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Star-studded line-up set for Lemon testimonial

By This is Somerset  |  Posted: September 17, 2009

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ONE of the greatest line-ups of riders seen at the Somerset Speedway's Oak Tree Arena will take to the track tomorrow for Mark Lemon's testimonial.

Lemon, who first came to these shores from Australia in 1990 and subsequently rode for the Somerset Rebels in 2003, has assembled a field that will have the mouths of all speedway fans watering.

The meeting will take the format of an Australia versus Rest of the World team match over 15 heats, the Australian side being led by double world champion and runaway leader of the current Grand Prix Series, Jason Crump.

Also riding for the Australian septet is another of the current Grand Prix stars, and 10-time Australian Champion, Leigh Adams, the current track record holder at Somerset with a time of 56.08 seconds.

The Aussie line-up also includes World Cup rider Adam Shields and Adams' Swindon team-mate Travis McGowan, together with the vastly experienced Jason Lyons as well as Lemon himself, while Somerset number one Steve Johnston is also in the team.

The Rest of the World side look every bit as strong as their Aussie counterparts and are led by 2007 Danish Champion Hans Andersen, who will be making his Oak Tree Arena debut.

Andersen is also one of the riders currently gracing the World Championship Grand Prix Series and was a member of the Danish side that won the World Team Cup in 2006 and 2008.

If Andersen is one of the current Grand Prix Stars then Tai Woffinden is one of the future, the Wolverhampton youngster earning rave reviews in his debut season in the Elite League after two successful seasons in the Premier League with Rye House, during which time he showed on more than one occasion his liking for the Oak Tree Arena.

Meanwhile, another Oak Tree Arena debutant is Peter Karlsson, a team-mate of Woffinden's at Wolverhampton.

Like Karlsson, another rider of vast experience is former British Champion Joe Screen, who currently plies his trade with Elite League Poole after a long and distinguished career that has seen him grace many clubs, including Belle Vue and Bradford.

Two more up-and-coming speedway stars line up for the Rest of the World in the shape of England's James Wright and Denmark's Kenni Larsen, who rides alongside Lemon for Newcastle in the Premier League.

Finally, just as the Australian side has Somerset Rebels representation, so does the Rest of the World side with the ever-popular Emil Kramer rounding off their septet.

The teams also have well-known managers, 1993 World Champion and Sky Sports pundit Sam Ermolenko taking the helm of the Rest of the World side.

Pitting his wits against him will be former Bristol Bulldog and1976 World Championship bronze medallist Phil Crump.

And there is more to offer for spectators, with a guest of honour list headed by 1950 and 1953 World Speedway Champion and former Wembley star Freddie Williams, who is joined by former Newcastle, Hull and Stoke rider Tom Owen.

The special guest of honour, however, comes from a different sport as former Australia international and current Somerset cricket captain Justin Langer visits the Oak Tree.

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