British Speedway Weekly Bulletin

BIG EVENT LATEST…

THE race for the 2012 British Championship gets underway with semi-finals at Sheffield and Rye House early next month.Seven qualifying places will be available from Owlerton (July 5) and Hoddesdon (July 7) with the line-up for the July 30 Final at Wolverhampton to be completed by two Wild Cards.Reigning British Champion Scott Nicholls, who starts his challenge at Rye House, will be going for a seventh national title, with the added incentive once again of a place at the British Grand Prix for the highest finisher in the Final other than GP regular Chris Harris.SpeedwayGB Events co-ordinator David Hoggart has explained the process whereby the top 32 eligible riders by current average have reached the semi-finals – and also indicated that the domestic fixture list on the two semi-final dates has been taken into consideration when allocating riders to the two meetings.Hoggart said: “The riders eligible for the semi-finals are those riders who have indicated their desire to compete in the Championship process, by application of their racing licences at the start of the season. There are some riders who don’t want to pursue a Championship career any more.“In the month prior to the event, we then used that month’s operating averages and took the top 32 rides in average order, with next two on the list becoming the reserves should anyone be injured or withdraw from the semi-final for any other reason.“The whole object of the exercise is to give British riders access to the British Championship and the World stage in Cardiff (British GP), and that’s the process. “It would be very easy for us to do away with this process and do it by ballot, but that would be unfair on riders who are nurturing the aspiration to get to the very top, and there’s always the opportunity for a ‘Roy of the Rovers’ type finish.“We’ve done the very best we can to balance the fields for the two semi-finals and to have the minimum impact on the current league fixtures on those nights.“It’s not easy, and it’s never good news to take a rider out of his team, but unfortunately sometimes it has to happen.” SHEFFIELD (July 5): Tai Woffinden, Lewis Bridger, Ben Barker, Olly Allen, Simon Stead, Ricky Ashworth, Richard Lawson, Lee Complin, Andrew Tully, Richard Hall, James Wright, Chris Schramm, Derek Sneddon, Adam Roynon, Carl Wilkinson, Kyle Howarth.RYE HOUSE (July 7): Edward Kennett, Chris Harris, Scott Nicholls, Danny King, Stuart Robson, David Howe, Robert Mear, Josh Auty, Craig Cook, Leigh Lanham, Jordan Frampton, Chris Mills, Simon Lambert, Ritchie Hawkins, Luke Bowen, Jason Bunyan.Reserves: Kyle Newman, Richie Worrall.*FANS from throughout the UK will head to Peterborough's East of England Showground for the hugely popular Premier League Fours Championship next month.The eight qualifying clubs are now known for the showpiece event on Sunday, July 15 (2.30).Organisers have made the announcement earlier than usual in order to allow fans to plan their journey for what is traditionally a feast of racing.Plymouth, Somerset, Workington, Newcastle, Berwick, Leicester, Glasgow and Scunthorpe will all do battle over two semi-finals and the final itself all in the same day.British Speedway major events co-ordinator David Hoggart said: “We’ve been getting lots of emails from supporters asking about this event because of the travelling involved so we have used May’s averages in June as the cut-off for qualification.“The meeting starts at 2.30 so wherever people come from they can get to Peterborough and back home in the same day at sensible times.“This is an event which captures the imagination of fans from throughout the UK and we're looking forward to a festival of racing and an excellent venue.”

SPEEDWAYGB EVENTS SERIES:BRITISH UNDER-21 FINAL: JOE HAINESPREMIER LEAGUE FOURS: Peterborough, Sunday July 15BRITISH FINAL: Wolverhampton, Monday July 30PREMIER LEAGUE PAIRS: Somerset, Friday August 24PREMIER LEAGUE RIDERS CHAMPIONSHIP: Sheffield, Sunday September 23ELITE LEAGUE RIDERS CHAMPIONSHIP: Swindon, Saturday October 20

NATIONAL LEAGUE MAJOR EVENT DATES:NATIONAL LEAGUE FOURS: Stoke, Saturday June 23NATIONAL LEAGUE PAIRS: Mildenhall, Sunday July 22NATIONAL LEAGUE RIDERS CHAMPIONSHIP: Rye House, Saturday September 15

