British Speedway Weekly Bulletin

BIG EVENT LATEST…

DATES and venues have been announced for two British Finals to he held in September.The British Under-19 Final will take place at Kent on Monday September 1 with a 6.15pm start, and will be run over the traditional 20-heat format with the rider with the most points at that stage winning the title.This is a switch from the previous format of a semi-final and Final due to the 8.30pm curfew at Central Park.Reigning champion Stefan Nielsen – who has won the event in the last two seasons at Sheffield and then Coventry – is now ineligible due to his age, so there will be a new British Under-19 Champion this year and the line-up will be announced within the next week.Kent promoter Len Silver said: “This very prestigious event awarded to our fine stadium is the first of what I hope will be many major events to be staged here. With the impressive facilities and outstanding viewing, Central Park is a venue worthy of fixtures of the highest calibre.“We have always said we are ideally set up to stage major championships and it is a great honour that in only our second season operating we've been awarded this BSPA-organised event with a national championship title up for grabs. “When one sees who has won this title before, it certainly shows what an important championship the Under-19s is, and we can be sure the meeting will be extremely keenly contested by a field packed with the country's finest young Speedway racing talent.”Meanwhile, after the great success of Peterborough hosting the British 125cc Final last month, the Showground will also be the venue for the first British 150cc Box Final. This will take place on Sunday September 28, and the 12-ride rider line-up will be confirmed early next month.A new date is to be arranged for the National League Fours at Coventry, which was postponed due to the weather last Sunday.The after-effects of Hurricane Bertha led to all speedway in the UK being postponed on August 10, with an early decision taken that racing could not take place at Brandon.Meanwhile the performances of riders in the Premier League over the next three weeks will be vital as they seek qualification for their Riders’ Championship.This takes place at its traditional venue of Sheffield on Sunday September 21 and will feature the top man from each of the 13 clubs in the league along with three further competitors.

