British Speedway Weekly Bulletin

BIG EVENT LATEST…

SCOTT Nicholls goes into the British Final at Wolverhampton determined to extend his remarkable sequence in the event by securing an eighth national title.The Belle Vue star will once again be one of the favourites for the June 16 showpiece meeting – and he says the prestige of winning keeps his motivation high.Nicholls was beaten by home favourite Tai Woffinden last year, with the Wolves man finally breaking the dominance of Nicholls and Chris Harris who have ten titles between them.Nicholls said: “The first priority is to get to the final itself and then anything can happen, as we know from the past few seasons at Wolverhampton.“You only have to look back at some of the drama in the meeting in the last three or four years to see how exciting and how tense it gets!“I don’t think the national title has ever lost any of the prestige, it’s a massive thing for any rider and I am extremely proud of my record of winning seven – hopefully by the end of this meeting it will be eight.”Woffinden’s success in the British Final last year set him up for his sensational run to the World Championship title, and he admits the win came as a relief after a series of third places in previous years.He said: “To finally win that British title after being so close before gave me a lot of confidence, and everything that happened after that was pretty incredible.“I think the next weekend I won my first GP in Prague and then obviously going on to win the World Championship at the end of the season was just amazing.“Obviously things are a bit different this year but I'm looking for the same result, so we'll have to see how it all goes.”

BRITISH FINAL DRAW: 1. Stefan Nielsen, 2. Jason Garrity, 3. Ben Barker, 4. Richie Worrall, 5. Adam Roynon, 6. Danny King, 7. Simon Stead, 8. Tai Woffinden, 9. Lewis Bridger, 10. Lewis Blackbird, 11. Richard Lawson, 12. Chris Harris, 13. Edward Kennett, 14. Scott Nicholls, 15. Craig Cook, 16. Steve Boxall.

*THE National League Pairs takes place at Mildenhall on June 15, with groups and line-ups as follows:GROUP A: COVENTRY: Oliver Greenwood & James Sarjeant; STOKE: Ben Wilson & Jon Armstrong; KING’S LYNN: Darren Mallett & Lewis Rose; BUXTON: Liam Carr & Tony Atkin.GROUP B: CRADLEY: Max Clegg & Steve Worrall; MILDENHALL: Joe Jacobs & Daniel Halsey; KENT: Simon Lambert & Ben Morley; DEVON: Tim Webster & James Shanes

*GREAT Britain’s Under-21s came agonisingly close to a place in the World Team Cup Final after a terrific effort in Germany.The British quartet finished just three points behind the Czech Republic and Australia at Teterow having held the lead going into the final series of races.Skipper Kyle Howarth won three heats, competing despite having suffered a wrist injury in a crash on Friday, and he was joined in double-figures by Jason Garrity with Adam Ellis and Robert Lambert both also giving solid displays.GB co-boss Neil Vatcher said: “It was a fantastic effort by the whole team. With four races to go we were three points in front, and it’s a massive improvement on previous years.“Going into the last race there was still a chance the top three could all have tied if Kyle had won it, but as it happened the Czechs won a run-off with the Australians, and we ended up third.“The future looks very bright, though, with Robert and Adam eligible for at least three more years, and Phil (Morris) and myself are very proud of the boys.”SPEEDWAYGB EVENTS SERIES 2014:ELITE RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: Re-staging TBCBRITISH UNDER-21 FINAL: JOSH BATESBRITISH FINAL: Wolverhampton, June 16PREMIER LEAGUE PAIRS: Somerset, July 11PREMIER LEAGUE FOURS: Peterborough, August 3PREMIER RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: Sheffield, September 21NATIONAL LEAGUE MAJOR EVENTS:NATIONAL LEAGUE PAIRS: Mildenhall, June 15NATIONAL LEAGUE FOURS: Coventry, August 10NATIONAL LEAGUE RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: Rye House, September 28BRITISH SPEEDWAY FIM EVENT DATES:WORLD UNDER-21 CHAMPIONSHIP Semi-Final: MIKKEL BECHGRAND PRIX QUALIFIER: LINUS SUNDSTROM

