British Speedway weekly bulletin

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SOMERSET co-boss Garry May has heaped praise on Rebels star Sam Masters – who became Premier League Riders’ Champion with a terrific performance at Sheffield.Masters, in only his second season of racing in the UK, headed the individual scorechart with 13 points from his qualifying races, enabling him to qualify automatically for the Final.The Australian had first choice of gates for the decisive race, selected gate one and shot to victory ahead of Ricky Ashworth, Kauko Nieminen and Ben Barker.May said: “To think that he came to Somerset at the start of last season as a complete rookie as far as racing in the UK was concerned, and here he is now, the Premier League Riders’ Champion, that’s some story. It’s the stuff that dreams are made of!"Sam fully deserved his Championship crown. He is totally dedicated to the sport and is always willing to learn, and he put all that into practice. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.”Home star Ashworth was in philosophical mood after just missing out on a second PLRC crown, having won the event back in 2009.The Sheffield man picked up four wins in the qualifiers but was left to rue a crash in his fourth ride which left him with second choice of gates in the Final. Although he overtook Nieminen, he couldn’t catch the flying Masters.Ashworth said: “I felt really fast all day but I just couldn't get there off gate two. It would have been nice to win it but there will be plenty more of these meetings in the future.”British Speedway’s major events series continues with the Elite League Riders’ Championship at Swindon on Saturday October 15.The ELRC is usually the finale, but this year there is one further meeting with Leicester hosting the re-arranged Premier League Fours Final on Sunday October 23. News on line-ups for both meetings will be available over the coming weeks.*NATHAN Stoneman and Nathan Greaves were celebrating victories in the six-round British Youth Championship last weekend.Stoneman clinched the 500cc title with a win in the series finale at Stoke, and Greaves was top in the 250cc class, also winning the round and the title itself at Loomer Road.SUPER7EVEN SERIES SPEEDWAY GB EVENTSBRITISH UNDER-21 FINAL: TAI WOFFINDENELITE LEAGUE PAIRS: POOLEBRITISH FINAL: SCOTT NICHOLLSPREMIER LEAGUE PAIRS: GLASGOWPREMIER LEAGUE RIDERS CHAMPIONSHIP: SAM MASTERS ELITE LEAGUE RIDERS CHAMPIONSHIP: Swindon, October 15 PREMIER LEAGUE FOURS FINAL: Leicester, October 23

