PIRATES chief Matt Ford could not resist a cheeky aside to Garry May – insisting the Somerset team manager would be “rubbing his hands” at the unavailability of flop signing Claus Vissing.

Somerset last week brought in Vissing as a replacement for Charles Wright, the Dane’s weighty average placing him second in the Rebels ratings.

But Vissing failed to score on his seasonal debut at home to Pirates and managed a paltry one paid two at home to King’s Lynn yesterday.

Due to racing commitments in his homeland, Vissing will be absent when Somerset head to Wimborne Road for the second leg of the teams’ Knockout Cup quarter-final, the visitors aiming to preserve a 14-point lead.

And Ford believes May will be delighted that the likes of world champion Jason Doyle and flying Aussie Jack Holder will be eligible to cover Vissing’s rides.

Ford told the Daily Echo: “Somerset will be thanking their lucky stars that Claus Vissing is missing, with the greatest of respect to him.

“He scored zero on his home debut and then one on Monday. He has already committed to a meeting in Denmark which means Jason Doyle, Jack Holder and Richard Lawson all get an extra ride.

“I’m sure Garry May is rubbing his hands because there isn’t a soul in speedway who wouldn’t tell you they haven’t come out of this immensely stronger.

“That’s a tough one for the club to make up because now Doyle is going to end up in six races, Jack probably the same and Richard Lawson in five.

“Jack is in quite exceptional form this year. He is definitely a vastly improved rider to the guy who rode for us last year.

“We have got our work cut out. We have to all be performing in order to lower their colours.

“We just have to keep the faith and do what we can. I think it will be an exciting meeting. Can we pull back 14 points? It is a big call but who knows?

“We beat King’s Lynn by 26 in our last home meeting and the guys are happier with the track. We just have to have our gating gloves on and hope we can do the job.”

Pirates: (from) Brady Kurtz, Linus Sundstrom, Richie Worrall, Nicolai Klindt, Josh Grajczonek, Mateusz Szczepaniak, Kacper Woryna.

Rebels: (from) Jason Doyle, Claus Vissing r/r, Bradley Wilson-Dean, Richard Lawson, Jack Holder, Jake Allen, Nico Covatti.