BIG EVENT LATEST…
NEIL Machin is predicting a close and exciting meeting when Sheffield stage the Premier League Riders’ Championship on September 21.The Tigers chief admits his own skipper Andre Compton will start as one of the favourites – but a recent crash has left him battered and bruised.“I can’t wait for the line-up to be announced for this meeting,” said Machin. “It’s going to be a great occasion and it’s anyone’s guess who will come out on top.“Andre was very battered and bruised after his recent crash but he came back for us a week later and he’s a tough lad – but he knows how tough the PLRC will be.”* A NEW date has been announced for the Elite League Riders' Championship at Birmingham.The high-profile event will now take place on Wednesday, October 8 at 7.30pm.Fans with readmission tickets can use them to attend the Premier League Riders’ Championship at Sheffield on September 21 with a refund for the difference – or the restaging of the Elite League event.In the event of supporters being unable to attend either of these meetings, a full refund can be applied for after the events from the BSPA. The address is: BSPA, ACU House, Wood Street, Rugby, Warks CV21 2YX.
SUPER 7EVEN DATES AND VENUES:BRITISH UNDER-21 FINAL: Arena-Essex, Friday April 25 - TAI WOFFINDENBRITISH FINAL: Swindon, Thursday May 29 - SCOTT NICHOLLSPREMIER LEAGUE PAIRS: Somerset, Friday June 27 - WORKINGTONPREMIER LEAGUE FOURS: Workington, Saturday July 26 - WORKINGTONELITE LEAGUE BEST PAIRS: Swindon, Sunday August 17 - COVENTRYPREMIE! R LEAGUE RIDERS' CHAMPIONSHIP: Sheffield, Sunday September 21 - 3.30ELITE LEAGUE RIDERS' CHAMPIONSHIP: Birmingham, Wednesday October 8 – 7.30
ELITE LEAGUE LATEST...
BELLE VUE star Charlie Gjedde says the Aces can target their final away match of the season for a long-awaited win on the road, with plenty of confidence after a big home win over Wolverhampton.Gjedde said: "It had been disappointing to be beaten at Wolverhampton because we were so close to an away win, only to lose in a last-heat decider."It will do us a lot of good in our battle to avoid the relegation play-off if we go to Lakeside and do the job there."
COVENTRY manager Peter Oakes says the Bees will set no targets ahead of the first leg of their Knockout Cup semi-final replay at Poole on Wednesday.Oakes said: "I don't believe in setting targets for Knockout Cup matches, because if you do set a target and you don'! t reach it then you are low."Sometimes if you exceed your expectations you can think it's all over and it then goes the other way. We went down to Poole earlier in the season in the Craven Shield and got something of a tanking, but we still recovered the points at home."
EASTBOURNE skipper Lee Richardson combined with Lewis Bridger for a last-heat 5-1 over Lakeside to take the Eagles into the Knockout Cup Final - putting to one side recent problems in the team.Richardson said: "I made a mess of Heat 12. I made a change to the bike and the track changed slightly, and I couldn’t pass (Ricky) Kling, so I put the pressure on myself for Heat 15. It was a great result, and it’s fantastic to see Lewis back on form. "You have got to move on. Problems occur but all the issues have been put to bed and they have been kept in-house. If he gets his mind right, he can be a very good rider."
IPSWICH still have a chance of a top two finish in the Elite League ! - but the Witches may need to win all six of their remaining fixtures to reach their target.The Foxhall club are five points behind third-placed Swindon with four matches in hand on the Robins, but trail injury-hit Lakeside by nine points having raced just one fewer fixture.If the Hammers win their three home matches against Wolverhampton, Belle Vue and Peterborough but lose away, the Witches can tie on 49 points - but that would require an away win at Poole, which is the toughest match on their remaining schedule.
LAKESIDE manager Jon Cook intends to make new signings to boost his injury-hit squad after their next two home matches.Cook said: "The riders we have earmarked will need a home match to get accustomed to our Raceway and with all due respect to Peterborough their visit on the 19th September and the meeting at their East of England Showground circuit on the 18th September are the right time to make changes. "We have made our first signing ! with a two leg final against Poole in mind as that is our ambition and we feel his big track performance will compliment the small track scoring of riders like Leigh Lanham."
PETERBOROUGH'S new owner Rick Frost admits he is relieved that the drawn-out takeover process is now complete - and he is looking to a bright future at the Showground.Frost said: "I have had to spend a disproportionate amount of my time on completing the purchase of the club's assets, which includes all the riders. "The club's future is now secure and we can start to concentrate on the immediate issue first by getting some badly needed points to avoid a relegation play-off situation."
POOLE star Chris Holder has played down speculation that he could be in line for a nominated place in next year's Grand Prix series.Holder said: "You need to spend a lot more time and money to be competitive in the GP and I don't think I'll be that competitive yet."If they wanted to give me! a wild card I would take it. I'd snap their hand off. But to do the whole GP would be very hard because I still don't have a set up to do that."