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BELLE VUE boss Jim Lynch believes Swedish reserve Ricky Kling can be the Aces’ secret weapon in their Knockout Cup semi-final against his former club Lakeside.Lynch said: “No-one will argue that he was disappointing in the middle of the season but there is no doubt that he has greater faith in his ability now.“It is a rewarding situation for him and for me because he has thanked me for the effort I have put in to work with him. Now we are hoping it will help to lead us to a place in the final against Poole.”BIRMINGHAM manager Graham Drury believes club owner Tony Mole – who is hoping to conclude a sale of the club before November – should gain more recognition for his work in bringing the Brummies back to the sport.Drury said: “More than any other rider or promoter, Tony Mole is the one man who deserves some recognition for what he was done for this great club.“He is the man who brought the sport back to this city, he also took the club into the Elite League and I think that was a good move. I believe Tony Mole should be right at the top of the Birmingham Speedway Hall of Fame.”COVENTRY boss Alun Rossiter was pleased with the displays of the club’s up-and-coming riders in last week’s Midland Cup aggregate win over local rivals Birmingham, with Josh Auty particularly impressive in both meetings.Rossiter said: “It was very close, but it was good to see some of the youngsters really come to the fore, so that was very pleasing.“Colin Pratt did the managing last night (in the first leg) and kept things close there, so I won’t take any credit for this whatsoever, Colin did a great job – and the Bees finally win something at the end of the year!”EASTBOURNE manager Trevor Geer believes the experience of former Poole man Bjarne Pedersen could be vital in the Eagles’ forthcoming Elite League Grand Final against the Pirates.Geer said: “Bjarne has been terrific down at Poole this year telling the boys what set-ups to use and everything else, so we’re looking forward to a good one.“We know (Chris) Holder and (Darcy) Ward are the two that we’ve got to beat, but Bjarne tried another bike out in Heat 15 on Monday and was really quick after he had been struggling a bit, so I hope that will do the business.”KING’S LYNN boss Rob Lyon accepted that the Stars had been well beaten in the second leg of the play-off semi-final at Poole, in a disappointing end to a highly successful first year back in the Elite League.Lyon said: “It’s a shame that we rolled over and died at Poole because we haven’t done that all year, and to do it in the play-offs is not the time to do it.“It was nothing to do with pressure, the riders are experienced enough to handle it, but fair play to Poole who steamrollered us. We’ve had a good season and I think the club can be proud of its achievements.”LAKESIDE co-promoter Jon Cook says the Hammers must quickly put their play-off disappointment behind them as they switch their attentions to the KO Cup semi-final against Belle Vue, starting at Purfleet on Friday.Cook said: “We gave the Eagles a fight over the two legs of the play-off semi-final that belied the difference in the final League standings of both teams and we now move on to try to keep the season alive against Belle Vue. “We have three riders determined to make amends for below par performances on Monday and three others equally determined to keep up their good form and, together, we intend to battle for each and every point to reach the Cup Final.”PETERBOROUGH have reduced admission prices for their final fixture of the season, with adult charges pegged to £10 in the re-arranged Elite League clash with Swindon on October 7.Co-owner Julie Mahoney said: “We want to give our fans a loyalty bonus – or what could be called a very early Christmas present! We all know how difficult the economy has been for everyone and this is our little thank you to those fans who have come along week in, week out.“We appreciate their support and hopefully by reducing the general admission prices for this one-off meeting we will bring everyone out for our final match of the season. Obviously other people will benefit and it’s a great opportunity for someone who has been considering coming along to a meeting to do so at a very favourable rate.”POOLE boss Neil Middleditch knows his side now have an important job to do at Eastbourne next Monday in the first leg of the Grand Final, as they look to set up their chances of taking the title.Middleditch said: “The boys really want it and you could see that from the team spirit on Monday. Chris (Holder) took over as captain and was running up and down the pits, and Davey (Watt) was here too, the team spirit was really, really good.“We were watching the meeting from Eastbourne and all the boys were looking at the track conditions, and we’ve got to go down there to win or keep it very tight.”SWINDON co-owner Gary Patchett says the club’s memorial meeting for Bob Kilby, in which Exeter came out on top in a three-team tournament, was a perfect tribute to a Blunsdon legend.Patchett said: “Bob was a true Swindon man having been born in the town and worked on the railways. He could not be more Swindon.“He was a true team man, and I think the meeting represents him better than last year’s individual meeting, even though that might have been more high-profile. We were committed to this meeting taking place because it is our duty to remember people like Bob.”WOLVERHAMPTON promoter Chris Van Straaten has confirmed the club’s popular Banks’s Olympique handicap event will remain on Tuesday October 18, although the Elite League play-offs will now be completed the previous week.Van Straaten said: “We thought about switching it back to the Monday, October 17, but we already have plans in place with the meeting sponsors and our own riders and the stadium are already booked.“So, in order to avoid any doubt, it is important for us as a club to emphasise that the next meeting here at Monmore Green is on Tuesday, October 18 with our prestigious individual event and we will unveil the line-up over the next few days.”PREMIER LEAGUE LATEST…