BRITISH SPEEDWAY FIM EVENT DATES:WORLD UNDER-21 TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP SEMI-FINAL: AUSTRALIAGRAND PRIX QUALIFIER: Berwick, June 16WORLD UNDER-21 CHAMPIONSHIP Round 3: Coventry, August 17

ELITE LEAGUE LATEST…

BELLE VUE newcomer Renat Gafurov made a stunning debut with paid-13 against Wolverhampton to inspire the Aces to their first Elite League win of the season.Manager Jim Lynch said: “It was great to win after all the problems we’ve had this season. I was proud of all of them but Gafurov on his debut and (Craig) Cook on his return to the club were fantastic.“Gafurov got straight into the thick of the action, and at last with him and Ales Dryml we have got a really solid pairing at the bottom end of the team.”BIRMINGHAM promoter Graham Drury is hoping No.1 Bjarne Pedersen can take his impressive Danish GP form into his Elite League racing for the Brummies.Drury said: “I was pleased to see Bjarne’s result and performance in the Danish Grand Prix last weekend. It should give him plenty of confidence, and we’re just hoping that display can kick-start his performances for Birmingham as well. “I know he’s been spending a lot of money on engines, set-ups and so on, and certainly the points that he hasn’t been scoring isn’t due to any lack of effort that the lad’s putting in.”COVENTRY owner Mick Horton says the Bees’ recent KO Cup win over Lakeside was a good way to bounce back from some inconsistent displays in previous meetings.Horton said: “Collectively we’re a team, and the boys realised they were under-achieving. We just had a chat, ironed out a few problems and they wanted to do it for the fans.“The results against Lakeside just prove how strong a side we really are, and it also means we’re going to have a Cup semi-final to look forward to later in the season. On those displays home and away, I don’t think we need to fear anybody.”EASTBOURNE will offer an innovative meal deal to supporters at their televised home fixture against Lakeside on June 25 – with all adult, concession and youth fans receiving a voucher entitling them to a meal.Co-promoter Bob Dugard said: “We know that on weekdays it is difficult for many of our supporters to get to Arlington, as many travel quite long distances. “It can be a bit of a rush to get here for 7.30pm, so to ease the strain we are offering supporters, a free meal on us as a way of saying ‘thank you’ for making the effort to come.”KING’S LYNN promoter Keith Chapman says a sensible decision was taken with the early postponement of the Stars’ televised home fixture against Swindon on Monday – their sixth home call-off so far this season.Chapman said: “We would have been sitting around praying for a four-hour break in the weather, which wasn’t even forecasted. So after much discussion with Sky it was evident that it would be more sensible for them to quickly pack up and make the journey over to Manchester. “The weather gods certainly haven’t been on our side this season and we have only raced four home matches with a total of six now postponed. I feel sorry for the riders and the fans and can only pray that some good weather finally arrives through July, August and September so we can complete our Elite League fixtures and achieve our goal of qualifying for the play-offs.”LAKESIDE star Davey Watt believes the Hammers are well-placed for a strong run as they prepare to re-launch their Elite League campaign.Watt said: “We are in a good position but there is a long, long way to go yet and there are a lot of races to be won.“The character of this team has been tested a fair bit already, and okay we are out of the Knockout Cup but we kept our chins up and were fighting all the time in a bid to get back into the tir.”PETERBOROUGH co-boss Trevor Swales has praised young Dane Michael Jepsen Jensen for the remarkable impact he has made so far for the Panthers in his first full Elite League season.Swales said: “Michael’s early-season form has been phenomenal and even now he is in the main body of the team, he’s still piling up some big points.“He is the ultimate professional and a real pleasure to deal with. He’s never any trouble and wants to win all the time – not just for himself, but also the team. I only wish there were more like him out there!”POOLE promoter Matt Ford says the Elite League leaders have been allowed little time to relax so far this season despite their unbroken winning run.Ford said: “This season has been unique so far because although we have clocked up 15 wins we haven't dominated any meeting."Every meeting seems to bring a new drama. It really has been must-see speedway. But with Darcy and Chris Holder in town you know there is never a dull moment!”SWINDON boss Alun Rossiter admitted he felt initially frustrated by the manner of a six-point defeat at Poole last Wednesday – but is keen to see the bigger picture of a successful season so far.Rossiter said: “I was frustrated after the Poole match, probably with the monkey of 1967 hanging on my back, and sometimes that gets the better of you, but what you actually have to do is take a few deep breaths, re-focus and realise things aren’t that bad at the moment.“We’ve seen enough already to know that this team is a great team, and we know there is still room for improvement in certain departments.”WOLVERHAMPTON manager Peter Adams was left contemplating his options after a disappointing 54-40 defeat at Belle Vue with the injury absences of Tai Woffinden and Nicolai Klindt keenly felt.Adams said: “We’re not sure right now as to the extent of the time out for Woffinden and Klindt but we’re going to have to make changes it seems.“And if they’re going to be out for too long then significant changes will have to be made to rectify the problem because it was woeful at Belle Vue.”

