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The sport's newest young prodigy is set to make his entrance into the closing weeks of the 2022 Speedway season - and is doing so in the colours of Mildenhall Fen Tigers, proudly sponsored by Manchetts Rescue and Recovery. Ashton Boughen hails from the Middleton district of King's Lynn and is the latest rider to turn from the junior ranks of Motocross to senior Speedway - having turned 15 years in August and bringing a superb racing pedigree from MX onto the flat shale ovals of the Speedway world. And it's a world already sitting up and noticing the raw talent of the former Junior MX World Championship top ten rider, now that his attention has turned to Speedway.

With crowd favourite Sam Bebee forced to admit defeat in his attempts to get back into the saddle this season following a frustrating period out with the longer term effects of concussion, the Mildenhall management have moved to secure the services of newcomer Ashton Boughen, starting with the NDL Play Off semi-final first leg at Berwick this coming weekend - the first of a series of absolutely vital matches for the Suffolk side in October, when both League Championship and Knock Out Cup are up for grabs.

Though only just 15, the teenager from Norfolk has a remarkable 11 years racing experience - beginning on MX bikes aged just four and with victories in club championships, British national championships and the Arenacross UK championships - plus riding all over Europe and his top ten showing in Italy in 2019 in the MX World Junior Championship (finishing fifth in the first round of races and eighth in the final standings) there's no question Ashton cemented his position as THE rising star of the MX world.

All that changed though when Ashton and his father Bradley were invited by a friend to watch Speedway at their local track in King's Lynn, as Bradley explains, 

"We enjoyed the racing at Saddlebow so much that we booked Ashton into one of Russell Paine's Ride 'n' Slide 'try-out' days at Mildenhall soon after. Ashton took to the sport immediately and we went out and got a couple of bikes and here we are now about to embark on National Development League [NDL] racing.

"Ashton has ridden at a number of tracks now, among them Scunthorpe, Redcar & the National Speedway Stadium at Belle Vue and he's had his first experience of riding in a team for the King's Lynn Lightning side versus Peterborough Thundercats in the Premiership Junior League at the Norfolk Arena.  We've also just got back from a full week of racing in Denmark which was an excellent learning experience. We've certainly packed in a lot in just four months.

"It has been an important and very serious decision we've made to pull away from motocross after ten years plus of racing and with Ashton lying fifth in the British MX Championships, but we've assessed the potential there is in Speedway where there's finances and help towards making it in the sport and if you are talented you can go places".

Ashton is delighted that the progressive Mildenhall management (a club that has such a proven pedigree in giving young local racing talent their first opportunities in the sport, from former World Champion Michael Lee back in the 1970s all the way through to newly-crowned NDL Riders' Champion Jordan Jenkins) are showing faith in him for what is one of the club's most important months in their history, with the chance of a League & Cup double and a first-ever defence of their NDL title.

The youngster commented,

"I'm really excited about being asked to finish off the season for Mildenhall and with the home track being just 45 minutes away from us it was a no brainer to say yes. It’s still early doors in my career of course, so I'm not expecting to go straight into the NDL and set the world alight but one thing is for sure is I will give it 100 percent."

The update on Sam Bebee's condition is that his health issues have been diagnosed as post-concussion syndrome and he explains,

"I'm still struggling with the effects of this and my head is still not good. So though I'm back to full fitness in all other ways and I'd so love to be back racing for the Fen Tigers, at the moment I need to concentrate fully on getting myself well again.

"I will of course, as I always do, be trackside at West Row giving the lads my full support - on the 16th. when hopefully we'll do enough to get past Berwick and into the Play Off Final and then when we also ride in the KOC Final too. It's been great to see how my team mates finished the regular league campaign so strongly and are the team in form going into this final month of the season."

Mildenhall promoter Greg Palmer commented,

"We fully understand and sympathise with the position Sam is in, being unable to return to racing this season. The club give their full support to him as he recuperates and moves towards a full recovery which we all hope can happen soon.

"Sam was in great form earlier this season with some of the best performances and highest scoring of his career (which has, of course, always been with Mildenhall) and there's a very strong argument to say that he was shaping up to be the most improved rider in the division for 2022.

"Then two bad crashes, both of which were in no way his fault, stalled and then ended for this year that progress he was making, which is hugely frustrating for him, the club and our supporters, for whom Sam is absolutely a big favourite.

"We all wish him well for that full recovery".

Mildenhall are back in action in the Play Off semi-final first leg up at Berwick this Saturday, 8th. October; with the second leg at West Row eight days later on Sunday 16th. October.