SWINDON Robins will face a further wait to defend their SGB Premiership and SGB Premiership Supporter’s Cup titles following the news that the British speedway season has been suspended until mid-April.

The sport’s governing body, British Speedway Promoters’ Association, announced the decision to postpone the season until April 15 at the earliest on Tuesday.

This follows last week’s decision from the Robins to postpone their press and practice day, which was set to take place on Wednesday.

A statement from the BSPA read: “British speedway’s new season has been suspended with immediate effect.

“The decision has been taken in line with other sports following the latest update from the government on the coronavirus crisis.

“This suspension will be reviewed on April 15 and the situation will be monitored by the British Speedway Promoters’ Association and Speedway Control Bureau on a daily basis between now and then.”

BSPA chairman Rob Godfrey expressed his sorrow at making the decision, but remains wholly confident that a full season of speedway will be possible this year.

He said: “It’s sad to have to make the decision, but there is a virus out there that is affecting our way of life at the moment, and we have to heed the government’s advice, do the sensible thing and postpone the season until at least April 16.

“I am confident there will be speedway this season.

“If you look at what’s happened in China, the fact that they are back at full production in terms of work and their cases are very, very minimal now.

“I am very, very confident we will beat this, and we will have a British speedway season this year.”

Just like many other sports, clubs will have to make do without vital funds that would otherwise have appeared had the season gone ahead as scheduled.

And with top riders returning to the Premiership, as well as a stacked Championship table of high-quality names competing below, Godfrey believes speedway will thrive when it eventually gets going again.

He said: “It’s terrible for promoters, riders and spectators.

“Expectations of the season were so, so high with Jason Crump coming back, and Nikki Pedersen.

“The fixture list we had in the Championship was fantastic, and then this virus, which has just come out of nowhere, has affected everybody’s daily business and everybody’s way of life.

“We have to make a sensible decision as a result of that, and the sensible decision at this time is to delay the season for one month.”