Witches' Doyle vows to return stronger than ever

Jason DoyleImage source, Getty Images
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Jason Doyle was in his third season with Ipswich, having first ridden in Britain in 2005

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Ipswich Witches' former world champion Jason Doyle has vowed to "come back stronger" than ever after being ruled out for the rest of the season.

The Australian, who joined the Witches in 2022 and last season helped them win their first trophy for 25 years, is to have shoulder surgery following a crash.

He was one of four riders absent on Monday as the Witches faced Birmingham Brummies in the first leg of the Premiership KO Cup, but they still came out on top 46-44.

"It's not the ideal situation but the doctor explained to me that if I don't get it fixed now, I'll have a lot of trouble in the future. I still want to be racing so I want to get this fixed asap," Doyle told BBC Radio Suffolk.

The 38-year-old, who won the world title in 2017, suffered four broken ribs as well as damaging his shoulder in a heavy accident at King's Lynn last month.

"It's not over - I'm going to come back stronger," he added.

"Everyone says I've got a bit of a fight ahead of me, but I feel good. I know it's an uphill battle but the doctor says I'll be back fit as I can be, so I'm looking forward to the challenge."

In Doyle's absence at the Perry Barr Stadium, Emil Sayfutdinov led the Ipswich scoring with 15+1 as they earned a two-point lead over the Brummies to take into the second leg on their home track on Thursday evening.

The winners will face King's Lynn Stars or Sheffield Tigers in the final.

"We've got every chance - I wouldn't use the word 'confident' because we've just got too many problems at the moment with injuries," said Witches promoter Chris Louis.

"We should have Adam Ellis back, which will help, and hopefully Danny King will ride in the British Final on Saturday and come through that fit, so we're beginning to get back to where we need to be."