British Speedway Weekly Bulletin

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BSPA Vice-Chairman Jon Cook believes the re-staging of the Elite League Riders’ Championship will provide a perfect prelude to the play-offs.King’s Lynn have stepped in to stage the showpiece event on Thursday September 25, after the planned season-opener was postponed back in March.And with several riders from the clubs involved in the play-offs taking part in the meeting, plus others keen to make an impression as their seasons draw to a close, a night of fast and furious action is expected at the Norfolk Arena.Home captain Rory Schlein will be going for a third title in four years, having emerged victorious at Swindon in both 2011 and 2013, and there are two riders in the line-up from each of the four play-off qualifying clubs – King’s Lynn, Poole, Coventry and Swindon.Cook said: “The race track is one the riders very much like riding on, and it was a fitting week to put it between the end of the main league campaign and the beginning of the play-offs on September 29.“King’s Lynn was the first choice when they made it known they’d like to stage the meeting.“They’ve done a great job of staging the World Cup. I’m sure any of the promotions in the Elite League would have done a similarly great job, but King’s Lynn is our choice and I’m looking forward to the event.”DRAW: 1. Bjarne Pedersen (Eastbourne), 2. Davey Watt (Lakeside), 3. Matej Zagar (Belle Vue), 4. Maciej Janowski (Poole), 5. Chris Harris (Coventry), 6. Vaclav Milik (Poole), 7. Richard Lawson (Lakeside), 8. Hans Andersen (Coventry), 9. Peter Kildemand (Swindon) 10. Scott Nicholls (Belle Vue), 11. Rory Schlein (King’s Lynn), 12. Tai Woffinden (Wolverhampton), 13. Jason Doyle (Leicester), 14. Danny King (Birmingham), 15. Troy Batchelor (Swindon), 16. Kenneth Bjerre (King’s Lynn).

RYE House have announced the line-up for the National League Riders’ Championship at Hoddesdon on Sunday September 28.The field is subject to injury amendments but includes local interest in current Rockets reserve Oliver Greenwood, who will be representing Coventry, and club asset Ben Morley in the colours of Kent.The event is sponsored once again by Paradise Wildlife Park in nearby Broxbourne. Paradise Park is operated by former rider Pete Sampson and is the home of the National Speedway Museum.QUALIFYING RIDERS: Liam Carr (Buxton), Oliver Greenwood (Coventry), James Sarjeant (Coventry), Steve Worrall (Cradley), Paul Starke (Cradley), Tim Webster (Devon), Benji Compton (Kent), Ben Morley (Kent), Lewis Rose (King’s Lynn), Joe Jacobs (Mildenhall), Danny Halsey (Mildenhall), Sam Chapman (Scunthorpe), Jon Armstrong (Stoke), Ben Hopwood (Stoke), Max Clegg (Cradley, Wildcard), Josh Bates (Mildenhall, Wildcard).