SPEEDWAYGB EVENTS SERIES 2014:ELITE RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: Re-staging TBCBRITISH UNDER-21 FINAL: JOSH BATESBRITISH FINAL: TAI WOFFINDENPREMIER LEAGUE PAIRS: EDINBURGHPREMIER LEAGUE FOURS: SOMERSETPREMIER RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: Sheffield, September 21NATIONAL LEAGUE MAJOR EVENTS:NATIONAL LEAGUE PAIRS: STOKENATIONAL LEAGUE FOURS: Coventry, Date TBCNATIONAL 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 skipper Scott Nicholls says the Aces will be desperate to finish the season on a high and regain the domination at home which was evident in the first half of the campaign.Nicholls said: “We were gutted to lose to Kings Lynn last week, yet having two disappointing home defeats on the bounce has only fired us up to put an end to our losing streak at home.“I think it's important that the boys to try to enjoy the rest of our meetings now. We know the play-offs aren't going to happen, but even getting that enjoyment factor back could trigger off the kind of performance to help us end the season on a high.”COVENTRY boss Gary Havelock is ready for a hectic schedule as the Bees chase a play-off place, with 14 matches still to be completed by the Brandon club in the run-in.Havelock said: “We’re in a good place at the moment, and our away form has more than counter-acted for a few little hiccups at home when we haven’t taken all three points.“It’s all about making sure we’re in the top four come the cut-off date, and it’s really going to get exciting now. It’s going to be a mad race for the finishing line, and we can be there.”EASTBOURNE overcame the absence of broken leg victim Lewis Blackbird to take a vital 53-40 home win over play-off rivals Swindon at Arlington on Monday – with Finnish star Joonas Kylmakorpi displaying a welcome return to form.Eagles boss Trevor Geer said: “I thought Swindon would push us all the way and with Lewis Blackbird injured I was convinced we would have a real battle.“I am delighted that the whole team rose to the challenge and battled for every point. It was great to see Joonas Kylmakorpi winning races again. He had a new engine from Peter Johns and was outstanding.”KING’S LYNN will face their closest rivals at the top of the Elite League table when Poole visit the Norfolk Arena on Thursday.The Stars will be at full strength with Lewis Kerr back from a hand injury, whist ex-Stars Darcy Ward and Maciej Janowski lead the attack for the visitors. King’s Lynn currently head the standings by 13 points, with nine matches to go of their regular season before the play-offs.LAKESIDE will head into four crucial Elite League fixtures in a six-day spell without Danish youngster Mikkel Bech.Bech suffered a wrist injury when mountain biking over the weekend and has been ruled out of the Hammers’ upcoming schedule, starting at Poole on Wednesday.Rory Schlein has been booked to guest for Bech in the Wimborne Road clash and in subsequent away matches at Leicester and Belle Vue, whilst Danny King will come in for the home fixture against the Aces on Friday.LEICESTER pulled off another remarkable home comeback as they recovered from an eleven-point deficit after Heat 9 to snatch a 47-45 victory over Wolverhampton at the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium, with Jason Doyle and Nicolai Klindt the Lions’ last-heat heroes.Boss Norrie Allan said: “We showed a great deal of character to come back from eleven points down and even going into the final race I was not totally confident that we could pull it off as Wolverhampton had possibly the best gate positions but what a finale. “Jason reached the first corner ahead, but what a ride from Nicolai from gate four. He has been a revelation for us and is a class act. To have him in the team on a starting figure of 3.89 was no risk at all as he is a far better rider than that.”POOLE promoter Matt Ford is hoping recent signing Benji Compton can provide the vital additional points at reserve as the Pirates close in on a place in the play-offs to defend the Elite League title.Ford said: “I have been wanting Benji to ride for us for some time now, ever since the AGM to be honest. It was not an option then but he became available back in April and we had prepared and submitted all the paperwork in readiness to bring him into the side. All that was completed just hours before he sustained an injury and we had to put those plans on hold.“Benji has worked back to fitness and is keen to do a job for us. He has that little bit extra experience which I think is going to be crucial now that we are at the business end of the season.”SWINDON boss Alun Rossiter is calling on his team to respond quickly after their defeat at Eastbourne on Monday, with the absence of concussion victim Peter Kildemand proving costly for the Robins.Rossiter said: “Steve (Worrall) was absolutely outstanding and Dak (North) rode very well, but we carried a few too many passengers. We just weren’t quite quick enough from the gate on a lot of occasions.“We’re involved in a four-team fight for the last two places in the play-offs and we certainly need to up our game, starting by taking all three points against Eastbourne on Thursday.”WOLVERHAMPTON suffered massive frustration at Leicester on Saturday as they were edged out 47-45 despite holding a 32-21 lead with six heats to go.Manager Peter Adams said: “I can't quite believe how we haven't won that meeting. We were in complete control the momentum swung in Leicester's favour when Tom Perry packed up when leading a 5-1 in Heat 9.“But all said and done we still had chances to win this meeting and I suppose tonight just sums up our season really. We should be going home with three or four league points but we're only leaving with one. But it was a much more encouraging performance from the side tonight and we need to take some of the positives into our remaining fixtures.”

