DAVID Bellego does not expect Swindon Robins to regroup for the 2018 season with weight of any undue expectation on their shoulders as they set out to defend the SGB Premiership title.

Bellego was part of the Robins side that claimed the title in dramatic circumstances back in October, overturning a first-leg deficit in the Grand Final to pip Wolverhampton Wolves to the crown.

Many experts tipped Swindon for a season of struggle in 2017 and that looked to be the case for Alun Rossiter’s side after they won just two of their opening nine league fixtures.

However, changes in the line-up sparked a remarkable 17-meeting winning sequence that catapulted the Robins into the play-offs as top seeds.

Although Frenchman Bellego is one of five members of Swindon’s 2017 septet to be back again this year, the 24-year-old does not think the Abbey Stadium side have anything to prove once the campaign gets under way in the spring.

“I don’t think there will be any more pressure on us just because of what we did last season,” said Bellego.

“I think there was pressure on us last year as at the start of the year nobody believed in us. We just went out and kept doing our thing and we ended up winning the league, which was unbelievable.

“I don’t think there will be pressure on us to do it again, it is a new year and everyone will be expecting to do well.

“Last year was really good and we achieved what we achieved but next year is a new year and we will just see what happens.”

One man who will not be back in Robins colours this year is reigning world champion Jason Doyle after new rules for 2018 meant the club could not include more than one rider with an average over eight in their ranks.

Nick Morris got the nod to stay over former skipper Doyle and Bellego admits Swindon have been hit hard by a change in regulations.

“It must have been a hard call for the club with the new rules about the averages and it is a shame not to have Doyley anymore but that is the way it goes,” said Bellego.

“We can’t do anything about it now and we just look forward to next season and hopefully we can have another good year.”

Last season was Bellego’s first in British speedway’s top tier after several years the Championship and he took no time to settle, finishing the campaign with an impressive green sheet average of 7.52.

Bellego said: “It was my first year at that level and I had a really good season. I am working hard already in the gym and on my bikes to hopefully have an even better year in 2018.”