THE Workington Comets management have announced that their fifth team member for the 2019 season will be the popular Tero Aarnio, who returns to the club he last rode full-time for back in 2013.
Thirty-four year-old Aarnio enjoyed his best ever season in the sport in 2018 during which time he made several guest appearances for the Comets; including riding in both legs of the league Championship play-off Grand Final against Lakeside.
Tero comes into the side on the 6.83 average, which he attained last season with Newcastle. But, with various continental commitments ruling out a full-time Sunday race-day track in 2019 he is able to return to the Comets on a full-time basis after a gap of five seasons.
Club owner Laura Morgan is pleased to be able to welcome Tero back to Derwent Park as a member of the Comets side for 2019, as she explained:
“Tero was one of the first riders we signed when I bought the club ahead of 2013, having joined the Comets mid-way through the previous season when the club was owned by Keith Denham, and I know that he was disappointed when we couldn’t accommodate him the following season; but sometimes building a team becomes a numbers game unfortunately.
“Since then he has spent much of his time with Newcastle and he had a superb season in 2018 culminating in playing a crucial part in both legs of our league title Grand Final as a guest.
“Tero has bags of experience to pass on to the younger guys and with Tero you always get one hundred percent effort. When he was with us previously, and in his guest appearances since, he has always been able to pull out a big race win when it was really needed.
“When we knew Tero was available and made contact with him he jumped at the chance to return to the Comets for 2019 and of course with him knowing us, and us knowing him, he should settle back in at Derwent Park very quickly; which all helps to get the all-important team spirit going.”
Team manager and co-promoter Tony Jackson added: “We have always kept in touch since he last rode for the Comets and I am very much looking forward to working with Tero again. He is really keen for next season already, when he believes he can build on the superb season he had in 2018.
“As well as helping us in the play-off Grand Final I won’t forget the fact that last season he was prepared to fly in from Italy to ride as a guest for us at Scunthorpe and then fly back to Italy the next morning to re-join his mechanic and ride in a Grand Prix qualifier that night. That was a special effort, which typifies Tero, and we were very grateful for that – even if he then had me driving the long way home so I could take him to Manchester airport after the Scunthorpe meeting!”
Tero Aarnio (6.83) joins the already announced Steve Worrall (7.97), Mason Campton (6.32), Bradley Wilson-Dean (6.00) and Kyle Bickley (2.00) in the Comets line-up so far; which leaves 8.88 points available for the remaining two riders in order to comply with the 38-point limit that applies to 2019 team-building.