British Speedway Weekly Bulletin

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THE draw has been made for the British Under-21 semi-final at Mildenhall on Sunday April 5.Nine places are up for grabs as riders look to secure their place in the Final at Coventry just nine days later.The first race of the day will feature home duo Jack Kingston and Connor Mountain, along with Eastbourne’s Marc Owen and Cradley’s Luke Harris. Max Clegg, Nathan Greaves and Ben Morley, who all have Premier League team places this season, ride at Nos.5, 6 and 16 respectively.GB Youth boss Neil Vatcher said: “With nine places available to qualify for the prestigious British Under-21 Final, it’s bound to be an exciting afternoon with all 16 riders keen to get through.”DRAW: 1. Luke Harris (Cradley), 2. Marc Owen (Eastbourne), 3. Jack Kingston (Mildenhall), 4. Connor Mountain (Mildenhall), 5. Max Clegg (Edinburgh/Cradley), 6. Nathan Greaves (Workington/Cradley), 7. Danno Verge (Kent), 8. Josh Bailey (King’s Lynn Young Stars), 9. Connor Coles (Mildenhall), 10. Darryl Ritchings (Coventry Storm), 11. Tom Stokes (King’s Lynn Young Stars), 12. James Shanes (Kent), 13. Adam Kirby (Birmingham), 14. Ryan Terry-Daley (Stoke), 15. Danny Phillips (Stoke), 16. Ben Morley (Redcar/Kent). Reserves: Ryan MacDonald (Stoke) & Danyon Hume (Rye House Raiders).BRITISH UNDER-21 FINAL (Coventry, April 14) SEEDED RIDERS: Robert Lambert (TBC) (King’s Lynn/Peterborough), Kyle Howarth (Swindon/Workington), Adam Ellis (Lakeside/Birmingham), Stefan Nielsen (Belle Vue/Ipswich), Ashley Morris, Josh Bates (Wolverhampton/Sheffield), Oliver Greenwood (Peterborough).

DATES have been confirmed for the six-round 2015 Mitas British Youth Championship.The series will open up at Scunthorpe on Sunday May 10 and take in rounds at Eastbourne, Leicester, Rye House and Northside before the finale at Redcar.British Youth chief Neil Vatcher said: “The Championship seems to get bigger and better each year and we really believe that 2015 will be no different. We already have 50 kids signed up, for the first time including a female competitor which we are very excited about, as this will surely add more interest to the series.“I have been working really hard during the close season, to try and get the kids more events to ride in, and more exposure. “With thanks from some contacts of Scott Nicholls last season I have been working with Trend Creative to set up a Young Lions Website, and in the modern times of social media again this can only add to the profile of the Mitas British Youth Championship. Please visit www.younglionsspeedway.co.uk .“As always we are very grateful for the help and assistance of all the staging venues and promoters, the BSPA and of course our series sponsors, Mitas Tyres, Wessex Marine, Friends of Speedway, Nuneaton Speedway Supporters Club, PHBS Utilities, Duck Smart Cleaning Products and Trend Creative for all their support for British Youth Speedway.”2015 MITAS BRITISH YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP: Scunthorpe – Sun May 10; Eastbourne – Sat May 16; Leicester – Sun June 7; Rye House – Sun July 26; Northside – Sun Aug 30; Redcar – Sat Sept 5. TRAINING DAY: Buxton – Tues April 7. All under-16 riders with their own equipment welcome. Neil Vatcher, Gary Havelock and Stuart Robson in attendance.

BRITISH SPEEDWAY MAJOR EVENTS 2015:ELITE LEAGUE RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: JASON DOYLEBRITISH UNDER-21 FINAL: Coventry, Tuesday April 14BRITISH FINAL: Wolverhampton, Monday June 15PREMIER LEAGUE PAIRS: Somerset, Friday July 3PREMIER LEAGUE FOURS: Peterborough, Sunday August 2PREMIER LEAGUE RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: Sheffield, Sunday September 6

BRITISH UNDER-21 SEMI-FINAL: Mildenhall, Sunday April 5BRITISH SEMI-FINALS: Sheffield, Thursday May 7; King’s Lynn, Wednesday May 20

NATIONAL LEAGUE FOURS: Coventry, Sunday June 14NATIONAL LEAGUE PAIRS: King’s Lynn, Saturday September 5NATIONAL LEAGUE RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: Rye House, Saturday September 26

