British Speedway Weekly Bulletin

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GREAT Britain manager Alun Rossiter has stressed the need for positivity in the sport – after his side swept into the World Cup Final by winning last weekend’s tournament opener.Rossiter’s quartet of Tai Woffinden, Chris Harris, Danny King and Simon Stead finished seven points clear of surprise packages America, and eight ahead of a powerful Australian team at King’s Lynn, meaning they headed straight to the decider in Poland on August 2.And although Rossiter knew that meeting would provide an even sterner test with the host nation involved at Bydgoszcz, he was proud of his side for securing qualification to the Final for the first time in four years.He said: “Some people said we would have been better racing in the Race-Off. Why? What an achievement now to go straight to the Final.“After all of the negativity that’s been around us, we can sit back and take the plaudits. I want everyone from the supporters to the riders to have a positive attitude.“Whatever happens now, whatever we do, is all a bonus and I’m proud of the boys. We have to keep going now, and anything can happen.”Rossiter admitted the selection of Stead, who has enjoyed a remarkable return from a broken leg with Leicester and Sheffield this season, was a ‘gut instinct’ – and it was the Yorkshireman who set the ball rolling at King’s Lynn with a Heat 1 win over Darcy Ward.Rossiter said: “It was reminiscent of when Swindon won the Elite League title at Poole in 2012. Simon went out and won Heat 1 in front of Chris Holder, and Saturday was like that all over again.“I just think that set the tone, and everyone realised from then that we could do it. They are an amazing bunch of guys and we had a great time.”

THE draw has been made for the Buildbase National League Fours at Coventry on Sunday August 10 (2.30pm).Eight NL clubs compete in the popular event with Cradley defending the title they won under their previous Dudley name at Stoke last season.A 24-race programme is in prospect at Brandon with the teams split into two groups of four, competing over eight heats, and the top two teams in each group then progress to the eight-heat Final.Admission prices for the meeting, sponsored by Buildbase, are £15 for adults, with all children under the age of 16 free. Programmes £2. Gates open at 1pm with Heat 1 scheduled for 2.30pm.GROUP 1: Buxton, Cradley, Coventry, Kent.GROUP 2: Mildenhall, Devon, King’s Lynn, Stoke.SPEEDWAYGB EVENTS SERIES 2014:ELITE RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: Re-staging TBCBRITISH UNDER-21 FINAL: JOSH BATESBRITISH FINAL: TAI WOFFINDENPREMIER LEAGUE PAIRS: EDINBURGHPREMIER LEAGUE FOURS: Peterborough, August 3PREMIER RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: Sheffield, September 21NATIONAL LEAGUE MAJOR EVENTS:NATIONAL LEAGUE PAIRS: STOKENATIONAL 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

