A POOLE PIRATES speedway rider is being backed by a shopping centre in the town that he describes as his ‘second home.’

Krzysztof Kasprzak, who Poole Pirates chief, Matt Ford, has chosen as his number one for the 2017 SGB Premiership campaign, will be supported this season by the Dolphin Shopping Centre, which is based just a stone’s throw away from Poole Stadium.

The 32-year-old international star, who is one of Poland’s top sportsmen, said: “The sponsorship of the Dolphin Shopping Centre means a lot, not only for the financial backing but also the friendship of the centre management and staff.

“Poole is like a second home to me and the staff at the Dolphin Shopping Centre were kind enough to sponsor me in my early days at Poole, so to have them back on board again for this year makes me very happy.

“Their backing helps tremendously with the preparation and upkeep of my racing equipment. Speedway racing, like most motor sports, is very expensive. For example, the racing engines need a lot of maintenance, as they have to be rebuilt after every other match, which costs a lot of money.

“The Dolphin Shopping Centre sponsorship goes a long way in paying those bills and I would like to thank John Grinnell and Lisa King for the faith that they have shown in me.”

Kasprzak said that he is hoping to win a lot of races for Poole this season, having previously helped the Poole Pirates to win three Elite League Championships.

Earlier on his career, he won the 2005 FIM World Junior Individual Championship, and he went on to finish second in the 2014 FIM World Individual Championship. He has also helped Poland to win the Speedway World Cup on no fewer than five separate occasions in the past nine years.

John Grinnell, centre manager, said: “We are really pleased to be supporting Krzysztof Kasprzak during what is sure to be an exciting year for the Poole Pirates.

“We will keep our fingers crossed that the team will be able to bring home the championship trophy to show fans in the Dolphin Shopping Centre.”