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Official - Mario is Back!!!!!

Kevin George  Wednesday, May 09, 2001  11:13 GMT

Hold on to your hats as Panthers favourite Mario Jirout has been handed a shock Panthers recall.

The Czech enigma has been drafted into the Peterborough side to replace John Jorgensen who retired from British racing after just one meeting for the club.

It is an unlikely return for the former Grand Prix rider who was involved in a war of words with club bosses earlier in the season over the return of a 'loaned' bike.

But he has since apologised to club bosses who have been happy to draw a line under the whole incident.

Jirout has had a chequered past with Peterborough and was once sacked by the club - under a previous promotion - for failing to turn up for a meeting.

But Panthers promoters feel they have nothing to lose in giving Jirout - a firm fans' favourite - one last chance.

Team boss Phil Wing said: "With the points we have available to play with we don't have a great choice of riders so it would have been silly not to consider him.

"He says he's quietened down and now he has to show us he means business. The ball is very much in his court and if he doesn't take his chance now he'll have no-one else to blame.

"He's been riding very well in Poland but he knows he needs to be riding in Britain. There's never been a doubt about his talent and he was an important member of the very successful 1999 Panthers side.

"The fans love him though and I'm sure he'll get a good reception but he's probably going to need to get a few meetings under his belt."

Jirout's return means five of the seven riders who guided the club to a clean sweep of honours in 1999 are reunited in the 2001 line-up. Ryan Sullivan, Sam Tesar, David Howe and Nigel Sadler are the others and co-promoter Jim Lynch joked: "We've had Jason Crump and Jan Andersen on the phone too asking for their places back but we had to tell them we couldn't fit them in!"

New Team Line Up:

1) Ryan Sullivan (captain)
2) Mario Jirout
3) Sam Tesar
4) Shane Parker
5) Mark Loram
6) Nigel Sadler
7) David Howe

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