ELITE LEAGUE LATEST…

BELLE VUE boss Jason Attwood praised guest Simon Stead for his efforts in Monday’s exciting televised fixture against Lakeside, with the Aces coming back to secure a 45-45 draw.Attwood said: “Massive thanks have to go to Simon, who did a fantastic job guesting for Richie (Worrall) and really he could have had a spot in Heat 15, but after their top performance in Heat 13 I thought Scott (Nicholls) and Matej (Zagar) deserved it.“Lee (Payne) also acquitted himself very well. It's double the pressure to have to make your home debut live on Sky Sports, but he went out there and did his job and put some vital points on the board; and I know that with time he will only get better.”BIRMINGHAM promoter Alan Phillips is looking forward to getting back to home-track action this week after the frustrating abandonment of last week’s clash with Swindon.Phillips said: “We deserve everything to go our way. The weather forecast has improved significantly, we have a full strength team and I’m looking for a big crowd to cheer the lads on.“On our day we can beat anyone. I’m excited about seeing Bartosz Zmarzlik do a full meeting for us, Danny King is in great form and Ben Barker is capable of beating anyone around Perry Barr on his day.”COVENTRY will hand a debut to new signing Michael Jepsen Jensen in their home clash with Belle Vue on Friday, with the former World Under-21 Champion joining the Bees as a replacement for Ryan Fisher.Promoter Mick Horton said: “This is one of the most exciting signings I have ever made in speedway, and I think it is a true statement of our ambition.“I really hope the fans can see we’re doing everything to put ourselves up at the top, and hopefully they’ll turn out in force to see Michael in action with the rest of the team.”EASTBOURNE saw their home clash with Belle Vue on Saturday delayed by sunshine – on a day when the weather forecast had threatened ‘monsoon’ conditions and golf ball-sized hailstones!Eagles boss Trevor Geer said: “First the Belle Vue boys mentioned the problem and then a couple of our lads did too. It made sense to stop racing for ten minutes or so. The sun was momentarily in their eyes on the third bend."We took the interval a little earlier than normal and that solved the problem.”LAKESIDE boss Neil Vatcher says consistency amongst the side’s top riders will be crucial to the Hammers’ hopes of maintaining their position in the Elite League table in the second half of the season.Vatcher told Speedway Star: “The frustrating thing has been the lack of consistency from some of our guys, and successful teams don’t have that problem.“Up until the meeting down at Poole our season had gone well, but we had that blip in successive matches. All teams have that at some point. Maybe that was our little setback and we can get back to the level we had been achieving.”LEICESTER manager Norrie Allan admitted his side had been unable to fully cope with the strength of the King’s Lynn top order as the Lions suffered their third home defeat of the season on Saturday.Allan said: “I said before the meeting that if we could contain their reserves in Heats 2 and 9 we had a chance. Well, we did more than that by totalling seven points to their five which would have been more had Heat 9 not been stopped when our two riders were in the lead. “Unfortunately, for once our top end did not perform and apart from a very good performance from Mads Korneliussen and a brace of wins for Simon Stead we were very patchy and missed the points output that Jason would have given the team.”KING’S LYNN boss Rob Lyon will stress to his side the firepower that exists in the Wolverhampton ranks when the two sides meet at the Norfolk Arena this week.Lyon said: “Wolves are, like many teams in this league, capable of causing upsets if they fire as a unit so another good meeting is in prospect. “We are obviously confident in our own team and ability though and our current record shows what we are capable of achieving.”POOLE’S home abandonment against Wolverhampton after just three races came as a double frustration as the meeting was already set to be followed by a two-week break from racing for the Pirates.Boss Neil Middleditch told the Bournemouth Echo: “I’m a bit disappointed because rain was forecast all day and we had none, then 7.30pm came round and the heavens opened. “It was the right decision because it would have been dangerous and the racing would have been a farcical, follow-the-leader situation. It becomes like ice when you put water on the track and it just isn’t safe.”SWINDON overcame the loss of both Dakota North and Nathan Greaves in a long-running Heat 4 to take three much-needed points from their home clash with Leicester.Boss Alun Rossiter said: “We were up against it losing Dak and Nathan early on, but it was a great performance by the remaining five riders in the end. Troy (Batchelor) really did a captains job and was reminiscent of Leigh Adams with the way he was shepherding home riders in some races."Simon Gustafsson was outstanding as well, and fair play to Nicolai who came in and did a good job for us. It was a great win in the circumstances and we are pleased to get all three points."WOLVERHAMPTON boss Peter Adams felt a point was an acceptable result from their trip to Coventry last Friday, with a series of issues limiting their top two riders to just nine points between them.Adams said: “We came here looking for a point and that’s what we got, so we have to be happy with that.“(Piotr) Pawlicki had a lot of bike troubles and Tai (Woffinden) has a problem with his hip which meant he couldn’t ride in Heat 15, which I would have preferred him to, but having said that I thought Jacob (Thorssell) had a great night and did himself proud.”PREMIER LEAGUE LATEST…

