Speedway: Birks and Reade go for glory at NL Riders' Championship
ASHLEY Birks and Ben Reade will wear the Stoke Easy Rider Potters colours at this month's National League Riders Championship.
The meeting will be hosted by Rye House, but has been put back two weeks to September 29 to allow the Hoddesden-based club to catch up on fixtures lost during the wet summer.
Birks has flourished this season, both in the Premier League with Scunthorpe and as the Potters' number one.
He said: "I joined Stoke to win trophies and I'm right up there at the top of the NL averages.
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"Rye House is not an easy track to ride as a one-off, but I have done okay there in the past and I go in to every meeting feeling confident."
Birks and Reade will have a decent idea of how the Rye House track is riding as Stoke race there in a National League fixture on September 22, a week before the championship.
Reade has been one of the revelations of the National League this season.
He started the campaign at reserve on a three-point average, but has since upped that figure to 8.13 with a string of double-figure scores.
Reade, who returned to the Potters side on Saturday after damaging a knee in a crash at Buxton on August 19, said: "I'm delighted to have qualified and am looking forward to the challenge.
"At the start of the season I had a new outlook on the sport and was determined to progress, and I'm really pleased at the way things have gone for me this year.
"I have already ridden at Rye House this season with Plymouth and scored five points, so I believe I can get in the mix and fight for a rostrum place."
The championship was won by Belle Vue's Jason Garrity last season, with his Colts team-mate Kyle Howarth finishing as runner up.
Garrity, who was also crowned British under-19s champion last year, will take his place again providing he has recovered from injury.
National League Riders' Championship line-up: Charles Wright, Adam McKinna (Buxton), Adam Roynon, Tom Perry, Ashley Morris (Dudley), Danny Warwick, Ben Hopwood (Isle of Wight), Lewis Kerr (King's Lynn), Cameron Heeps, Stefan Nielsen, Joe Jacobs (Mildenhall), Jason Garrity, Ben Morley (Rye House), Gary Irving (Scunthorpe), Ashley Birks, Ben Reade (Stoke). Reserves: Tom Stokes (King's Lynn), Connor Coles (Rye House).