ELITE LEAGUE LATEST…

BELLE VUE captain Scott Nicholls is pleased with the arrival of recently-retired Australian Mark Lemon as the Aces’ new team boss this season.Nicholls said: “I think having some new blood in the team will shake things up for us, and Mark Lemon coming in as our new manager is brilliant because he can look at a meeting with a racer’s head.“He was still actively competing last season and it’s always beneficial to have a fresh set of eyes to analyse your progress, especially for the younger, less experienced riders. It’s not an easy job when you've got to concentrate on the programme but having that intuition with regards to what’s going on with the track, the riders and the meeting is crucial.”COVENTRY made a winning start to their Elite League campaign with a 50-42 home success against Wolverhampton last Friday.Bees star Danny King said: “I think we showed a lot of strength tonight, and when they pulled it back to one point we kept our cool, had a bit of a chat and it just goes to show the team we’ve got, to respond like that.“I’m really happy with the races I won, and obviously really disappointed with the two lasts, which were mistakes that I made. I’m confident the bikes are going good, so it’s just down to me to smooth things out a bit.”KING’S LYNN manager Rob Lyon was satisfied to take a home win over Poole in the second leg of the Elite Shield, even though it wasn’t enough for overall aggregate victory.Lyon said: “We managed to pull though in the end and scrape a win which is important. It would have been nice to win overall but it is not the be-all and end-all.“We had a few little problems tonight but those are good matches to get those out of the way ready for the real stuff next week.”LAKESIDE opened their Elite League season with a convincing 59-31 home win over Leicester at Purfleet.Returning Danish star Mikkel Bech scored a paid maximum from four rides whilst Edward Kennett and Andreas Jonsson both scored 11 with Kim Nilsson adding ten, as the Hammers dominated the race wins.LEICESTER newcomer Szymon Wozniak feels he can rapidly improve as a rider by racing for the Lions this season.Wozniak told Speedway Star: “I think racing in the Elite League is the way to be a better speedway rider.“I feel pretty good on the Leicester track. The starts are important, and you have to push your opponent to make him make the mistake and then take advantage.”POOLE have moved for Josh Grajczonek to cover for fellow Australian Davey Watt who is out with a foot injury after a crash in Poland over the weekend.Promoter Matt Ford said: “I am very pleased to welcome Josh back in this temporary measure and whilst we won't be able to use him on Friday evening when we are at Swindon due to his Somerset commitments, he will be in for the Good Friday morning, which opens our league campaign.“I feel so gutted for Davey as he had worked really hard to get back to full fitness after several knocks last season and I know that he is extremely frustrated with this latest situation. His injuries are, I am led to believe, pretty nasty and they will take a little time to heal and covering all that time with rider replacement and or guests wouldn't have been an ideal situation.”SWINDON boss Alun Rossiter is looking to make the final season at the Abbey Stadium a special one – with plans now firmly in place for the Robins to be in their new home nearby for 2016.Rossiter said: “We’ll definitely be in a new stadium for 2016 which is great news for everyone connected with the club. There is a tinge of sadness for someone like myself who has been around the old track for such a long time, but we have to move with the times.“It’s going to be a new era for the club, it’s going to be great for us to promote the club, get more sponsors on board and offer excellent hospitality packages. Having a new, state-of-the-art stadium is only going to improve things for the club, we’ll be able to host bigger meetings and it’s extremely exciting.”WOLVERHAMPTON promoter Chris Van Straaten took the positives from an eight-point defeat at Coventry in their Elite League opener, with veteran Peter Karlsson charging to an incredible 20-point haul.Van Straaten said: “We are obviously disappointed to come away empty handed, but there are very much positive signs for us to take out of it. When you think that Tobiasz’s (Musielak) rider replacement rides only accounted for four points and we were without Lewis Blackbird, it was a pleasing effort to go so close.“We looked at one stage in heat 15 like we might snatch a point, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be and in the end those two falls in heat 13 were costly for us.”