BERWICK boss Ian Rae is calling on his team to put their defeat at Newcastle behind them in order to build on their positive start to the Premier League campaign.Rae said: “We found a home side far sharper from the gate and more competitive away from the start than expected which reflected in the score, which was deserved by Newcastle. We now have to not sit back on our good start and remember if we want to get back to good wins we have to ride like we had done earlier on in the season - which we will do.”EDINBURGH have one foot in the League Cup Final after an emphatic 63-28 first leg semi-final win over Sheffield at Armadale – with Steve Worrall, Justin Sedgmen and Craig Cook all going through the meeting unbeaten.Monarchs boss Alex Harkess said: “We really were outstanding tonight and I’m very happy with the lead we got. In spite of the score there was some entertainment and as always the team worked really well together.”GLASGOW legend James Grieves believes a positive mental attitude and a successful new signing in Christian Henry can see the Tigers turn their fortunes around.Grieves said: “I don't think for one minute that there's a rider in that team that's not trying“I just think that it's in their heads at the moment, they're not dialled in. It's not clicked for them, and maybe with time or an engine change or something, it might just click. You never know - a new, fresh face in the team with Henry might do it."IPSWICH boss Chris Louis is confident of making progress in the KO Cup after a remarkable 65-25 first leg win over Somerset, as he does not expect a repeat of their previous visit to the Oaktree Arena.Louis said: “That points difference should be enough to see us through; we did lose by the same margin down at their place in the League Cup but I believe we have progressed since then.”NEWCASTLE boss George English was delighted to see the Diamonds spark their season by becoming the first team to beat in-form Berwick in the Premier League with a 51-40 success at Brough Park.English said: “At last we have returned back to winning ways to do this over a previously unbeaten Berwick makes the achievement all the more impressive. The racing was suitably superb for a close local derby and I think the determination shown tonight sets us up at last for a good run in the Premier League.”PETERBOROUGH could move for a short-term replacement for injured reserve Oliver Greenwood, who is currently on the sidelines with a broken collarbone suffered when he was guesting for Newcastle earlier this month.Panthers boss Trevor Swales said: “We are still assessing a number of options, but it is safe to say we will more than likely be taking up one of them in the near future.”PLYMOUTH are bracing themselves for a tough Northern tour to Redcar and Edinburgh this week, with a doubt over the fitness of Kalle Katajisto after a recent crash.Devils co-promoter Ashley Taylor said: “We had a good result in our cup match at Redcar, which enabled us to progress in the competition with an aggregate win. So it is important that we take something out of that match ahead of our visit to Edinburgh on Friday evening.”REDCAR promoter Brian Havelock admits he is contemplating team changes, but is uncertain as to which direction to take.Havelock told Speedway Star: “There’s no-one obvious around on a 6.15 average or less who is any good. The break is a good thing in one way as it gives me breathing space and time to think about which way to go. I don’t know what to do and will have to discuss it with the other directors and see which way they want to go.”RYE HOUSE boss John Sampford had no complaints after his side slumped to their heaviest home defeat in 23 years, as Somerset raced to a 58-37 win over a much-changed Rockets team at Hoddesdon.Sampford said: “We simply came up short in too many areas. To begin with, we were using three guests, but only one of them came up with the goods tonight. Steve (Boxall) is also clearly still experiencing machine issues, and we had Luke (Bowen) with his own problems as well.“Somerset, on the other hand, were rock-solid throughout. You just can’t afford any weak links against a team like that or they will blow you out, as they’ve now done home and away.”SCUNTHORPE are hopeful of completing a hat-trick of 2014 wins at local rivals Sheffield when they make the short trip to Owlerton on Thursday.Promoter Rob Godfrey said: “There’s been some cracking meetings between the two clubs in 2014, and it promises to be another one. Of course, we’d love to win at Sheffield for a third time in the same season – that would be unbelievable.”SHEFFIELD boss Joe Screen admitted the Tigers’ 28-63 defeat at Edinburgh in the first leg of the League Cup semi-final had been a night to forget.Screen said: “We were really disappointed, because that was a bit of an embarrassing result in the end. A lot of the lads struggled and had bad meetings, and overall it was just a really poor performance.“It's hard for us with the number of rain-offs we've had, and it's been tough for the riders to get going. When we came up against a strong side like Edinburgh who have been riding regularly it was always going to be very difficult, but we didn't expect to get beat like that.”SOMERSET boss Garry May insists his side can still turn around a 40-point KO Cup deficit against Ipswich on Friday – despite their disastrous first leg performance at Foxhall last week.May said: “In reality all the pressure is on Ipswich as they have everything to lose, and having already been to the Oaktree Arena in the League Cup and lost by 40 points, which would have be greater but for the use of the tactical rides, which aren’t permitted in the KO Cup, there will jitters amongst their riders even before a wheel has been turned.”WORKINGTON have called upon a former Comets rider as a guest replacement for their injured number one Josh Grajczonek this Saturday when they face the record-breaking Edinburgh Monarchs at Derwent Park.Comets manager Tony Jackson said: “Once Josh was injured and still recovering from the operation on his face there was only really one rider that we could call upon as a guest; last year’s number one and skipper Richard Lawson. Two weeks ago Richard returned to Derwent Park with Redcar and scorched to a paid maximum as well as breaking Adam Roynon’s near two-year old track record and he was the obvious choice as a guest replacement for Josh in such a high profile fixture as this.“Kyle Howarth is still carrying a wrist injury following his spill at Coventry last week but, with several team members returning from successful international meetings in mainland Europe, they are all keen to try and halt the Monarchs terrific run. That will obviously be difficult, but they can’t stay unbeaten forever! However, with local rider Craig Cook leading the Monarchs charge it promises to be quite a night and a bumper crowd, including a lot of travelling Monarchs fans, is expected.”FIXTURE PICTURE…

