SWINDON Robins team manager Alun Rossiter says the signing of former world champion Jason Doyle is a statement of intent for their ambitions for next season.

Rossiter has completed the first signing of his 2019 roster by bringing Grand Prix star Doyle back to the Abbey Stadium.

The Australian was most recently in the Robins side during the 2016 and 2017 campaigns – the latter of which brought glittering success for both team and rider as Swindon won the SGB Premiership title and Doyle was crowned world champion.

Doyle spent last season at Somerset Rebels, but having seen the Robins miss out on a play-off place in the Premiership, Rossiter was desperate to bring the Swindon asset back into his own side and believes it sends a clear message of their goal to fight for honours.

“It makes a statement – we want to get back into the top four,” said Rossiter.

“I still believe in the side we put together for 2018 as we were either top or second in the table for most of the year, but it just fizzled out.

“Having Jason back will be huge. He is our asset and the fact he wants to come back is a massive plus for the club.

“He has proven himself as one of the best riders in the world for a number of years now and he can perform on every track in this country.

“This year he maybe had a little bit of added pressure as the reigning world champion, and I believe he will be even better next year because he has got that monkey off his back.

“I believe we are going to get even more out of him. I think Jason will be even better both for Swindon and on the Grand Prix circuit next year.

“In my eyes, he has got a great opportunity to get that world title back and he is more than capable of doing it.”

Rules brought in ahead of the 2018 Premiership season restricted top-flight sides to just one rider with an average over eight points on their roster.

That left the Robins with the agonising choice over whether to retain the services of either Doyle or long-serving rider Nick Morris, with the latter eventually getting the nod.

Rossiter says the fact Swindon have been able to tempt Doyle into a return to the Abbey so soon shows there was never any ill-feeling between rider and club.

“We have always wanted Jason on our team, contrary to the belief that things weren’t right between ourselves and Jason – this goes to show that isn’t true,” said Rossiter.

“Negotiations went really well and were really easy.

“He sat down with the management face to face and we gave him a couple of days to come back to us. Then I got a text through to say: ‘See you in 2019, boss’.

“I am delighted to have him back.”