PREMIER LEAGUE LATEST…

BERWICK number one Ben Barker suffered broken bones in his left hand during the Bandits’ 52-38 home win over Newcastle.The 27-year-old won his opening three races before crashing out of his fourth ride to deal the Shielfield Park outfit a major blow ahead of this weekend’s League Cup clashes against rivals Glasgow.Barker has been advised it could take up to four weeks to recover from, but both he and the club are looking at an earlier return.Team Manager John Anderson said: “To have Ben crash out of the meeting was a devastating blow to us all.“We took a good win and it showed our side to have good strength from top to bottom which should get us some decent results this season.”EDINBURGH are looking to claw back a six point deficit when they host rivals Glasgow in the 2nd Leg of the Spring Trophy this Friday.The Monarchs were on the wrong end of a 36-30 scoreline when the first leg was abandoned after 11 heats on Sunday.But 2015 skipper Craig Cook believes his side can win overall and have another successful campaign.Said Cook: “We’ve got a good bunch of riders this year and it’s a pleasure to be captain – I think we can do very well again.”GLASGOW got their new era off to the best possible start by beating local rivals Edinburgh 36-30 at the new-look Peugeot Ashfield Stadium.The Tigers managed to erase last year’s defeats by the Monarchs firmly out of their memory and came away with a six point lead from the first leg of the Spring Trophy from a meeting that was affected by rain and abandoned after 11 races. Reserve James Sarjeant is already enjoying life with the Tigers. He said: “The stadium is amazing now – it’s what every track needs, a makeover.“What they’ve done here is brilliant and I just want to pay them back by scoring some points.”IPSWICH will be looking to pick up their first win of the year when they go head-to-head with Peterborough twice this Friday.The Witches host the Panthers at Foxhall on the afternoon (2pm) before travelling straight to the East of England Showground for the away fixture on the night (7.30pm).Both are League Cup meetings and after losing narrowly to Rye House in last week’s opener, the Witches will be looking to capitalise on Peterborough’s current injury problems to pick up their first maximum three points of the season.NEWCASTLE Team Manager George English says he was “satisfied” with his side’s first meeting of the 2015 season – despite suffering a 14 point defeat.The Diamonds went down 52-38 away at Berwick on Saturday in the first leg of the Tyne-Tweed Trophy.The second leg on Sunday was postponed, meaning the Diamonds now have just two warm-up meetings left, both against Workington this coming weekend, before their League Cup campaign gets underway on April 9.“I’m satisfied with what I have seen – we had a few problems with various things but that’s what these meetings are for,” said English.PETERBOROUGH Team Manager Carl Johnson described his side’s luck as “laughable” as the Panthers suffered a second successive home defeat and yet another rider injury.The Panthers went down 51-40 to Rye House in the League Cup on Friday and also lost number one Olly Allen with a serious ankle injury after a crash in heat six.This comes less than two weeks after having to change their team plans following Adam Roynon’s injuries suffered in the club’s season opener.Johnson admits it’s been a frustrating start to the season but says things need to turn around quickly.“We have to address our home form because being beaten twice at the Showground in the space of a few days is unacceptable despite the problems we’ve had,” said Johnson.“We owe it to the management who worked so hard during the winter and to our supporters to be getting results on our own track.“I’ve never experienced anything like it and hopefully it will change.”PLYMOUTH suffered a rain-off in their first meeting of the season as the Spring Classic meeting fell victim to the weather last Saturday.The Devils will hope to get their campaign going this weekend with home and away League Cup clashes against Somerset, with the St Boniface Arena opener set for Saturday.REDCAR Team Manager Jitendra Duffill admitted his side’s season got off to the worst start possible – but is refusing to panic after “just one meeting.”The Bears crashed to a 56-36 home defeat in the first leg of the A66 Trophy Challenge against Workington last Thursday.Speaking to The Gazette, Duffill said: “We got a really good beating on Thursday – it’s not nice to get beaten at home and especially to get beaten by so many.“It was a tough start but we’re not going to press the panic button just yet – it was the first meeting of the season.“There were some bright spots but certainly we’ve got a lot of work to do and we need to do a lot better than that.”RYE HOUSE continued their perfect start to the 2015 campaign with a comprehensive 54-37 victory over Somerset on Saturday night.The win meant that the Rockets have won all three of their League Cup meetings so far.Danish rider Nikolaj Busk Jakbosen dropped just one point from five rides (14) and is settling into life at Hoddesdon already.“The team spirit so far is unbelievable,” he said.“We are talking together, working together, and helping each other out whenever we can – I’m really enjoying everything about this club so far.“I’ve been able to dial into this track early on, and it suits me really well.”SCUNTHORPE Team Manager Dave Peet is remaining upbeat despite his side slipping to a heavy 57-35 defeat away at Sheffield on Thursday.It was a tough night for the Scorpions who won just three of the 15 heats in their first meeting of the season, but Peet says there were lots of positives to be taken from the defeat.“I was very encouraged by our team spirit, because it was the first time this unit of riders has rode together, he said.“It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and I’ve seen that our side has a great deal of potential.”SHEFFIELD new boy Arthur Sissis has praised his fellow riders after a comprehensive victory in their team season opener on Thursday.The Tigers romped to a 57-35 League Cup victory at Owlerton against rivals Scunthorpe.Sissis, who was making his debut, was encouraged by what he saw and believes it bodes well for the season ahead.He said: “It was a great performance from all the boys and it was a good way to start the season for us.“Everyone looked so confident and were scoring points – it’s great to have a team around me where everyone can contribute like that, so things are looking good.”SOMERSET are hopeful that Charles Wright will be back in their line-up for the Rebels’ first home League Cup meeting of the season this Friday.The 26-year-old suffered a dislocated finger during last week’s challenge meeting against Elite League Champions Poole.Promoter Debbie Hancock said: “The finger looked really bad and we feared the worse but, thankfully, it transpired that there were no broken bones and the hospital were able to put his finger back in place.“Unfortunately, it did mean that Charles had to sit out our match at Rye House the following evening, but we are very hopeful that he will be sufficiently recovered to return to the side for our weekend West Country matches against Plymouth.”WORKINGTON boss Tony Jackson praised his side after a 56-36 away win at Redcar last Thursday.The meeting took place on the night of the same day that No.1 Kenneth Hansen revealed he had a large cyst rather than testicular cancer which was first feared.Said Jackson: "Although it needs to be removed at a later date, he can now resume his career with us; which is a tremendous relief for him after what has been a very turbulent few days in his life.“Then, to go to Redcar and win by 20 points away from home capped what was a much brighter day for us all. The team rode excellently throughout and it was a great way to get dialled in to the new season.”