PREMIER LEAGUE LATEST…

BERWICK were convincing 59-33 home winners over Sheffield to complete a positive week which saw the Bandits move into fourth place after also winning at Redcar.Manager John Anderson said: “These lads said on Thursday at Redcar when we won that they wanted this steak of wins to run and run, but I doubt if even the most optimistic of supporters could have imagined how dominant we could be over Sheffield as we took them apart.”EDINBURGH go into a massive run of Premier League fixtures this week with their televised trip to Berwick on Tuesday being followed by three more matches in the next three days.The Monarchs travel to Somerset on Wednesday and Sheffield on Thursday before hosting Somerset on Friday – and they are then at Newcastle on Sunday!GLASGOW skipper Theo Pijper is hoping his 12-point maximum in the Tigers’ last home outing proves a sign of things to come for the remainder of the season.Pijper said: “I can beat any rider on my day, so I'm focusing on my engine and my clutch at the moment and the rest of the bike is not too important for me. It needs to be absolutely perfect. It is important how you look after your stuff.”IPSWICH kept their good run going with a 55-40 home win over Rye House to keep up the pressure in the race for the play-offs.Witches boss Brian Messenger said: “It went more or less to plan with every rider playing their part again. I believed before the meeting that we had the strength in depth to beat them and so it proved. It's always nice to have several riders eligible and deserving of a place in Heat 15.”NEWCASTLE have made a fixture change which will see Edinburgh visit Tyneside on Sunday to avoid the possibility of going a nearly a month without a home meeting.Promoter George English said: “It's a testament to our excellent relationship with the promotion at Edinburgh that we have been able to arrange this fixture shuffle, as many teams face an uphill struggle to accommodate re-staging meetings thanks to the sporadic weather we've experienced this year.”PETERBOROUGH are hopeful of having new signings in place in time for their home clash with Ipswich on August 19, with Ryan Fisher and Lewis Blackbird currently on the sidelines.Manager Carl Johnson said: “The search for new riders is ongoing and we are finally making good progress. We are currently involved in talks with riders and their parent clubs, and we hope to be in a position to make a team announcement in the next few days.“I would like to thank the fans for their patience as it is taking time for us to attract the right riders who we feel can help us to reach the play-offs and challenge for honours.PLYMOUTH return to action after three weeks of inactivity when they take on Rye House in a Premier League match at the St Boniface Arena on Friday evening.Devils co-promoter Ashley Taylor said: “We keep promising our supporters that we want to finish as high up the table as possible. We have won our last three home matches and we need to keep that run going, starting with this week’s fixture against the Rockets.”REDCAR boss Jitendra Duffill had no complaints after his side were beaten at home by Berwick for the second time in the Premier League season.Duffill told gazettelive.co.uk: “They were better out of the starts - we were consistently out-gated and obviously the track was slick because it had been a hot day so passing was at a premium. We were poor at the starts, and not for the first time this season. It’s been a bit of an Achilles’ heel for us all year.”RYE HOUSE were left frustrated by a narrow home defeat at the hands of Somerset, despite having held a ten-point lead, coming one day after a thumping defeat at the Oaktree Arena.Rockets promoter Len Silver said: “We desperately wanted to show that our new-look side is capable of beating the good teams – and we should have won the match. Unfortunately, moral victories count for nothing in this league. The whole atmosphere of the meeting seemed to change with that 8-1. Up until then, we were head and shoulders above them.”SCUNTHORPE will be going for a clean sweep of Premier League wins over Sheffield this season when the sides meet at the Eddie Wright Raceway on Friday – having won the last seven PL encounters between the clubs.Scorpions promoter Rob Godfrey said: “We’ve had the Indian sign over Sheffield in recent years, but we won’t be complacent going into Friday’s meeting. Sheffield have been recently strengthened by two new signings in Ben Wilson and Nico Covatti, plus they have a potential trump card, in Taylor Poole, at No 7.“We’ve been firing at home recently, and we need to put in another performance along the same lines to ensure we take all three points on Friday.”SHEFFIELD have joined the clubs who will honour Birmingham season tickets for the remainder of the campaign – with the Tigers having now signed former Brummies favourite Nico Covatti.Tigers management member Simon Parker said: “Being based in the West Midlands, I know how passionate the Brummies fans are about their speedway, and I was desperately sorry that the club was unable to complete the season. “Now that Sheffield have signed Nico Covatti, there will be Birmingham fans who wish to continue to support him at his new club and they will receive a very warm welcome at Owlerton.”SOMERSET face a massive week of action starting with home and away clashes with league leaders Edinburgh as the top two in the Premier League meet – and the trip to Armadale on Friday is the start of a Northern tour for the Rebels.Promoter Debbie Hancock said: “Outside of the actual play-offs, matches don’t come any bigger than this. Our boys have been excellent all year, especially at home, and have hit a good run of form which has taken us into second place, hot on the heels of the Monarchs, so the call is for all Somerset fans to get to the Oaktree Arena on Wednesday and get right behind the team for this top-of-the-table clash.”WORKINGTON are facing the unenviable prospect of trying to race almost two-thirds of their Premier League programme in the space of thirty days following their latest postponement after the remnants of Hurricane Bertha hit Britain last weekend.Comets manager Tony Jackson said: “This is no longer a fixture problem; it is a major fixture crisis. Last weekend’s rain off was our third home postponement in succession, and we have only raced one home meeting since the last weekend in June. A series of postponements, both home and away, means that we now have to race 18 league fixtures in the space of 30 days if the fixtures are to count towards play-off places. These fixtures, starting with the visit of Newcastle to Derwent Park this Saturday, are equally split between home and away matches so it promises to be a busy month ahead.“Racing on off-nights, possibly having two home fixtures in a week and the prospect of having to stage ‘double-headers’ are all options as we try to finalise the fixtures. However, should any of these fixtures also fall foul of the weather there are not many alternative dates to fit them in before the September 14 cut-off date.”

