The race for the Elite League title starts tonight, as reigning champions Coventry travel to the competition's newest club.
But Reading are not likely simply to make up the numbers on their elevation to the top flight and appear to have a genuine title chance under their new promoters.
Coventry finally got some track time on Friday night when they secured a 51-39 win over Belle Vue at Brandon, although the Aces did lose former British champion Joe Screen in a spectacular Heat One crash.
Screen lifted on the back straight and fell heavily, sustaining a broken collarbone which will rule him out of the Manchester club's opening league fixtures, tonight against Eastbourne.
Coventry displayed plenty of encouraging signs, especially with comeback man Rory Schlein hitting double figures, but team manager Peter Oakes is keen to keep a lid on expectations.
Oakes said: "It will be very difficult because Reading have had an awful lot of practice. They have had two whole days practicing and a meeting, as well.
"They will be very hard to beat in the first eight weeks or so of the season, when opposing riders are going there for the first time; they have probably had the equivalent of half-a-dozen meetings already.
"It's a long season ahead, but hopefully some people sorted one or two things out on Friday night, although we might not yet be quite as sharp as Reading.
"I like the look of the Bulldogs and, in Janusz Kolodziej, they have an absolute steal at reserve. He is sheer class and a rider who we actually asked about in 2004, when we were looking to make team changes.
"He'll give them some bite until he's completed enough matches to have a real average and I wouldn't mind a couple of bob on him to go straight into a heat-leader berth at that time."
Meanwhile, Wolverhampton complete their Elite League preparations with a challenge match against Poole at Monmore Green - and after two difficult away trips, Wolves will be looking to put a win on the board.
It will be the last chance for riders to sort out their machinery ahead of Thursday's match at Swindon and there was a clear improvement during last week's fixtures at Poole and Peterborough.
The Wolves' top three of Peter Karlsson, Billy Hamill and Fredrik Lindgren were all right on the pace at the Showground after a slow start at Wimborne Road and the club will now look to their back-up riders to step up their performances.
Krzysztof Pecyna went well at Poole before suffering mechanical woes at Peterborough, whilst Magnus Karlsson was quiet in both meetings until he won his last rides. Manager Peter Adams said: "These are challenge matches and the riders are all trying different set-ups. The first match of the season is always difficult."