SPEEDWAY ace Ben Morley cannot wait to take on the Eastbourne Eagles on Good Friday.

The 20-year-old Vortex Hammer rider has been wowing crowds at Arena Essex and earned the praise of team bosses for his performance as Hammers demolished the Birmingham Brummies 69-21.

Hammers team manager Neil Vatcher said: “I’m especially pleased for both Ben Morley, who had a great race victory, and for Lewis Bridger who showed a good return to form.”

Morley said: “I did well against Birmingham and it’s great to be able to show what you can do on a bike.

“I’m still learning lots about the sport and getting a great deal of help from the other more experienced riders who are happy to suggest a bike set up which will be good for me.

“But getting into the Hammers team has been big for me,” he added. Morley’s progress into the sport’s Elite League comes partly thanks to a change in the regulations by the governing body which came into force a few weeks ago. The sport’s Fast Track scheme meant that teams now have to make way for younger, less experienced riders and both he and Adam Ellis are local beneficiaries of that policy. And they’re showing their team bosses that they can cut it with the country’s best.

Hammers’ general manager Alan Sargent said: “The scheme to encourage younger riders into the sport is working very well. “It’s only just in and it’s a little bit like the draft in American Football in the States. We went for Adam Ellis who was one of our assets and Ben Morley because we knew him and knew that he would strengthen our team.

“So far the selection has paid off. The youngsters race in so-called protected heats but they have both been showing what they can do.

“The riders have the chance to improve quickly and you can see this in the way both these riders have been doing,” he added. Morley’s own take on stepping up from Rye House to join the Elite League Hammers is pretty positive. He said: “So far this season we’ve looked pretty solid as a team but I think that we have been unlucky away from home. Getting to race for the Hammers is taking my career forward and means that I won’t be stuck in the National Leagues. “I think that I’m pretty good at starts and I like to get to the first bend first.You have to be confident enough in your own start and be prepared to commit early on. It’s more dangerous if you are a bit half-hearted,” said the youngster who – when he’s not training on the cinder track – is a gas fitter by trade.

Recently Morley tasted disappointment when he narrowly missed out on a GB Under 21 slot.

On Good Friday Hammers are at home for a 1pm Elite League meeting against the Eastbourne Eagles.