TUESDAY JUNE 10:PREMIER LEAGUE: Peterborough v Ipswich 7.30

WEDNESDAY JUNE 11:ELITE LEAGUE: Birmingham v Belle Vue 7.30, King’s Lynn v Wolverhampton 7.30

THURSDAY JUNE 12:ELITE LEAGUE: Swindon v Wolverhampton 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Redcar v Plymouth 7.30, Sheffield v Scunthorpe 7.45

FRIDAY JUNE 13:ELITE LEAGUE: Coventry v Belle Vue 7.30, Lakeside v Leicester 8pmPREMIER LEAGUE: Edinburgh v Plymouth 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE KO CUP Q/F 2nd leg: Somerset v Ipswich 7.30NATIONAL LEAGUE: King’s Lynn v Mildenhall 7.30

SATURDAY JUNE 14:PREMIER LEAGUE: Workington v Edinburgh 7pmPREMIER LEAGUE KO CUP 1st round 1st leg: Rye House v Glasgow 7pmNATIONAL LEAGUE: Devon v Cradley 1.30, Devon v Scunthorpe 3.15, Stoke v Buxton 7pm

SUNDAY JUNE 15:PREMIER LEAGUE: Newcastle v Somerset 6.30PREMIER LEAGUE KO CUP 1st round 2nd leg: Glasgow v Rye House 5pmNATIONAL LEAGUE PAIRS: Mildenhall 3.30

MONDAY JUNE 16:BRITISH FINAL: Wolverhampton 7.30NATIONAL LEAGUE: Kent v Devon 6.30

TUESDAY JUNE 17:LEAGUE CUP S/F 1st leg: Peterborough v Workington 7.30NATIONAL LEAGUE: Cradley v Stoke 7.30

WEDNESDAY JUNE 18:ELITE LEAGUE: King’s Lynn v Belle Vue 7.30, Poole v Leicester 7.30

THURSDAY JUNE 19:PREMIER LEAGUE: Redcar v Rye House 7.30LEAGUE CUP SEMI-FINAL 2nd leg: Sheffield v Edinburgh 7.45

FRIDAY JUNE 20:ELITE LEAGUE: Coventry v Poole 7.30, Lakeside v King’s Lynn 8pmPREMIER LEAGUE: Edinburgh v Rye House 7.30, Scunthorpe v Ipswich 7.30, Somerset v Glasgow 7.30

SATURDAY JUNE 21:ELITE LEAGUE: Eastbourne v Birmingham 7.30, Leicester v Swindon 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Berwick v Redcar 7pm, Rye House v Glasgow 7pm, Plymouth v Somerset 7.15, Workington v Ipswich 7pm

SUNDAY JUNE 22:PREMIER LEAGUE: Glasgow v Ipswich 3pm, Newcastle v Sheffield 6.30NATIONAL TROPHY: Stoke v Leicester 7pmBRITISH YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP Round 3: Northside 1.30pm

MONDAY JUNE 23:ELITE LEAGUE: Wolverhampton v King’s Lynn 7.30NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP Q/F: Kent v Stoke 6.30

TUESDAY JUNE 24:NATIONAL LEAGUE: Cradley v Scunthorpe 7.15NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP Q/F 2nd leg: Cradley v Mildenhall (follows previous fixture)

WEDNESDAY JUNE 25:ELITE LEAGUE: Poole v Birmingham 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Peterborough v Sheffield 7.30