Witches make it 6! 'My home is at Ipswich'.... Fans' favourite Covatti returns for 2020
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Nico Covatti is the sixth member of Ipswich 'Tru Plant' Witches team of 2020, writes Henry Chard.
The popular rider first joined the club in 2015 and spent four consecutive seasons in Suffolk before he moved to Poole in 2019 but he is glad to be back at Ipswich for the new season.
"I am very happy, it's what I had hoped for," said Covatti.
"I was hoping for a call from Ipswich because I wanted to return. I had a few opportunities to race at Ipswich last season, once as a guest and I scored well. The track was good as it always is. It is a good home advantage there because most riders don't like the track, they struggle on this type of track and can't adapt. It was an easy decision when Chris (Louis) called because it was it was what I wanted."
The 31-year-old says that Foxhall feels like his speedway home and a year away from the club made him realise how well run the club is.
"This season will be my fifth with the club, I feel at home here both on the track and with the people at the club like Chris, Ritchie (Hawkins) and Danny (King), who has spent a lot of years racing here and is a great captain and friend. I have a good relationship with fans and people at the club, people are always ready to help you.
"I had a change last year at Poole because I needed it and needed to see other things. Obviously, I realised it was good at Ipswich and a lot of the things we have at Ipswich are not there at other clubs.
"The important thing is to feel at home, and this happens when you spend a few years at a club. The organisation at the club is fantastic and it is very professional, this helps a rider a lot and there are not many other clubs in England as professional as Ipswich."
Covatti, who will also double up with Kent Kings in the Championship in 2020, reflected on a mixed year with the Pirates last season.
"It was good because I went to different tracks and clubs, but the results were not fantastic.
"I was not that happy with my season. I was consistent but in reality, I can do a lot more. At Poole I couldn't achieve that, and it was a track that had a few difficulties each week and I couldn't find the setup which caused me problems throughout the season.
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"When I returned to Ipswich last season it was very good and I realised that my home was at Ipswich.
"I was thinking about the future and 2020 and I was hoping to have the opportunity to return to Ipswich and luckily it happened."
Covatti starts the year on a 5.27 average and has targeted winning the title after a few near-misses in recent years.
"I want to win the league, last year with Poole we lost in the play-offs against Ipswich. The year before that I lost with Somerset and so I am waiting to win the league and I would like to do that with Ipswich, a place where I have spent the most years racing in England.
"Ipswich have become a strong team in recent years, and I think we can do it. It's a long season so we will see how it goes.
"Personally, I will continue doing all my European racing and all the Grand Prix qualifiers which are very important. Last year I had a good meeting in Glasgow in the qualifier where I missed out on the GP Challenge by a point, so the ambition is to go one better on that front."
The Argentinian who races on an Italian licence has flown home to South America this week but will be keeping race-sharp during his trip.
"On 7th January I will go home to Argentina to visit my family with all my family here in Italy coming too. It has been a year or so since I saw them and have been home so we will make the most of the Argentinean summer and relax a little. I am going to compete in the Argentinean Championship which starts on 11th January and I will be in seven or eight meetings. I want to use this as training before I return to Italy in February to get the bikes ready for England."
2020 team: Danny King ©, Nicolai Klindt, Cameron Heeps, Jake Allen, Danny Ayres, Nico Covatti