Reigning champion Danny King enjoyed a smooth start to his British Championship defence.

The Huntingdon racer safely negotiated a semi-final at Newcastle - one of his former home tracks - last Sunday.

King scored 11 points from his five riders to secure one of the eight qualifying spots for the final at the National Speedway Stadium on Monday, June 19. The 30 year-old captured the title at the same Manchester venue last summer.

King said: "Newcastle can be a tricky track to ride and there were plenty of good riders involved in a tough meeting. I went there with the aim of qualifying and I'm relieved to be through."

Fellow Huntingdon rider Kenneth Bjerre came through a Speedway Euro Championship qualifier in Italy on Bank Holiday Monday.