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FIRED UP

Kent ready for title battle

Shipped out on loan in each of the previous three seasons Marcus Rottensteiner was keen to find a permanent home for the twilight of his career, and when Kent came calling his parent club Pennsylvania made the decision to let the World Number 15 go. At a price of course, the £375,000 paid by Spitfires promoter Mike Pearce is a club record by a long way, the fee near double the figure paid for Marco Bonertz back in SL17, a rider whose Kent career lasted just 14 league meetings. Pearce will be expecting Rottensteiner to be around a lot longer, he bought in to shake the side from their mid-table comfort zone and turn them into trophy winners. At Pennsylvania he enjoyed League, Division One Cup and 4TT success. The 33 year old will lead a heat leader trio who all have GP experience, between them Rottensteiner, Lee Alty and Mario Obrecht have ridden in 53 individual rounds of the series, Obrecht of course winning the world title twice. There’s real belief around the Outskirts Arena that this year could be their year, Michael Oldfied seems a shrewd signing at second string, the Aussie comes in on a GSA of 5.86, his lowest mark in seven years, while at reserve much is expected of Paul Connelly, three years ago he averaged 6.04, the 23 year old begins SL21 with a GSA of 3.00. Elsewhere Rugby paid an eye-watering £1/2million for Valeri Elin, Ashton the recipient of the Gravediggers generosity, the Rangers having paid just 1% of that figure for the then little known 19 year old less than two years ago. Elin averaged 6.65 in division three last season, but will line up as a third heat leader at top flight Rugby, last week he finished down in tenth in the Russian Final in Pskov.

 

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