Nick Laurence in for The Seagulls as NDL Team Reserve & MSDL Captain

Experienced racer Nick Laurence will line up at reserve for Eastbourne Speedway’s National Development League (NDL) team.

He’s very much a local rider, living at Golden Cross which is about three miles as the crow flies from Arlington Stadium.

Nick is a well known face in the Eastbourne pits, either riding or working as a mechanic in 2019 for Richard Lawson.

He is delighted to join the Seagulls, powered by Save Thurrock Hammers, having previously ridden for the club in the NDL, as well as Mildenhall and Lakeside.

“To be announced full as a team rider is good. I am very excited,” he said.

“I will bring experience to the team because I have been around for some time.

“I am obviously not the top rider in the league but I have seen enough and ridden enough to know what’s what about equipment and set-ups.

“It frustrates me sometimes because in my head I am a ten times better rider than I am on a bike but I can pass that experience on to the younger riders.

“It is also good to see them progress.”

Nick is ready to start racing.

He said: “I have three engines in total, one I have used in practise and two new ones. The van is all sorted. We are all there and ready to go.

“I am looking forward to getting back on a bike.

“There is only so much training you can do. Being ‘bike fit’ is totally different than running down the road.

“You can think you are as fit as a fiddle running but as soon as you get on a bike it is completely different.”

In 2020 Nick rode in a couple of meetings at Lydd, did a private practice at Scunthorpe and then a meeting at the north Lincolnshire track.

“I am just getting to the point as to wondering whether I can get to the bottom of a straight and actually turn,” he joked.

“I about six weeks away from that, so I can hope I can ride before then.”

Nick Laurence

Eastbourne Speedway director Ian Jordan said:

“When Kelsey Dugard approached us and asked to be released to ride for Newcastle Gems so that he could also fulfil a full-time job as mechanic for Ben Barker and be closer to his daughter, it removed an obvious contender for one of the starting reserve slots in the new Seagulls side, alongside Nathan Ablitt.

“We looked long and hard at a number of riders with NDL experience in 2019 who could have slotted in within the points available, and also at a few riders who are probably the best within the MSDL / Northern Development League structure who have yet to be given an NDL opportunity.

“The more we looked, the more Slick (Nick) seemed to be an ideal candidate.

“He has had an NDL season in 2017 with Lakeside, he performed admirably in 2018 when called upon to ride for the double winning NDL team under the management of Martin and Connor Dugard and is above all a team player with a vast amount of technical and bike set up knowledge from his time as a race day mechanic to several top riders.

“We think that Nick can be a great mentor to some of our younger riders, some not yet old enough to race in the NDL, who will join our Academy Development Squad, like Vinnie Joe Foord.

“The more we looked at the make-up of reserve pairings around the rest of the league, the more we felt that Nick not only has unfulfilled potential and unfinished business as a rider, that he can also be one of the more potent Reserves in the League, given his excellent gating ability.

“Nick will spend a lot of time this season spannering for Edward Kennett and I have to say, having spoken to Edward, he seems equally keen to reciprocate and spanner for Nick in the NDL and that’s just the kind of team bonding between Eagles and Seagulls that we are keen to encourage.

Matches will be all ticket, booked and paid for in advance online. There will be no cash/card admissions on the day.

This is to ensure Arlington Stadium meets all Covid-19 rules.

To purchase tickets for the Championship / NDL Double Header v Newcastle and the South Coast Derby v Poole, please click on the links below.

Please note: existing 2020 Season and 10 Match Ticket Holders do not need to pre-book – please just turn up with your 2020 Season Ticket or 10 Match Pass and go to the dedicated ST/10 Match Turnstile (which will be clearly marked)

Stand by for more Seagulls NDL signing news later today and more NDL and MSDL Development Squad News in the next few days.

Nick Laurence image credits: Kevin Whiting & Tiffani Graveling Photography