CO-PROMOTER Danny Ford dedicated Pirates’ 46-44 SGB Premiership victory at Belle Vue to stricken stars Richie Worrall and Nico Covatti.

The pair were both unable to compete at National Speedway Stadium following a horror crash at Wimborne Road on Thursday which left them both nursing broken bones.

Merseysider Worrall, who is today set to undergo surgery, suffered a break in four places in his ankle. Argentinian star Covatti had been left nursing broken ribs.

But without two key members of their septet, Pirates were once again inspired by skipper Josh Grajczonek, who totalled 13 paid 14 in Manchester.

Ford told the club website: “It was a performance that really showed how much we want to defend our league title.

“It also showed how much team spirit there is in our club as the boys were desperate to put on a show and get the win for Nico and Richie.

“Those three points are for them and the club is with them all the way as they start their recoveries.”

Victory meant Pirates moves up to second in the table, just two points behind leaders Ipswich.

Reacting to his side’s latest triumph, team boss Neil Middleditch told the Daily Echo: “I said to the boys before the meeting ‘we must not let them get away like they did last time on us’.

“We clawed that back to a draw but this time the boys were just on fire from the word go, everybody played a very important part in the meeting with all six riders. That was the winning formula.

“When we work as team together, we are a very dangerous outfit.”

He added: “All the boys missed Richie and Nico but the two guests (Jye Etheridge and Luke Becker) came in an did a good job for us as well. It was just a great result.

“The racing was good and it was a really good advert for speedway.

“Richie is hopefully going to go back up to his home (after surgery) with a bit of luck.

“Nico has been at my place since the accident. I have been feeding him and looking after him – he is now heading back home as well.

“Nico is a bit sore and with broken ribs you can’t do anything, you just have to give it time and he has been in a lot of pain in the past couple of days – but give him a few Peroni’s and he’s happy!”

Pirates are back in action when they take on King’s Lynn at Wimborne Road on Thursday (7.30pm).

Danish star Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen is set to return at reserve following illness, while American Ricky Wells will come in as a guest for Covatti.

Pirates will continue to operate rider replacement for Worrall.