CITY GEARBOXES NATIONAL LEAGUE LATEST…

BIRMINGHAM skipper Tom Perry is hoping to see his side kick-off their National League campaign with a win as they welcome Stoke to Perry Barr on Friday (8pm). Said Perry: “It was a great win for us against Cradley last week, and that’s given us all a lot of confidence.“We can’t wait to finally get our National League season started against Stoke. Hopefully we'll be a bit sharper than them because it will be our third meeting and we can get off to the perfect start with a win.” BUXTON will kick-off their 2015 campaign with a challenge fixture at Scunthorpe on Monday, April 6.New Hitmen boss Jason Pipe is delighted to give his side a chance to take to the track prior to their League campaign getting underway.Pipe said: “Starting our league fixtures at the end of April this season, I thought it would give the lads a chance to blow away the cobwebs and give them some proper race practice so as not to go into our league fixtures cold.”COVENTRY Storm new boy Rob Shuttleworth is hoping to challenge for top honours in his first season with the club.Having recently taken his first laps around his new Brandon home circuit, Shuttleworth said to the Speedway Star: “It’s a brilliant opportunity for me to join Coventry and hopefully we can challenge for honours this season. It would be good to win something!“I learnt a lot about everything last year, and I’ll be doing what I can for the team. I want to score points, have some good team-riding and win matches.” CRADLEY chief Nigel Pearson was pleased to hold talks with Dudley Council leader Councillor Peter Lowe as the club continue to search for a site for their own stadium.“Councillor Lowe and I met at Dudley Council house and it was a very positive discussion,” Pearson said. “There is no doubt he understands our frustration and he has pledged to put procedures in place to exhaust every search within the Borough in what I feel is one last push to secure a suitable site.”EASTBOURNE enter a new era for the club with IT First on board as title sponsors – much to the delight of Eagles Chairman Martin Dugard.Dugard said: “This is a very valuable sponsorship for the club and we have already benefited hugely from the company’s input.“They have opened our eyes to the possibilities we have with the team and the stadium and there’s no doubt IT First has already made its mark.”KENT will celebrate the 85th anniversary of speedway in the area as Central Park hosts the Crayford Anniversary Invicta Pairs meeting on April 13.Six pairs will be in action in the event, and new Kings boss Chris Hunt believe the meeting will prove a great opportunity for his team members to get up to speed ahead of the National League campaign. “With all eight of our squad appearing in the Crayford Anniversary Invicta Pairs meeting it will represent not just a great chance for fans to celebrate the 85th. birthday of our great sport here in Kent, by seeing all of our modern day riders based here in action but will give the lads a really useful piece of early season competitive action to hone their team riding skills for the major challenges ahead.”KING’S Lynn Young Stars enter the 2015 season boosted by two new sponsorship deals. They will carry the name of “Stebbings Car Superstore” whilst “Tile Giant” have also come on board as team sponsors ahead of what promises to be an exciting National League campaign. Team manager Dale Allitt said: “This season is looking good for the Young Stars. We have a new title sponsor in Stebbings and now a new team sponsorship from Tile Giant which will go to benefit the riders.”MILDENHALL will enter their 40th anniversary season donning team kevlars in 2015.Supporters and sponsors have funded new race suits, and promoter Kevin Jolly told Speedway Star he was blown away by the response they received.Said Jolly: “I was just knocked out by the response and it’s been like this all the way through the winter. There are so many people backing us and aching for the start of the new season.” KYLE Hughes is delighted to be reviving his speedway career with the Rye House Raiders in 2015.Hughes told the Speedway Star: “I always said I wouldn’t go back into speedway unless it was at Rye House, as I was so happy here before.“It didn’t work out last time but Andrew (Silver) phoned me up and I didn’t take much pushing. Within a week or two I’d decided to come back and I’m really looking forward to it all.” STOKE skipper Jon Armstrong is backing the club to be the surprise package of the National League as they prepare to kick-off their 2015 campaign at Perry Barr on Friday.Veteran racer Armstrong said: “I’m looking forward to the season and cannot wait to get going against Birmingham. Everyone in the team is eager to get the campaign underway and I feel once we get a few meetings under our belts we could surprise a few people, as many people seem to have underestimated us.“We all had a good run out on Wednesday at the press day and everyone looked good so hopefully we can get off to a good start against Birmingham.”