PREMIER LEAGUE LATEST…

BERWICK manager Ian Rae says his side must quickly put their heavy weekend defeat at Rye House behind them – with Alex Edberg now on the sidelines after a crash.Rae said: “This was always going to be one of our hardest matches, but we still had high hopes until we lost Alex to injury when we knew bad was only going to get worse.  It’s time to relegate this match to the memory banks, look forward to our next match and wish Alex all the best for a rapid recovery as he’s been a vital scorer for us in recent weeks.”EDINBURGH chairman Alex Harkess is looking forward to a terrific local derby KO Cup tie against Glasgow at the end of the month, with the clubs offering supporters reduced joint-admission deals for the meetings.Harkess said: “I hope each venue is bursting at the seams. Edinburgh/Glasgow matches are always special but even more so on this occasion with the prospect of the winner going on to win some silverware.”GLASGOW co-promoter Stewart Dickson is calling for consistency in his side as they look to put themselves in contention for a top-six place in their bid to defend the Premier League title.Dickson said: “We are racing pretty well at home in patches but perhaps not consistent enough throughout a meeting, with a few crucial points being squandered, and that we have to sort out and quick.”IPSWICH manager Pete Simmons is urging his side to up their game when Glasgow visit Foxhall on Thursday, after the Witches were held to a narrow home win over Redcar last week.Simmons said: “It may be two league points gained but it was also a point lost. We simply cannot afford to drop any more of these at home if we are serious about getting into the play-offs!”LEICESTER co-promoter Alan Jones believes the Lions’ dramatic home win over Newcastle was a firm indication of the Lions’ progress in their second Premier League season.Jones said: “We are continually measuring ourselves in all aspects of what we do and the result was another gauge of how the team is evolving. Twelve months ago we would have capitulated when coming up against strong scoring reserves but there is a new resolve that runs through the current team.”NEWCASTLE manager George English says the Diamonds’ top-order have shouldered responsibility for their below-par showing at Leicester on Saturday, resulting in a first Premier League defeat of the season.English said: “I cannot knock the performances of the utterly brilliant Richie Worrall who was spectacular, his brother Steve and Ludvig Lindgren who kept us in the hunt whilst the rest of the lads are all very well experienced and know all too well that it wasn’t good enough. I know they’ll be working on making sure they never have a night like that again.”PLYMOUTH promoter Mike Bowden is looking for an all-round display in the Devils’ home clash with Newcastle on Saturday, with Ryan Fisher missing due to his World Championship qualifier.Bowden said: “We will be looking to push on from our win over Leicester with another home success against Newcastle. We will have to be on top form because Newcastle have a couple of top heat leaders in Stuart Robson and Mark Lemon, and Newcastle also have a strong reserve pairing in the Worrall twins Richie and Steve.” REDCAR welcome back reserve Max Dilger for this Thursday’s clash with Edinburgh after he was forced to miss the home draw with Rye House due to a continental booking.Bears boss Jitendra Duffill said: “We are glad to see Max back on board this week as we were outgunned at reserve last week. Max has been a real success story at home since joining us at the beginning of the season and was also the key player in our recent away victory at Plymouth.”RYE HOUSE boss John Sampford was pleased to emerge from a damp Premier League encounter at Redcar with two points for an away draw last week.Sampford said: “There is no doubt that as the track became wetter, it became much more to the Bears’ liking. From where we stood early on, I might have considered the final score as a case of one or two match points lost, but the way it went in the rain a draw was actually a very good result.”SCUNTHORPE promoter Rob Godfrey is backing Danish rider Michael Palm Toft to come good after some modifications to his machinery.Godfrey said: “He’s accepted that he still needs to make some changes to his engine, because it’s not fast enough. We’re going to get a tuner to see his engine, and take it from there. I know Michael is a better rider than we’ve seen during the last few weeks – he is a very good speedway rider.”SHEFFIELD co-promoter Neil Machin is heading for his 20th anniversary at the helm of the Owlerton club next month.Machin said: “Owning this club has given me unbelievable highs and lows, and experiences that I will never, ever forget. When we took over this business was failing, and I am proud at the way we have developed the club.”SOMERSET are expecting to still have Claus Vissing on the sidelines for the visit of Glasgow on Friday – but promoter Debbie Hancock still believes the Rebels are capable of securing maximum points.She said: “We must not let our focus or concentration drop come Friday’s match if we want to bag all three league points. But in saying that, I am sure that even if we come to the tapes on Friday without Claus, we will have more than enough firepower within the ranks to ensure that we not only win the match, but to also claim those 3 league points.”WORKINGTON are now one of several clubs facing a fixture backlog after all four of their scheduled league matches last week were either postponed or abandoned.Comets manager Tony Jackson said: “It seems incredible that we are now almost in the middle of June and we have only actually completed one league fixture so far. It’s unfortunate, but such as been the weather recently we aren’t the only ones suffering and I have told all our riders that we are in for a very busy July and August. The only positive we can take is that Kyle (Howarth) hasn’t missed any matches and hopefully he will be fit for the re-staging of our visit to Glasgow this coming weekend.”FIXTURE PICTURE…

