British Speedway weekly bulletin


LEICESTER will host the re-staging of the Premier League Fours Final on Sunday, October 23 – and organisers have extended the meeting to a 20-heat programme.The event was abandoned due to rain in early August after the semi-final stage, and the Final is now to take place as a stand-alone competition with a 5pm start at Beaumont Park.The four qualifying clubs – hosts Leicester, Ipswich, Somerset and Workington – will be free to select their own preferred line-ups for the meeting irrespective of their team averages at the time.Admission prices have been set at the level of regular Premier League meetings at Leicester - £15 adults, £13 concessions, £5 for children aged 12-16, and under-12s will be free of charge. Holders of re-admission adult and concession tickets from the abandoned Final will be entitled to a £5 discount on those prices.SpeedwayGB Events co-ordinator David Hoggart said: “We’ve taken the decision to add extra value to the event with running it as a one-off by extending it from sixteen to twenty races.“It’s also a test run in some ways to assess the format with a view to looking at the possibility of re-introducing Qualifying meetings in the future.“I would stress that we would need to hold detailed discussions on that, but the ideal scenario would be to open up the Fours competition to allow every club to have the opportunity of reaching the Final.”

SHEFFIELD skipper Ricky Ashworth says he would love to repeat one of the highlights of his career in the Premier League Riders’ Championship later this month.Ashworth, winner of the meeting in 2009, will compete in the Owlerton event on September 25, having qualified as one of the top two riders to be second in his club’s averages at the cut-off date of September 1.He joins Tigers’ No.1 Shane Parker as a qualifier, with top-average rider of the vast majority of the 14 Premier League clubs involved.The only exceptions are Redcar, with Aaron Summers replacing broken-leg victim Jason Lyons, and Scunthorpe, who will be represented by Tero Aarnio as David Howe and second-placed Richard Hall are on FIM duty on the day. Rye House’s Jordan Frampton takes the other Wild Card position along with Ashworth.Ashworth said: “I remember what it meant to me when I won it, I have to say it’s one of the highlights of my career so far and I would love to do it for a second time.“I know Shane would love to do it as well because it would be a fantastic way for him to bring the curtain down on his career and if I can’t win it then I’d like Shane to do it.“I’m sure we will have a fantastic following with Sheffield fans making lots of noise. Sheffield is like the home of the PLRC these days, it always attracts a big crowd and I’m looking forward to it.”PLRC DRAW: Chris Neath (Rye House), Ben Barker (Plymouth), Aaron Summers (Redcar), Shane Parker (Sheffield), Kevin Wolbert (Edinburgh), Charlie Gjedde (Newport), Mark Lemon (Newcastle), Sebastian Alden (Berwick), Sam Masters (Somerset), Kauko Nieminen (Leicester), Rusty Harrison (Workington), Kevin Doolan (Ipswich), Joe Screen (Glasgow), Tero Aarnio (Scunthorpe), Ricky Ashworth (Sheffield), Jordan Frampton (Rye House).