BERWICK hailed their fund-raising challenge fixture against an Edinburgh Select side as a success as they bid to put the finances in place to bring in their new safety barrier for next season.Manager Ian Rae said: “It was all about entertainment and raising vital funds, with the result very much secondary. Speedway won hands down with some excellent racing for the fans to enjoy and most importantly we have vital funds to plough into our Polyfoam Fence.”EDINBURGH reserve Kyle Howarth produced an heroic Heat 14 ride as the Monarchs hit back from the brink of defeat to snatch a dramatic home draw against Somerset.Howarth said: “I’ve been struggling for the past few weeks to be honest, but that win in Heat 14 has done my confidence no end of good, and I just hope I can score even more points over the last few weeks of the season.”GLASGOW skipper Joe Screen is urging his side to focus on their chances of a League and Cup double this season, with the KO Cup Final against Newport coming up this weekend.Screen said: “We now move on to Scunthorpe on Friday where we will almost be there as far as the league is concerned, but our focus next week will be on the KO Cup and the Final with Newport should be a cracker. I hope that all the team are fit and we will wait on Theo (Pijper) who has an injury, but it should be very close in that Final and I want to keep it as tight as possible at Newport in the first leg.”IPSWICH boss Pete Simmons believes his side are capable of adding significantly to their points total over the closing weeks of the season.Simmons said: “We have set the lads a target of taking maximum points from our remaining home fixtures, while picking up points at all our away meetings. This is a realistic target and one that I feel we have to reach to have any chance of achieving a top three finish.”LEICESTER No.1 Kauko Nieminen enjoyed a positive weekend with 13 points against Redcar, including the match-winning second place in Heat 15, followed by a third-place finish in the PLRC at Sheffield.Nieminen said: “It’s a nice feeling, it was a tough meeting and a bit up and down for us, but we managed to get a win which is good for the fans and the management as well.”NEWCASTLE manager George English says there is plenty for Diamonds fans to look forward to in the final month of the season even though his side are out of the race for major honours.English said: “We’ve got six league fixtures left and four of them are at home, with two against local rivals Berwick, so there are still some good Byker race-nights to enjoy before the season ends.”NEWPORT are building up to their biggest weekend for some years as they take on Glasgow home and away on Saturday and Sunday in the Premier League Knockout Cup Final.The Wasps are waiting on the fitness of Robin Aspegren, who crashed out at Scunthorpe last Friday, but they warmed up for the fixture with a convincing home win over the Scorpions the following evening.PLYMOUTH have booked Ritchie Hawkins to guest for Justin Sedgmen – who has returned to Australia and is deemed to be withholding his services – as they look to gain revenge for an early-season home defeat at the hands of Sheffield this Friday.Promoter Mike Bowden said: “We were race-rusty at the time. Sheffield already had a few meetings under their belts when they came here previously, but we will be looking for revenge this time around.”REDCAR will include former winners Ty Proctor and Richard Hall in the line-up for the South Tees Silver Helmet on Friday, with some less-experienced riders also looking to impress.Promoter Brian Havelock said: “Young Australian Rohan Tungate returns after showing a good turn of pace in the Julie Lewis Trophy on September 8th while 17-year-old Dane Kasper Lykke Nielsen is well recommended and American Mikey Buman is mentored by fellow New Yorker Merle Craven, who was Chris Kerr's mechanic during his successful time as a Redcar Bear.”RYE HOUSE star Luke Bowen gained some reward for a tough run of late with a bumper 14 (paid 15) haul in the Rockets’ narrow 47-44 home win over Sheffield.Bowen said: “Since I broke my arm, I haven’t really had the feeling confidence-wise that I had before. When you’re at the tapes, you need that anticipation that you’re going to be there at the first corner. I’ve got that feeling back again now.”SCUNTHORPE boss Richard Hollingsworth said the continued improvement of youngsters Steve Worrall and Michael Palm Toft were big bright spots to take from defeat at Newport last Saturday.Hollingsworth said: “Steve’s pass of (Mark) Jones showed real bottle and you just couldn’t ask any more of your number seven. He rode like a heat leader, and Michael was equally impressive. He recorded points in every ride and his tactical ride win was exceptional. He just seems to get better and better, and long may it continue”.SHEFFIELD star Shane Parker insists he has no regrets as he goes into the final month of his racing career – although the 2011 campaign has been one of his most enjoyable.Parker said: “I made the decision and the body is telling me that I made the right one! I’ve had 22 great years and I can definitely say that this has been one of the best years I’ve had.”SOMERSET star Sam Masters became the second Rebels rider – following Magnus Zetterstrom in 2006 – to lift the Premier League Riders’ Championship with victory at Sheffield last Sunday.Masters said: “This is just awesome. You always come into a meeting like this hoping that it will be your night, but I just can’t believe that I am the Champion, it hasn’t sunk in yet. I would like to say a special thanks to my mum and dad for all their sacrifices, this one’s for them.”WORKINGTON boss Tony Jackson admits the Comets have fixture problems after their home match against Ipswich was postponed for an incredible fourth time on Saturday.Jackson said: “I will now have to have a talk with Keith (Denham – club owner) to see how we are going to fit the rest of the matches in. It might mean running double headers or having two matches in a week, but it also depends on when the opposition can travel.”FIXTURE PICTURE…WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 28:NATIONAL LEAGUE PLAY-OFF SEMI-FINAL 1st leg: Belle Vue v Scunthorpe 8pm INTERNATIONAL YOUNG GUNS: King’s Lynn 7.30