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BELLE VUE are mourning the loss of former Aces captain Ron Johnston, who has passed away peacefully in his native New Zealand.Johnston skippered the team from 1957 until 1961 and also competed in four World Finals, finishing a personal best fifth in 1960.COVENTRY No.1 Hans Andersen admits he is enjoying his partnership with captain Chris Harris, with the duo having combined for several important race results so far this season.Andersen said: “Me and Chris have had so many 5-1s this season I’ve lost count! It’s nice that we have a bit of an understanding with each other and we have a look rather than just riding individually.“At the end of the day it’s a team performance and 5-1s are better than 4-2s or 3-3s. Team riding doesn’t seem to be what it used to be, but I think me and Chris make it look easy.”EASTBOURNE star Bjarne Pedersen says a renewed positive mental attitude was key to his paid-14 haul against Poole in the Eagles’ last meeting before the World Cup break.Pedersen told Speedway Star: “After we lost at Leicester I went back to Denmark and kicked myself because in the last month I have been really disappointed with myself.“I had a good talk with my mental coach back in Denmark and I think it showed in my results. When the hunger is there I can score points at these tracks.”KING’S LYNN headed into the World Cup break with a 15-point lead at the top of the Elite League table, with ten matches to be raced before the play-offs.The Stars gained a point from their recent trip to Poole after No.1 Niels-Kristian Iversen was disqualified in the last race, and they go back into action at Belle Vue on August 4.LAKESIDE star Kim Nilsson is pleased to get another opportunity in the Elite League having recently rejoined the Hammers in place of Peter Karlsson.Nilsson told Speedway Star: “We had been speaking a lot because I knew that Jon (Cook) was keen to have me, and I am a Lakeside asset and they want to use their own guys.“I’ve been going really well in Sweden and then Jon offered me the opportunity to come back and show what I can do, and I’m really looking forward to taking this chance and doing better than the last time I was here.”LEICESTER boss Norrie Allan says his side are looking to remain unbeaten at home for the remainder of the season to end their first Elite League campaign on a high.Allan told the Leicester Mercury: “Our home form has shown a marked improvement and our goal, at the least, is to remain unbeaten in 'B' fixtures at home."We have started well by beating Belle Vue and Eastbourne on their return visits to Leicester.”POOLE snatched two league points from a highly competitive Wimborne Road encounter with leaders King’s Lynn, with reserve Kyle Newman scoring a crucial 11+2.Newman said: “It was good to be getting some big points again and doing my bit to really help the side. They are a very good side so having picked up the win is a good feeling even though we didn't get all the points. I haven't been feeling 100 per cent myself with a bout of flu so you have to be happy with paid 13."SWINDON star Peter Kildemand has reflected on a “crazy day” as he jetted 2,500 miles from Russia to Belle Vue to help the Robins gain a vital Elite League away victory last week.Kildemand told the Swindon Advertiser: “I got it done and we got all the points which is the main thing, but I left the hotel at 7am and flew into Manchester just in time after stopping over in Moscow and Amsterdam. “I was only in the air for five hours but the waiting in the airports was really tiring, and I’ve been to Russia so I didn’t really get any decent food in me.”WOLVERHAMPTON will welcome back club legend Peter Karlsson in next Monday’s clash with Poole, with Lasse Bjerre also joining the Monmore side in place of Ty Proctor and Ricky Wells.Promoter Chris Van Straaten said: “I must emphasise we are not unhappy with our original team selection. We started with the No.1 rider (Tai Woffinden) who had the highest average in the league and that didn’t leave us with a lot of scope for the remaining four of the top five within a 32-point limit.“We don’t feel we got it horribly wrong and both Ty Proctor and Ricky Wells have served the club with pride and passion and I’m sure we’ve not seen the last of them in Wolverhampton colours.”

