PIRATES legends Tony Rickardsson and Mark Loram have been lined up for a rare return to Wimborne Road as team managers for Gary Havelock’s farewell meeting.
Havelock tonight announced his former team-mates and fellow world champions would top an impressive bill by taking the teams for his swansong at Poole on Friday, March 21.
Loram was at the peak of his powers during two seasons in Dorset and became the first Pirates rider to win the Speedway Grand Prix series in 2000.
Swedish star Rickardsson, Loram's replacement in the team, arrived with three world titles already under his belt and continued his relentless pursuit of success on the global stage by becoming world champion in 2001 and 2002 before helping Poole to Elite League titles in 2003 and 2004.
Delighted Havelock, who yesterday celebrated the British Speedway Promoters Association’s climb down over the fixture clash between his meeting and the Elite Riders Championship, said the presence of his close friends would provide a fitting end to his 30-year career.
He told the Daily Echo: “To get those two guys was a massive coup and having them there should be great for everyone, particularly the fans at Poole.
“I have been friends with Mark since I was 13 and got to know him on the junior grass track racing scene. He was never the best gater but one of the greatest racers I have ever seen.
"If you were to ask anyone from that era who you would least like to have breathing down your neck a high percentage would say Mark Loram.
“As hard as it would be to compare riders from different eras, I would say Tony Rickardsson was the greatest rider to have lived. Six world championships at a time when there was so much competition in the sport was truly phenomenal.
“We travelled together quite a bit during our careers and I got to know Tony quite well. He is not involved with speedway anymore and travels all over the world working for one of his former sponsors.
“It was vitally important we stuck to our date because he made room in his very busy schedule to bring over his family."