WEDNESDAY JUNE 13:SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Poole v King’s Lynn 7.30

THURSDAY JUNE 14:SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Birmingham v Lakeside 7.30, Peterborough v Belle Vue 7.30, Swindon v Wolverhampton 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Ipswich v Glasgow 7.30, Redcar v Edinburgh 7.30LEAGUE CUP: Sheffield v Berwick 7.45

FRIDAY JUNE 15:SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Coventry v King’s Lynn 8pmPREMIER LEAGUE: Edinburgh v Berwick 7.30, Scunthorpe v Plymouth 7.30, Somerset v Glasgow 7.30

SATURDAY JUNE 16:GRAND PRIX QUALIFIER: Berwick 7pmPREMIER LEAGUE: Plymouth v Newcastle 7.30, Rye House v Somerset 6pmNATIONAL LEAGUE: Rye House v Dudley (follows PL fixture), Stoke v Mildenhall 7.30EAST MIDLANDS BOWL: Leicester Cubs v Long Eaton 7.30

SUNDAY JUNE 17:PREMIER LEAGUE: Glasgow v Workington 4pm, Newcastle v Leicester 6.30NATIONAL LEAGUE: Buxton v Dudley 3pmBRITISH YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP Round 3: Northside 2pm

MONDAY JUNE 18:SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Lakeside v Swindon 7.30, Wolverhampton v Belle Vue 7.30

TUESDAY JUNE 19:NATIONAL LEAGUE: Isle of Wight v Rye House 7.30

WEDNESDAY JUNE 20:SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Poole v Birmingham 7.30, King’s Lynn v Belle Vue 7.30

THURSDAY JUNE 21:SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Swindon v Belle Vue 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Ipswich v Workington 7.30LEAGUE CUP: Redcar v Newcastle 7.30, Sheffield v Scunthorpe 7.45

FRIDAY JUNE 22:SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Lakeside v King’s Lynn 8pmPREMIER LEAGUE: Edinburgh v Newcastle 7.30, Plymouth v Sheffield 7.30, Scunthorpe v Ipswich 7.30, Somerset v Rye House 7.30

SATURDAY JUNE 23:PREMIER LEAGUE: Leicester v Plymouth 7.30, Rye House v Edinburgh 7pm, Workington v Glasgow 7pmLEAGUE CUP: Berwick v Sheffield 7pmNATIONAL LEAGUE FOURS: Stoke (Time TBA)

SUNDAY JUNE 24:PREMIER LEAGUE: Glasgow v Scunthorpe 4pm NATIONAL LEAGUE: Mildenhall v Buxton 4.30

MONDAY JUNE 25:SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Eastbourne v Lakeside 7.30, Wolverhampton v Poole 7.30LEAGUE CUP: Newcastle v Redcar 7.30

TUESDAY JUNE 26:NATIONAL LEAGUE: Dudley v Buxton 7.30


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