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 29:PREMIER LEAGUE: Ipswich v Newcastle 7.30, Sheffield v Workington 7.45 TEESSIDE SILVER HELMET: Redcar 7.30

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 30:ELITE LEAGUE KO CUP SEMI-FINAL 1st leg: Lakeside v Belle Vue 8pm PREMIER LEAGUE: Edinburgh v Leicester 7.30, Plymouth v Sheffield 7.30, Scunthorpe v Glasgow 7.30 SOMERSET OPEN: Somerset 7.30

SATURDAY OCTOBER 1:PREMIER LEAGUE: Leicester v Edinburgh 7.30, Workington v Rye House 7pm PREMIER LEAGUE KO CUP FINAL 1st leg: Newport v Glasgow 7pm NATIONAL LEAGUE PLAY-OFF S/F 1st leg: Stoke v Mildenhall 7.30BORDERNAPOLIS: Berwick 7pm

SUNDAY OCTOBER 2:PREMIER LEAGUE: Rye House v Scunthorpe 2pm, Newcastle v Berwick 6.30 PREMIER LEAGUE KOC CUP FINAL 2nd leg: Glasgow v Newport 4pm NATIONAL LEAGUE PLAY-OFF S/F 2nd leg: Mildenhall v Stoke 4.30 NATIONAL LEAGUE: Buxton v Newport 3pm

MONDAY OCTOBER 3:SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE GRAND FINAL 1st leg: Eastbourne v Poole 7.30

WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 5:ELITE LEAGUE KO CUP SEMI-FINAL 2nd leg: Belle Vue v Lakeside 8pmCHALLENGE: King’s Lynn v USA Touring Team 7.30

THURSDAY OCTOBER 6:PREMIER LEAGUE: Ipswich v Leicester 7.30 NATIONAL LEAGUE PLAY-OFF S/F 2nd leg: Sheffield v Belle Vue 7.45CHALLENGE: Redcar v USA Touring Team 7.30

FRIDAY OCTOBER 7:SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Peterborough v Swindon 7.30 PREMIER LEAGUE: Plymouth v Ipswich 7.30, Scunthorpe v Redcar 7.30, Somerset v Glasgow 7.30 NATIONAL LEAGUE: Hackney v Scunthorpe (at Lakeside) 8pm

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 8:PREMIER LEAGUE: Berwick v Newport 7pm, Workington v Plymouth 7pm NATIONAL LEAGUE: Newport v King’s Lynn 7pmCHALLENGE: Leicester v USA Touring Team 7.30, Stoke v Birmingham Bulls 7.30

SUNDAY OCTOBER 9:PREMIER LEAGUE: Glasgow v Scunthorpe 4pm, Newcastle v Newport 6.30, Rye House v Workington 2pm

MONDAY OCTOBER 10:SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE GRAND FINAL 2nd leg: Poole v Eastbourne 7.30TUESDAY OCTOBER 11:CHALLENGE: GB U21 v USA, Dudley 7.30