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BERWICK grabbed their fourth maximum-points away win of the season with an impressive 52-37 win at Glasgow to give their play-off hopes a major boost.Manager John Anderson said: “This was a brilliant win and all the guys can take a very just and deserved bow for their superb effort. We are still shocking the speedway experts and long may it continue.”EDINBURGH surged through to the Knockout Cup semi-finals with a 67-23 win over Berwick at Armadale – 48 hours after going down to a 12-point first leg defeat which left boss Alex Harkess displeased.Harkess said: ““I wasn’t happy with how things went in the first leg on Wednesday and I drummed it in to the boys that we must attack from the start tonight and pile up as many points as we could get. They didn’t let me down.”GLASGOW co-promoter Colin Hamilton admits patience is wearing thin after the Tigers crashed to a disappointing home defeat against Berwick on Sunday.Hamilton said: “I'm deeply disappointed, to say the least. I know that Alan (Dick) is as well. We're going to have to re-look at the whole situation, because sometimes enough is enough.”IPSWICH manager Brian Messenger admits there is little room for error from his side in their remaining Premier League schedule as other play-off contenders have matches in hand.Messenger told Speedway Star: “We are currently sixth when it comes to points accrued from meetings raced. So there is a lot of work to be done, and it will not be easy. Success will not come lightly and we cannot throw valuable points away.”NEWCASTLE boss George English admitted he was pleased his side built a healthy advantage in the first two-thirds of their clash with Rye House, as the Rockets responded in the closing stages but too late to challenge for a point.English said: “The Rockets warmed to our track on a slow-burn, which is just as well as if they'd ridden as well much earlier we'd have been in trouble, but I have to say Lewis Rose and Chris Mills really put their act together and scored points we hadn't expected them to.”PETERBOROUGH boss Carl Johnson had mixed emotions following a 44-46 defeat at Sheffield last Thursday – feeling his team had been capable of taking more than one league point.Johnson said: “We really wanted to follow up the great win against Edinburgh at the weekend with another victory, but we had two-or-three riders not on song and that’s why we came up just short in the end.“We have a couple of weeks now to regroup and we know we need to come back strongly if we are going to make it into the play-offs.”PLYMOUTH expect to recall Roland Benko this week after the Hungarian lost his place recently as part of team changes which saw James Wright join the club.Manager Lee Trigger said: “I have done my own calculations and we should now be able to accommodate Roland in addition to James. James Shanes did all that we expected from him in the Premier League but we know that Roland is capable of scoring some important points, especially at home.”REDCAR kept their hopes of a play-off place alive by defeating Scunthorpe 50-40 at home last week – although they were subsequently beaten in the return fixture at the Eddie Wright Raceway 24 hours later.Manager Jitendra Duffill told gazettelive.co.uk: “It’s looking better. It’s a start and we just need to carry that on and go from here. If we have any sort of hope of getting into the play-offs this year we have to take every point at home and we have to take as many points as possible away from home. While it’s still possible you have to keep going for it, so that’s the aim.”RYE HOUSE boss John Sampford believes there is plenty more to come from recent signings Anders Mellgren and Oliver Greenwood after a tough night at Newcastle on Sunday.Sampford said: “Anders was tentative at the start but is already feeling his way back, while Oliver got a good third place in Heat 1 but missed out on extra points in his next one. He came in after his opening race with what we thought was a burned out clutch, and we quickly transferred the clutch from his other bike, but it turned out that it wasn’t just the clutch that was the problem as the big nut on his clutch basket had also come loose. That definitely cost him points in Heat 2 and the chance to really boost himself for the rest of the night.”SCUNTHORPE star Ryan Douglas piled up 17 points in the Scorpions’ home win over Redcar as they quickly gained revenge for defeat at the South Tees Motorsports Park the previous evening.Douglas said: “I’m definitely happy with that one. I had a pretty bad meeting at Redcar, but I’ve been riding well at home recently and I was confident I could have another good one tonight. It stated well and built from there.”SHEFFIELD have been relieved to hear Andre Compton has been released from hospital with no broken bones after his horror crash in Monday’s televised fixture against Somerset – meaning they could reflect on a positive night despite a home defeat.Co-promoter Damien Bates said: “I’m proud of the way we presented the club and the stadium, I thought we did everything we could to make the place look immaculate. I want to put on record our thanks to everyone connected with Sheffield Speedway, particularly track staff led by Graham Trollope and Eric Boocock for providing a great racing surface along with Doug Wyer.“Our sponsors were superb, our landlords A&S Leisure supported us and also we had a good crowd – special thanks also to Sky Sports for selecting Sheffield to be on TV and we hope they enjoyed the evening.”SOMERSET kept firmly in play-off contention with a 51-39 win at Sheffield on Monday to take all four points from the meeting and move to second in the Premier League table.Rebels boss Garry May said: “We are extremely happy with the four league points, especially after going six points down early doors, Brady (Kurtz) rode a blinder, as did Olly (Allen) until his crash, but this was an all-round team performance, though all that is secondary to Andre’s (Compton) well-being.”WORKINGTON are looking to make a good showing in this weekend’s PL Fours at Peterborough after a season beset by injuries and postponements was made worse following a home postponement due to the absence of a vital piece of medical equipment.Comets owner Laura Morgan said: “This was an unprecedented situation that we found ourselves to be in shortly before the meeting and we can only apologise to the fans and riders of both Workington and Sheffield for the inconvenience caused. Many people made great efforts to remedy the situation but unfortunately we were unable to resolve the problem and when all avenues had been explored, and with rain starting to fall, we were left with no alternative but to call the meeting off.“Right now we seem to be caught up in a sequence of one problem after another and although we are now entering August we still feel that we haven’t really got the season started as it has been stop-start so far for one reason and another. Hopefully we can give a good account of ourselves in the Fours this weekend and push on from there as there are still lots of league fixtures to be raced.”FIXTURE PICTURE…

