the UK. I’d like to hold my five-point average that I come in on but realise that will be very difficult.”

Dad Rodger, who will accompany his son over the early part of the new season, said: “Max is very organised and we plan to be in Scotland a couple of weeks before the season starts to make sure everything is right for him. Max thought Armadale was a technical track, but sees this as a challenge.”

Fricke has been signed subject to a visa being issued by the UK authorities and also subject to British Speedway Promoters Association approval.