SWINDON star Mads Korneliussen escaped with concussion from an horrific crash at Peterborough when he hit the back-straight fence and was just missed by the following riders.Robins boss Alun Rossiter said: "We knew it was going to be tough because Peterborough have just been taken over by new owners. To lose Mads so early was a massive, massive blow. It left us with a lot to do so early on in the meeting."Having said that, some of the guys were just not firing. Travis (McGowan) is still struggling big time and that’s something we’re going to have to look at in the next few days."
WOLVERHAMPTON promoter Chris Van Straaten is looking forward to seeing how 17-year-old Ludvig Lindgren - younger brother of club captain Fredrik - adapts to Elite League racing this month.Van Straaten said: "We’ve been reluc! tant to blood another youngster because of our poor league position, but we’re pretty philosophical about it now and feel the time is right to take a look at Ludvig."We have quite a few away meetings remaining and so this is a great opportunity to give him some valuable experience. It will also enable us to evaluate whether he’s ready to go straight into the Elite League or whether he would benefit from a season in the Premier."
PREMIER LEAGUE LATEST
BERWICK still have a chance of a top-four finish in the Premier League after an impressively strong victory over title contenders Somerset.Promoter Peter Waite said: "This just emphasises what massive steps we’ve made as a team this season as even the top teams in the land struggle against us at home now. We have to continue this form in our remaining matches to stay up where we belong."
BIRMINGHAM manager Graham Drury believes the loan signing of Kenneth Hansen from Wolverhampton will! prove to be a mutually beneficial move.Drury said: "I think he feels that going into the Elite League was perhaps a bit too soon for him and hopefully he can now come to Birmingham and score plenty of points. He should score well for us and that, in turn, will boost his confidence because he seems to have struggled with that this season."
EDINBURGH boss John Campbell feels his side are in pole position for the Premier League title after an emphatic win at Stoke on Saturday.Campbell said: "Although it was a great weekend for us and there is no doubt we are the best team in the league, we haven't won it yet. But our team are on such a high at the moment, there is a belief we can win all our remaining matches, including our trip to Redcar which is a very difficult match indeed."
GLASGOW manager Stewart Dickson admits that even he has been surprised by the scores registered by captain Shane Parker following a long lay-off this season.Dickson said: "The! re was no doubt in my mind that Shane would come back strongly, but he has looked as good as ever in these meetings and took to it without any hesitation."
ISLE OF WIGHT star Cory Gathercole will return to hospital on Wednesday hoping to be given the all-clear to return to racing.Gathercole broke two bones in his left hand in a crash during the Islanders' win over Scunthorpe on July 8, and has undergone two operations to repair the damage.
KING'S LYNN expect to be without Shaun Tacey for the rest of the season after he suffered a broken collarbone in last week's home win over Stoke.Co-promoter Jonathan Chapman said: "He has proved what a great rider he can be and has won the hearts of most of the fans. It's sad to see his season end like this as it would have been great to have him with us in the play-offs."
MILDENHALL's new team manager Richard Knight took great encouragement from the Fen Tigers' display in his first meeting in charge - despite Read! ing eventually taking an away win.Knight said: "The team was fantastic, they all knuckled down and wanted it and that showed on the track. We spoke about getting our gating sorted, being committed into the first corner and to share set-ups that work with team-mates."
NEWCASTLE manager George English has omitted recent signing Matyas Hlavacek from the Diamonds team as Christian Henry nears a comeback after injury.English said: "Unfortunately, we are not performing well enough as a team to cover for Matty while he finds some form, so we are reverting to the situation we had before he joined us."
READING manager Tim Sugar says the Racers' upcoming away matches at Scunthorpe and Stoke this weekend can both be targeted for positive results.Sugar said: "Away meetings are never easy, as the Mildenhall match on Sunday proved, but we are buoyed by our results earlier this week, so we’ll go there full of confidence and give both meetings our very best shot.! We want to finish our season on a positive note.”
REDCAR manager Brian Havelock is full of praise with the form shown by popular American Chris Kerr, who missed the first half of the season with a broken leg.Havelock said: "He made his comeback in July when he knew he was ready and has been on the button from day one. He was in storming form in March, and we all knew he had to be as his work permit expires this season and he has to achieve at least a seven-point average at the end of the current campaign to be allowed back in 2009."
RYE HOUSE promoter Len Silver says his team's strong home form will give him a selection headache over the winter.Silver said "My riders score so many points at home so come the end of the season their averages are enormous and I have to start weakening the team again. But I can't slow them down at home, so we'll have to put up with it."
SCUNTHORPE star Magnus Karlsson was devastated to miss out in Heat 15 at Reading a! s the Scorpions were beaten in a last-race decider.Karlsson said: "I’m gutted we lost. I had a problem with my engine in the last race. It wasn’t running right and it is just typical for it to happen in that race."
