Speedway: Barker back with Somerset Rebels
PUBLISHED: 18:07 27 November 2019 | UPDATED: 18:08 27 November 2019
The Cornish connection continues with the Somerset Rebels signing Truro-born Ben Barker for a second time.
By the time the 2020 season gets underway, it will be 14 years since he last rode as a regular Rebel where he scored 215 points from 46 appearances in 2006.
And the prospect of returning is one Baker is relishing.
"I am really looking forward to linking up with Somerset again," said Barker.
"Strangely enough it almost happened last year as I spoke to Garry May when I didn't have a club, but there was no place available at the time.
"Then I got the opportunity to do an initial 28-day stint with Scunthorpe and during those 28 days 'Gazza' found himself looking for riders, but I was already committed, so I missed out on the chance to ride for Somerset.
"As it happened Scunthorpe extended my contract and Gazza went a different route, but I have always been keen to come back to Somerset if the time was right and I think it is now.
"My aim is to build on my average and become the club's number one this season, but I am also looking to help bring on the youngsters if I can.
"I get on well with Anders (Rowe) and it will be fun working with him for sure."
Team boss Gary May was delighted to get Barker's signature, adding: "Ben ticks all the right boxes for me.
"He is the sort of rider that can turn a good team into a great team.
"You know what you are going to get from him in terms of efforts and I've never seen him give up until he has completed four laps in each race.
"He won't start at number one, but he has the ambition to become our number one by the end of the season and to do that he is going to need to score well and that can only be good for the club."
Barker's inclusion in the team makes him the third British rider to sign for the Rebels' 2020 side joining fellow Brits Anders Rowe and Josh Bates alongside Australian Rory Schlein who will be riding his last season.
Barker will start the campaign on a 7.06 average and with three places still remaining to fill in their line-up, the Rebels have 14.79 points to utilise.