FIXTURE PICTURE…

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: Rye House v Newcastle 7.30, Somerset v Edinburgh 7.30

THURSDAY AUGUST 14:ELITE LEAGUE: King’s Lynn v Poole 7.30, Swindon v Eastbourne 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Sheffield v Edinburgh 7.30JULIE LEWIS TROPHY: Redcar 7.30

FRIDAY AUGUST 15:ELITE LEAGUE: Coventry v Eastbourne 7.30, Lakeside v Belle Vue 8pmPREMIER LEAGUE: Edinburgh v Somerset 7.30, Plymouth v Rye House 7.15, Scunthorpe v Sheffield 7.30

SATURDAY AUGUST 16:ELITE LEAGUE: Eastbourne v Coventry 7.30, Leicester v Lakeside 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Berwick v Somerset 7pm, Rye House v Ipswich 7pm, Workington v Newcastle 7pmNATIONAL LEAGUE: Stoke v Devon 7pm

SUNDAY AUGUST 17:PREMIER LEAGUE: Glasgow v Somerset 3pm, Newcastle v Edinburgh 7pmNATIONAL LEAGUE: Buxton v Kent 3pm, Mildenhall v Cradley 3.30, Mildenhall v Scunthorpe (follows previous fixture)

MODNAY AUGUST 18:ELITE LEAGUE: Belle Vue v Lakeside 7.15, Belle Vue v Eastbourne (follows previous fixture), Coventry v Swindon 7.30, Wolverhampton v Leicester 7.30NATIONAL LEAGUE: Kent v Buxton 6.30

TUESDAY AUGUST 19:PREMIER LEAGUE: Peterborough v Ipswich 7.30

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 20:ELITE LEAGUE: Poole v Leicester 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Somerset v Plymouth 7.30NATIONAL LEAGUE: King’s Lynn v Mildenhall 7.30, King’s Lynn v Scunthorpe (follows previous fixture)

THURSDAY AUGUST 21: ELITE LEAGUE: Swindon v King’s Lynn 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Ipswich v Workington 7.30, Sheffield v Redcar 7.30

FRIDAY AUGUST 22:ELITE LEAGUE: Coventry v Lakeside 7.30, King’s Lynn v Eastbourne 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Edinburgh v Berwick 7.30, Plymouth v Peterborough 7.15, Redcar v Sheffield 7.30, Somerset v Ipswich 7.30, Workington v Glasgow 7.30

SATURDAY AUGUST 23:ELITE LEAGUE: Eastbourne v Wolverhampton 7.30, Lakeside v Coventry 8pm, Leicester v Poole 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Berwick v Newcastle 7pmNATIONAL LEAGUE: Stoke v Kent 7pm

SUNDAY AUGUST 24:PREMIER LEAGUE: Glasgow v Newcastle 3pm, Rye House v Berwick 6pm, Peterborough v Somerset 2.30NATIONAL LEAGUE: Buxton v Scunthorpe 3pm, Mildenhall v Stoke 3.30

MONDAY AUGUST 25:ELITE LEAGUE: Coventry v Leicester 2pm, Leicester v Coventry 7.30, Swindon v Lakeside 7.30, Wolverhampton v Eastbourne 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Newcastle v Glasgow 6.30, Scunthorpe v Redcar 3pmNATIONAL LEAGUE: Scunthorpe v Buxton (follows PL fixture)CHALLENGE: Kent v Arena-Essex 3pm

TUESDAY AUGUST 26:PREMIER LEAGUE: Peterborough v Berwick 7.30NATIONAL LEAGUE: Cradley v King’s Lynn 7.30

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 27:ELITE LEAGUE: King’s Lynn v Swindon 7.30, Poole v Eastbourne 7.30