BELLE VUE are looking to take the positives from their Elite League campaign into their Knockout Cup clash with Peterborough this week.Manager Jim Lynch said: “We were disappointed not to reach the league championship play-offs although we did reach my pre-season target of 40 points. Now the team realise that, from a club point of view, they can still turn this into the most successful season for a while if we win the cup.“We will face Lakeside in the semi-final if we beat Peterborough and we need to fight for every point because there is little to choose between all three clubs.”BIRMINGHAM boss Graham Drury says the planning is already taking place for 2012 at Perry Barr although the club ownership is to be resolved.Drury said: “Tony (Mole) and I are pressing ahead until such a team as a new buyer is found but there are also a lot of messages from people saying they hope Tony stays with us.“We know some of the riders we want but we cannot be totally sure of the points limit for next season at this stage so therefore can’t lay down firm plans.”COVENTRY boss Alun Rossiter admits there is plenty to consider ahead of 2012 with the defending champions missing out on the play-offs this season following their defeat at Eastbourne on Monday.Rossiter said: “We’re all disappointed, I genuinely believed we could get to the play-offs, but it was just a bridge too far unfortunately. Everyone’s aim at the start of the season is to make the play-offs, and so not making it is disappointing after such a great year last year.“So it’s a downer at the moment, but we will get over it. There are lots of options to look at for next year, and we’ll get ready for that.”EASTBOURNE’S second place finish in the Elite League table is their best result for nine years – and the Eagles are now setting their sights on the title itself in the play-offs.Manager Trevor Geer said: “It’s good to be going into the play-offs with the win over Coventry on Monday, and it just shows whoever comes here that they’re in for a tough meeting.“Nobody is going to be an easy pick in the play-offs, but it’s good to be there and we’ll look forward to taking anyone on. We just want to win it now.”KING’S LYNN skipper Olly Allen is delighted to have led the Stars into the Elite League play-offs in their first season back in the top flight.Allen said: “I’m really pleased for everyone at Lynn. It’s been a great season for us, and to get to the play-offs is great. We really didn’t want it to go down to Thursday at Coventry.“I’m delighted for all the riders, the management, the supporters and the sponsors, and who knows what we can achieve in the play-offs from here?”LAKESIDE co-promoter Jon Cook is looking forward to the play-offs with the Hammers’ 46-point total having proved to be enough for a top four finish – and he is pleased to have renewed options having made team changes due to injuries.Cook said: “We are absolutely delighted that a season’s hard work has seen us reach our goal and now we intend to be in it to win it as, fingers crossed, this is the first time we have reached this stage of the season with a full squad of riders to choose from, albeit with replacements for Adam Shields and Piotr Swiderski. “In fact, as things stand, we actually have one too many riders and we will need to choose between Kauko Nieminen and Stuart Robson, which is a very nice dilemma to be in. Whoever we end up choosing we feel we can give it a real go and we can’t wait for Monday to come.”PETERBOROUGH manager Trevor Swales admits he can have few complaints about the Panthers’ home form this season, with the Showground side failing to reach the play-offs despite boasting the only unbeaten home record in the Elite League.Swales said: “Making Alwalton a fortress again was one of our big aims for the season, and I certainly feel we’ve done that.“We have dropped four points along the way which is slightly disappointing, but going through the whole season unbeaten at home would be no mean feat. It is a record that really should have laid the foundations for reaching the play-offs, but we know we have let ourselves down badly on the road.”POOLE promoter Matt Ford expects a tough Knockout Cup semi-final against Eastbourne – with the knowledge that the two sides could yet meet again in the Elite League play-offs.Ford said: “It will be crucial for us to have something in the bank ahead of the second leg because we all know just how dominating they can be on their home track. “We are about to embark on the really exciting time of the season with the trophies within arms reach but we still have a considerable amount of work to do to bring them home. Hopefully our fan base can play their part by lifting the boys from the terraces.”SWINDON duo Scott Nicholls and Simon Stead secured a last-heat 5-1 over Peterborough to ensure a tough Elite League season at Blunsdon at least finished with a win in their final home match.Manager Jan Staechmann said: “It was all part of the excitement. It was a bit of a worry though, having been eleven-up, but I am proud of the lads. They did the business and got us a win.“Mikkel B Jensen did absolutely brilliantly to win his first race in the Elite League. He has only just turned 17, and it is a tremendous step for him to take.”WOLVERHAMPTON have reduced admission prices for the Gary Peterson Memorial Trophy at Monmore Green next Monday to £12 for adults, £10 for concessions and £3 for children.The meeting takes place with 16 riders over a full 20-heat format, and the line-up includes defending champion Tai Woffinden and his team-mate Ty Proctor along with Ben Barker, Daniel King and Ryan Fisher from neighbouring clubs Birmingham and Coventry.Promoter Chris Van Straaten said: “We are very pleased with the way our supporters have stayed behind us this season and we have reduced the admission prices as a way of saying thank you. We believe it represents great value for money, possibly the best value in the top two divisions anywhere this season.”