SPEEDWAYGB EVENTS SERIES 2014:ELITE LEAGUE RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: King’s Lynn, September 25BRITISH UNDER-21 FINAL: JOSH BATESBRITISH FINAL: TAI WOFFINDENPREMIER LEAGUE PAIRS: EDINBURGHPREMIER LEAGUE FOURS: SOMERSETPREMIER LEAGUE RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: Sheffield, September 21NATIONAL LEAGUE MAJOR EVENTS:NATIONAL LEAGUE PAIRS: STOKENATIONAL LEAGUE FOURS: Coventry, October 26NATIONAL 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 kept up their strong late-season run at home with two wins in one night over Eastbourne, adding five points to their total as a late Eagles fightback salvaged a point in the second meeting.Unbeaten Aces skipper Scott Nicholls said: “Eastbourne seemed a lot stronger in the second leg than they did in the first, almost as if they'd discovered the key to the track. They were definitely more on the pace but nonetheless our boys performed well and we managed to get the two wins.“Of course we didn't want that wooden spoon again, nobody does! We managed to get five of the six points on offer tonight and that means we've been able to pull ourselves further up the table and away from wooden spoon territory.”COVENTRY qualified for the Elite League play-offs with a maximum six-point haul from a double-header against Eastbourne on Friday, before being brought down to earth at home to Poole three nights later.Manager Gary Havelock said: “The track was very smooth and slick, and the Poole boys were just better out of the start than us, and our lads just couldn’t find a way past.“That’s the way it is I guess, and it’s better to have a meeting like this now than have it in the play-offs. It could be worse, we could have needed to win this to get into the play-offs.”EASTBOURNE’S play-off hopes were finally extinguished with double defeat at Coventry last Friday.The Eagles, without injured skipper Cameron Woodward and also Mikkel Michelsen, were unable to score sufficient points in their busy run of six away matches at the end of the season, finally taking minor consolation with a point from a 43-47 defeat at Belle Vue on Monday in their final fixture.LAKESIDE boss Neil Vatcher is philosophical after the Hammers finished the season short of the play-offs, despite taking five points from their two home matches against Poole in the space of five days.Vatcher told Speedway Star: “Hopefully from the supporters’ point of view they will feel we ended on the right note, it was exciting stuff right up until the end and a draw with Poole is a good result regardless.“We did our best during the season but our best proved not to be good enough.”LEICESTER have axed skipper Mads Korneliussen with just one Elite League match remaining – after the club were unhappy he had ridden abroad but missed a Lions’ fixture following a crash.Manager Norrie Allan said: “Mads had to miss his last ride after that fall (against Swindon) which was quite understandable and supported by the club. He then rode the next day for his Polish club, (but) dropped out of our fixture on Monday at Belle Vue which meant that I had to cover for his absence with a Premier League guest. I was alerted to the fact that he then rode in Sweden on Tuesday and Denmark on Wednesday. “It is never easy to part company with a rider especially when it is your captain who you look to set an example to the rest of the team, but our good wishes go with Mads and I thank him for the part he has played at Leicester.”KING’S LYNN skipper Rory Schlein admits the injury putting No.1 Niels-Kristian Iversen out for the rest of the season is a major blow to the club.Schlein told Speedway Star: “Niels is one of the top riders in the world. You lose him and you lose that bit extra, especially away from home.“He’s a key part of our team. You’re able to rely on him getting about a dozen points a meeting. We’ve just got to get as many points as we can until the end of the season and then we’ll see who Rob Lyon and Buster Chapman bring in for the play-offs as a guest.”POOLE kept alive their hopes of finishing top of the Elite League table with an impressive 50-40 win at Coventry on Monday – despite being without three of their regular top five riders.Promoter Matt Ford said: “I think Magic (Janowski) showed why he has that nickname. He was in awesome form and was only beaten by Kenneth Hansen all evening, but I was also equally impressed with the contributions of Dak North and Richard Lawson. Both began a little slowly but came up with some big points when it mattered.“With Kyle (Newman) continuing his rich vein of form and Josh (Grajczonek) winning for fun after his opening third place this was a performance to be proud of.”SWINDON have announced plans to end the season with the Bob Kilby Memorial meeting on Thursday October 23 – to be run as a team event on the traditional 13-heat format with a ‘rider of the night’ second half.Co-promoter Alun Rossiter said: “The old 13-heat race format is still held in high regard by many supporters – remember the old saying, ‘Happiness is 40-38’!“I’m sure we will see a good night of racing and a competitive battle for the rider of the night award afterwards. I’m looking forward to it.”WOLVERHAMPTON stand-in skipper Peter Karlsson admits the clubs’ fortunes this season have mirrored his own.Karlsson said: “I guess it hasn’t been Wolves’ year, and it hasn’t been my year in England either, that’s for sure.“We have to just try and put in a good performance at Coventry in our last meeting to make sure we go into the winter on a high. Then we need to regroup and focus on trying to get back on track and back winning again next year.”