SHEFFIELD skipper Andre Compton made a successful return in the Tigers' home win over Rye House having been involved in a horror crash the previous week.Compton said: "That crash at Sheffield was horrible and I know a lot of people have said it was one of the worst they've ever seen. I will say here and now that the fence did the job, but it could have been so much worse for me."
SOMERSET are looking at their options ahead of a crunch clash at Rye House on Saturday, with the Rebels urgently needing more away wins to put pressure on Edinburgh at the top of the table.Stephan Katt and Matthias Kroger both miss the trip to Hoddesdon as they are on World Longtrack duty, but the Rebels are entitled to use guest riders to cover their absence! .
STOKE youngster Krister Jacobsen appears to have escaped serious injury after a crash in the Potters' home defeat by Edinburgh on Saturday.Promoter Dave Tattum said: "They seem to think there might be muscle and ligament damage, but nothing broken. I suspect he will be in quite a lot of discomfort for a few days and we will have to see if he is fit enough for next weekend."
WORKINGTON manager Ian Thomas says the return of Swedish star Daniel Nermark should give the Comets a timely boost in their bid for a top four finish.Thomas said: "It is just the sort of lift we needed after last week’s first home defeat of the season against Berwick. He is a week later than planned, but even so it is a remarkably quick return from an injury which we feared might keep him out for the rest of the season."
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 2:PREMIER LEAGUE: Isle of Wight v Stoke 7.30
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 3:ELITE LEAGUE KO! CUP: Poole v Coventry 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Birmingham v Somerset 7.45, King's Lynn v Isle of Wight 7.30
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 4:SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Ipswich v Coventry 7.30, Peterborough v Eastbourne 7.30, Swindon v Wolverhampton 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Sheffield v Scunthorpe 7.45CONFERENCE LEAGUE: Redcar v Rye House 6.30, Redcar v Boston (follows previous fixture)
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 5:SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Coventry v Swindon 8pm, Lakeside v Wolverhampton 8pmPREMIER LEAGUE: Edinburgh v Glasgow 7.30, Scunthorpe v Reading 7.30, Somerset v Mildenhall 7.30, Workington v Stoke 7.30FOUR TEAM TOURNAMENT: Plymouth 7.30
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 6:SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Eastbourne v Wolverhampton 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Berwick v Redcar 7pm, Rye House v Newcastle 6pm, Rye House v Somerset (follows previous fixture), Stoke v Reading 7.30CHALLENGE: Weymouth v Isle of Wight 7.15
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 7! :PREMIER LEAGUE: Mildenhall v Stoke 4.30, Newcastle v Scunthorpe 5.30CONFERENCE LEAGUE: Buxton v Weymouth 3pm, Sittingbourne v Rye House 12pmCONFERENCE LEAGUE KO CUP: Boston v Scunthorpe 7pmDAVID McALLAN BENEFIT: Glasgow 4pm
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 8:SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Belle Vue v Wolverhampton 7.30, Peterborough v Poole 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Reading v Somerset 7.30UNDER-23 TEST: England v Australia, Wolverhampton, 7.30
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 9:PREMIER LEAGUE: Isle of Wight v Somerset 7.30
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 10:SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Lakeside v Belle Vue 7.45, Poole v Ipswich 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Birmingham v Rye House 7.45, King's Lynn v Reading 7.30
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 11:SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Ipswich v Lakeside 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Redcar v Edinburgh 7.30, Sheffield v Somerset 7.45UNDER-23 TEST: England v Australia, Swindon 7.30
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 12! :PREMIER LEAGUE: Edinburgh v Newcastle 7.30, Scunthorpe v Rye House 7.30UNDER-23 TEST: England v Australia, Somerset 7.30CONFERENCE LEAGUE: Boston v Weymouth 7.30CHALLENGE: Plymouth v Bristol 7.30
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 13:PREMIER LEAGUE: Berwick v Stoke 7pm, Rye House v Mildenhall 7pm, Workington v Newcastle 7pmCONFERENCE LEAGUE: Redcar v Weymouth 3pm, Redcar v Sittingbourne (follows previous fixture)BRITISH UNDER 15 CHAMPIONSHIP: Weymouth 7.15
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 14:PREMIER LEAGUE: Mildenhall v King's Lynn 4.30, Newcastle v Edinburgh 5.30, Stoke v Redcar 7.30CHALLENGE: Buxton v Birmingham 3pmHEATHERSFIELD GOLDEN HELMET: Glasgow 4pm
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 15:SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Peterborough v Coventry 7.30BRITISH SIDECAR CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL: Reading 7.30
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 16:PREMIER LEAGUE: Isle of Wight v Rye House 7.30
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 17:PREM! IER LEAGUE: Birmingham v Isle of Wight 7.45
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 18:SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Coventry v Wolverhampton 8pm, Peterborough v Lakeside 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Redcar v Stoke 7.30