Belle Vue boss Mark Lemon believes he had to give the Aces every chance to hold on to Great Britain hero Dan Bewley as he closes in on his final signing.

The Manchester side saw the newly-promoted FIM Speedway Grand Prix star depart the National Speedway Stadium after he opted to race for Bauhaus Elitserien side Smederna.

The Wroclaw star also races in Poland’s PGE Ekstraliga, where riders are limited to competing in just one other league.

It was hoped this restriction would be removed, allowing Bewley to stay with the Aces, so Lemon held off on finalising his 2022 side.

While he will now need to look elsewhere for his final rider, Lemon feels he had to do everything possible to try and retain the FIM Speedway of Nations world champion.

He said: “We received information in late November of a proposal between federations to not restrict riders from racing in a finite amount of league competitions.

“This was as a result of current challenges and rider shortages, and we were advised a decision would be made in February; which put us in a difficult position.

“I will freely admit, I took a big gamble and waited to see if that regulation would change. If it had, and I had finalised my team prior, that is something I would have regretted and the Belle Vue supporters wouldn’t have forgiving me for not waiting and allowing Dan to return.

“The chance was there that we could potentially have brought him back to Belle Vue in 2022, had that rule changed, so I felt the best decision was to wait it out.

“Unfortunately, as time went on the situation became more political and we were ultimately told that the regulation change would not happen this year. But we do hope to continue to work with the other federations throughout this year on this subject because it is so important to have home-grown talent able to compete in their home country.”

The Aces side currently features Speedway GP rider Max Fricke, skipper Brady Kurtz, Charles Wright, Tom Brennan, Jye Etheridge and Norick Blodorn.

Asked how close he is to completing the Belle Vue septet, Lemon insisted: “We’re close, but I can’t say too much because this has been a complex puzzle in itself.

“But I’ve left no stone unturned trying to get the right man for Belle Vue. By the time we face Sheffield on March 28, we will have a full one to seven, and we are very much looking forward to an exciting year of racing.”