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BERWICK are awaiting further news on Steen Jensen, who has been signed off for two weeks after suffering groin damage in a crash at Scunthorpe last week - despite racing on at Shielfield Park on Saturday.Co-owner George Hepburn said: “Steen was trying to race on through the pain barrier, but all the while toxins were leaking into his system from the internal injuries, reflecting in what had been thought to be 'flu, or a similar virus.“With the cause of his discomfort now realised and medical procedures taken to restore him to fitness, we have to hope he can make a recovery every bit as speedy as his form on track.”EDINBURGH confirmed top spot in the Premier League ahead of the play-offs with a maximum 13-point haul in a hectic weekend schedule of four matches in three days, ending with an emphatic away win at Scottish rivals Glasgow.Monarchs boss Alex Harkess said: “I felt we had it under control after four races. We had so many potential race winners. I'm pleased the weekend is over - 60 races in three days is not to be repeated.”GLASGOW boss Stewart Dickson had no complaints after seeing the Tigers beaten at home by Edinburgh with the weekend results finally extinguishing their outside play-off hopes.Dickson said: “I had one or two of my riders saying it was a wee bit slicker than normal which I don't disagree with - but I don't know if it would have made much difference.“They were just leaving us for dead out the start and when they didn't, they seemed to go by us as well. There were a couple of battling performances from our guys but unfortunately it wasn't good enough - end of story.”IPSWICH are on the verge of a place in the Premier League KO Cup Final after a thumping 65-25 home win over Plymouth in the first leg of their semi last week.Witches boss Brian Messenger said: “What can I say, they were all superb and this should be more than enough to see us through over two legs. We only lost by twelve down there last week and that was without Gino (Manzares) and both our reserves having an off night.”NEWCASTLE have turned their attention to the Knockout Cup after missing out on the Premier League play-offs, and a Ludvig Lindgren paid maximum helped the Diamonds build up a 16-point lead to take to Glasgow for the second leg of their quarter-final.Manager George English said: “That was a hard-fought match and the lads rose so well to the occasion in the latter half of the meeting to give us a fighting chance to make that semi-final with Edinburgh, although we're going to try and win up at Glasgow too and take the rest as it comes.”PETERBOROUGH finished agonisingly short of a Premier League play-off place after wrapping up their campaign with a 49-40 win over Rye House at the Showground.Manager Carl Johnson said: “We had guys missing, but Ulrich (Ostergaard) was again terrific and the two guests both came in and did very good jobs. It was important to put in a good performance and get the right result for the supporters.”PLYMOUTH will still be without injured No.1 Ben Barker for their final two matches of the regular Premier League campaign as they take on Sheffield home and away this week.Manager Lee Trigger said: “Once it became clear that we could not achieve a top six finish to qualify for the play-offs, we remained determined to finish as high as possible in the table. Our run of eight successive home victories has kept us on course for that target and we will be looking to round off our league campaign on a successful note against Sheffield.”REDCAR completed their team season with a 37-59 defeat at Edinburgh on Friday, meaning the Bears could drop out of the top ten in the final table depending on results elsewhere, whilst the season draws to a close with the staging of the Teesside Silver Helmet on Thursday.RYE HOUSE No.1 Edward Kennett picked up the club’s Rider of the Year award as the team racing season at Hoddesdon came to an end last weekend.Kennett said: “First of all, I think back to the beginning of March when we went to Peterborough and got a win, and I was like, ‘Wow, we’ve got a team’, but it came apart from there. We all give 110 per cent, and it’s just that sometimes it doesn’t work out. I would love to come back to Rye House next year if Len (Silver) has me back.”SCUNTHORPE promoter Rob Godfrey is optimistic of his side’s chances of success in the Premier League play-offs, with the Scorpions pitched in with Somerset and Ipswich in their group.Godfrey sad: “All three teams start equal in our play-off group, and any of the three teams could progress. I’ve had the belief all season that this team is capable of producing when it matters most. I believe we can do it, and I think that belief is spreading. We want to be in the final, and we want to win that final.”SHEFFIELD co-promoter Damien Bates is hoping Tigers skipper Simon Stead can make it a double individual success for the club in the Premier League Riders’ Championship on Sunday – following the British Under-21 win for Josh Bates back in April.He said: “It would be wonderful if Steady could win the PLRC and make it a double for Sheffield. He’s been in brilliant form around Owlerton. We’ve had Sean Wilson, Andre Compton and Ricky Ashworth winning the meeting as Sheffield riders in the past – and nothing would please us more if Steady could add his name to that list.”SOMERSET promoter Debbie Hancock says her side have achieved the initial target set for the season, of reaching the play-offs – but now they want to go one step further and retain the league title.She said: “It would be quite something if we do qualify through to the Grand Final as it would mean that we will have been in the Final in each of the three seasons that the current format of the play-offs have been in existence, which is not bad going for a little 'country club' like ours!”WORKINGTON maintained their record of reaching every Premier League play-off competition so far but left it very late to book their place in this year’s contest. The Comets took four points from their two home matches with Sheffield at Derwent Park in their last two fixtures before the cut-off date – bringing to an end an incredible ‘thirteen matches in sixteen days’ spell for the Comets.Afterwards, a relieved team manager Tony Jackson said: “Before these matches got underway we knew that four points from them would do it, but in the end it was a bit too close for comfort; although, at the end of the day no-one remembers how you got there, just that you were in them.“Each of the two matches went to the very last race and one race point less in either fixture would have put us in trouble. Having won the first match by seven points we knew that a draw would be enough in the second match to reach the play-offs. Going into the last race we just needed a finisher to get that and I told our riders to run round if they had to as long as one of them finished!”FIXTURE PICTURE…

TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 16:ELITE LEAGUE: King’s Lynn v Lakeside 7.30

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 17:ELITE LEAGUE: Leicester v Poole 7.30NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP 1st leg: King’s Lynn v Stoke 7.30

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 18:PREMIER LEAGUE: Sheffield v Plymouth 7.30TEESSIDE SILVER HELMET: Redcar 7.30

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 19:PREMIER LEAGUE PLAY-OFF: Edinburgh v Berwick 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Plymouth v Sheffield 7.15

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 20:PREMIER LEAGUE PLAY-OFFS: Berwick v Edinburgh 7pmNATIONAL TROPHY FINAL 1st leg: Stoke v Mildenhall 7pmSUNDAY SEPTEMBER 21:PREMIER LEAGUE RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: Sheffield 5pmNATIONAL TROPHY FINAL 2nd leg: Mildenhall v Stoke 3.30

MONDAY SEPTEMBER 22:ELITE LEAGUE: Belle Vue v Coventry 7pm, Belle Vue v King’s Lynn (follows previous fixture)NATIONAL LEAGUE PLAY-OFF S/F 1st leg: Kent v Coventry 6.30

TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 23:NATIONAL LEAGUE PLAY-OFF S/F 1st leg: Cradley v Mildenhall 7.30

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 25:ELITE LEAGUE RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: King’s Lynn 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE PLAY-OFFS: Ipswich v Scunthorpe 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Sheffield v Edinburgh 7.30

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 26:ELITE LEAGUE: Coventry v Wolverhampton 7pmPREMIER LEAGUE PLAY-OFFS: Edinburgh v Workington 7.30, Scunthorpe v Somerset 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE KO CUP S/F 2nd leg: Plymouth v Ipswich 7.15NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP S/F 2nd leg: Coventry v Cradley (follows EL fixture)

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 27:PREMIER LEAGUE PLAY-OFFS: Workington v Edinburgh 7pmNATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP S/F 2nd leg: Stoke v King’s Lynn 7pm

SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 28:NATIONAL RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: Rye House 2pmPREMIER LEAGUE KO CUP S/F 2nd leg: Glasgow v Newcastle 3pm

MONDAY SEPTEMBER 29:ELITE LEAGUE PLAY-OFF S/F 1st leg: TBC v TBC 7.30, TBC v TBC 7.30

WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 1:PREMIER LEAGUE PLAY-OFFS: Somerset v Scunthorpe 7.30


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