TUESDAY JULY 29:PREMIER LEAGUE: Somerset v Sheffield 7.30F.A.S.T GOLDEN HAMMER: Cradley 7.30

WEDNESDAY JULY 30:PREMIER LEAGUE: Rye House v Redcar 7.30NATIONAL LEAGUE: King’s Lynn v Devon 7.30

THURSDAY JULY 31: PREMIER LEAGUE: Ipswich v Berwick 7.30, Redcar v Newcastle 7.30

FRIDAY AUGUST 1:PREMIER LEAGUE: Plymouth v Sheffield 7.15, Scunthorpe v Berwick 7.30, Somerset v Ipswich 7.30NATIONAL LEAGUE: Coventry v Stoke 7.30SCOTTISH OPEN: Edinburgh 7.30

SATURDAY AUGUST 2:PREMIER LEAGUE: Berwick v Glasgow 7pm

SUNDAY AUGUST 3:PREMIER LEAGUE FOURS: Peterborough 2.30NATIONAL LEAGUE: Buxton v Devon 3pm, Stoke v Cradley 6pm

MONDAY AUGUST 4:ELTIE LEAGUE: Belle Vue v King’s Lynn 7.30, Wolverhampton v Poole 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Glasgow v Scunthorpe 7.15NATIONAL LEAGUE: Kent v Stoke 6.30

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 6:ELITE LEAGUE: Poole v Swindon 7.30

THURSDAY AUGUST 7:ELITE LEAGUE: Swindon v Lakeside 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Ipswich v Rye House 7.30, Redcar v Berwick 7.30, Sheffield v Workington 7.30

FRIDAY AUGUST 8:ELITE LEAGUE: Coventry v Wolverhampton 7.30, Lakeside v Poole 8pmPREMIER LEAGUE: Edinburgh v Newcastle 7.30, Scunthorpe v Peterborough 7.30, Somerset v Rye House 7.30

SATURDAY AUGUST 9:ELITE LEAGUE: Leicester v Wolverhampton 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Berwick v Sheffield 7pm, Rye House v Somerset 7pmNATIONAL LEAGUE: Devon v Coventry 1.30, Devon v Stoke 3.30

SUNDAY AUGUST 10:PREMIER LEAGUE: Workington v Scunthorpe 7pmPREMIER LEAGUE KO CUP: Glasgow v Newcastle 1.30, Newcastle v Glasgow 7.30NATIONAL LEAGUE FOURS: Coventry 2.30

MONDAY AUGUST 11:ELITE LEAGUE: Belle Vue v Coventry 7.30, Eastbourne v Swindon 7.30NATIONAL LEAGUE: Kent v Scunthorpe 6.30RETRO FOURS: Wolverhampton v Heathens v Birmingham v Oxford 7.30

TUESDAY AUGUST 12:PREMIER LEAGUE: Berwick v Edinburgh 7.30NATIONAL LEAGUE: Cradley v Mildenhall 7.30

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 13:ELITE LEAGUE: Poole v Lakeside 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Somerset v Edinburgh 7.30