BERWICK manager Ian Rae praised the resilience within the Bandits’ camp as they overcame Sheffield at Shielfield Park, although the Tigers did gain consolation point thanks to a 3-2 in Heat 15.Rae said: “Sheffield were up for a big win tonight but there was resilience shown by the Bandits and their greater determination to send then home with a loss to rue.”EDINBURGH’S recent reserve signing Byron Bekker may not ride again until next season, after aggravating a knee injury in a crash at Armadale last Friday, which may well require an operation.Bekker said: “It’s a six-month recovery period, so I’ve got the choice of missing the end of this season or the beginning of next season. If they can fit me in within the next two or three weeks, I’ll opt for that in order that I’m ready for 2012.”GLASGOW co-promoter Stewart Dickson expects the recent signing of Frenchman David Bellego to be a prelude to a full season at Ashfield for the rider in 2012.Dickson said: “Make no mistake, we see this as a significant long-term signing, and although we have not yet touched on next year, it will most definitely be that he will feature in our team assuming everything works out well for the remainder of this season.”IPSWICH reserve Chris Mills has stated his desire to return to Foxhall next season, believing that the club can build strongly on their first year at Premier League level.Mills said: “It’s been a decent season for us, and we still have much to go for. It’s a brilliant club to be part of. We are not going to win the league, but we are such a young team it was always going to be difficult, and I want to see us finish as high as possible.”LEICESTER promoter David Hemsley says the club’s first season back in the sport for nearly 30-years has been a big learning experience – and he is determined to make use of that in future.Hemsley said: “Since we’ve prepared the track consistently from the white line to the fence rather than for individual riders, I think the quality of the racing has improved no end. We’re learning all the time, we’re learning from any mistakes we make, and we’re looking to provide both the facilities and also a Saturday night entertainment spectacle for families that could rival any in the country.”NEWCASTLE boss George English has called on his side to perform more as a unit after suffering another narrow home defeat, this time at the hands of Workington on Sunday.English said: “That’s two home defeats in two weeks now and this has got to stop. I don’t think we really foresaw this defeat, but we’ll be discussing things with the riders and looking to make sure we don’t make any errors that were made tonight again, but whilst we are effectively a four and a half man side we won’t win matches!”NEWPORT skipper Leigh Lanham admits he has mixed feelings about the Wasps’ recent break from action as they prepare for a big Cup showdown with Workington this weekend.Lanham said: “Having a break like this is not good in one way, as we were on a roll having taken 14 points out of 14 in four matches, and jumping to seventh in the league table. On the other hand, we may come back refreshed and ready for our next big task of getting through to the Knockout Cup Final.”PLYMOUTH promoter Mike Bowden believes his side have a good opportunity to avenge a home defeat from earlier in the season when Workington visit the St Boniface Arena on Friday.Bowden said: “We are a lot stronger now with riders like Ricky Wells coming into the side. It promises to be a keenly contested match with Workington being one of the top teams in the league but we will be looking to get a better result against them this time.”REDCAR will have former favourite Ty Proctor in their team as a guest for injured No.1 Jason Lyons in Thursday’s home clash with Edinburgh.Promoter Brian Havelock said: “Normally we don't get that enthusiastic about booking a guest but everyone has fond memories of what a whole-hearted racer Ty was in the Bears colours. It will be great to see him back in action where his upward career started for him.”RYE HOUSE suffered a night to forget with a 69-21 defeat at Sheffield last Thursday, with manager John Sampford admitting that everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong.Sampford said: “It was just a nightmare from the word go. Our riders were chopping and changing bikes just to get out there and race. Nelson was on borrowed equipment virtually all night – he was on Chris Neath’s bike when the front forks went – and Steve Boxall blew a new engine right at the start of his second race. And with Sheffield such a strong team as well, there was simply no relief. We were pressured all night.”SCUNTHORPE boss Richard Hollingsworth is hoping his side can get back to full strength after recent injury problems for this Friday’s visit of Leicester, who include former Scorpions captain Magnus Karlsson.Hollingsworth said: “Hopefully we will have two, if not three, of the missing riders back in the side. Leicester might be bottom of the league but if they had started the season with their current line-up they would be significantly higher, and their side look to be well-suited to the Eddie Wright Raceway.”SHEFFIELD star Shane Parker is determined to maintain his strong form in his final season of racing right through to the end of the campaign.Parker said: “Confidence is a major factor in Speedway and I've never felt more confident at any time in my career. Hopefully that form can continue this Thursday against Newcastle and we can continue pushing for the top three.”SOMERSET skipper James Holder has suffered compression and severe bruising to his collar-bone after a crash at Edinburgh on Friday, although initial fears of a break proved to be unfounded.Holder would have missed the trip to Glasgow on Sunday had the meeting not been rained-off, and the Rebels are now waiting to discover whether he will be fit for their home match against Redcar on Friday.WORKINGTON overcame the absence of three riders to record an away win at Newcastle, with Rusty Harrison and Emiliano Sanchez their heroes in the last race.Manager Tony Jackson said: “It was a fantastic team performance and probably a result that many people did not expect to see. But the spirit amongst the side is fantastic and our guests Emiliano and Lewis Blackbird both played their part, I can’t thank them enough for their efforts.”FIXTURE PICTURE…

TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 13:NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP S/F 2nd leg: Isle of Wight v Mildenhall 7.30

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 14:ELITE LEAGUE KO CUP S/F 1st leg: Poole v Eastbourne 7.30 ELITE LEAGUE KO CUP Q/F 1st leg: Belle Vue v Peterborough 8pm

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 15:SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Coventry v King’s Lynn 7.30 ELITE LEAGUE KO CUP Q/F 2nd leg: Peterborough v Belle Vue 7.30 PREMIER LEAGUE: Ipswich v Plymouth 7.30, Redcar v Edinburgh 7.30, Sheffield v Newcastle 7.45

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 16:PREMIER LEAGUE: Plymouth v Workington 7.30, Scunthorpe v Leicester 7.30, Somerset v Redcar 7.30

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 17:ELITE LEAGUE KO CUP S/F 2nd leg: Eastbourne v Poole 7.30 PREMIER LEAGUE: Berwick v Rye House 7pm, Leicester v Somerset 7.30 PREMIER LEAGUE KO CUP S/F 1st leg: Newport v Workington 7pm

SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 18:PREMIER LEAGUE: Rye House v Plymouth 2pm PREMIER LEAGUE KO CUP S/F 2nd leg: Newcastle v Glasgow 8pm, Workington v Newport 7pm PREMIER LEAGUE KO CUP S/F 1st leg: Glasgow v Newcastle 2.30 NATIONAL LEAGUE: Buxton v Isle of Wight 3pm


TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 20:NATIONAL LEAGUE: Isle of Wight v Sheffield 7.30CHALLENGE: Dudley v Birmingham Bulls 7.30


THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 22:PREMIER LEAGUE: Ipswich v Berwick 7.30, Redcar v Leicester 7.30 MIDLAND CUP 1st leg: Birmingham v Coventry 7.30 BOB KILBY MEMORIAL: Swindon 7.30

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 23:PREMIER LEAGUE: Edinburgh v Somerset 7.30, Plymouth v Berwick 7.30, Scunthorpe v Newport 7.30 MIDLAND CUP 2nd leg: Coventry v Birmingham 8pm

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 24:PREMIER LEAGUE: Leicester v Redcar 7.30, Newport v Scunthorpe 7pm, Rye House v Sheffield 7pm, Workington v Ipswich 7pm NATIONAL LEAGUE: Stoke v Newport 7.30