FIXTURE PICTURE…

TUESDAY MARCH 31:ELITE LEAGUE: King’s Lynn v Lakeside 7.30

THURSDAY APRIL 2:LEAGUE CUP: Sheffield v Redcar 7.30

FRIDAY APRIL 3:ELITE LEAGUE: Belle Vue v Wolverhampton 12pm, Coventry v Leicester 7.30, Lakeside v King’s Lynn 1pm, Poole v Swindon 11am, Swindon v Poole 7.30LEAGUE CUP: Ipswich v Peterborough 1.45, Peterborough v Ipswich 7.30, Redcar v Sheffield 7.30, Somerset v Plymouth 7.30CITY GEARBOXES NATIONAL LEAGUE: Birmingham v Stoke 8pmNATIONAL TROPHY: Eastbourne v Kent 7.30SPRING TROPHY 2nd leg: Edinburgh v Glasgow 7.30

SATURDAY APRIL 4:ELITE LEAGUE: Leicester v Coventry 7.30LEAGUE CUP: Berwick v Glasgow 7pm, Plymouth v Somerset 7.15NATIONAL TROPHY: Rye House v Mildenhall 7pmIAN THOMAS SHIELD 1st leg: Workington v Newcastle 7pm

SUNDAY APRIL 5: BRITISH UNDER-21 SEMI-FINAL: Mildenhall 3.30LEAGUE CUP: Glasgow v Berwick 3pmIAN THOMAS SHIELD 2nd leg: Newcastle v Workington 6.30

MONDAY APRIL 6:LEAGUE CUP: Rye House v Peterborough 2pm, Scunthorpe v Sheffield 3pmNATIONAL TROPHY: Kent v Eastbourne 3pmNATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP 1st round 1st leg: Rye House v Stoke (follows LC fixture)CHALLENGE: Scunthorpe Stags v Buxton (follows LC match)

TUESDAY APRIL 7:ELITE LEAGUE: Wolverhampton v Belle Vue 7.30

WEDNESDAY APRIL 8:ELITE LEAGUE: Poole v Lakeside 7.30, King’s Lynn v Belle Vue 7.30CITY GEARBOXES NATIONAL LEAGUE: Cradley v Coventry 7.30

THURSDAY APRIL 9:ELITE LEAGUE: Swindon v Lakeside 7.30PREMIER LEAGUE: Sheffield v Plymouth 7.30LEAGUE CUP: Ipswich v Somerset 7.30, Redcar v Newcastle 7.30FRIDAY APRIL 10:ELITE LEAGUE: Coventry v Poole 7.30, Lakeside v Swindon 8pmLEAGUE CUP: Edinburgh v Workington 7.30, Plymouth v Peterborough 7.15, Somerset v Rye House 7.30

SATURDAY APRIL 11:ELITE LEAGUE: Leicester v Belle Vue 7.30LEAGUE CUP: Berwick v Edinburgh 7pm, Rye House v Plymouth 7pmRUSTY HARRISON TESTIMONIAL: Workington 7pm

SUNDAY APRIL 12:LEAGUE CUP: Glasgow v Workington 3pm, Peterborough v Plymouth 3pm, Newcastle v Sheffield 6.30NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP 1st round 1st leg: Mildenhall v King’s Lynn 3.30CHALLENGE: Buxton v Redcar Select 3pmCHAMPIONSHIP OF SUSSEX: Eastbourne 3.30

MONDAY APRIL 13:ELITE LEAGUE: Belle Vue v Leicester 7.30INVICTA PAIRS CHAMPIONSHIP: Kent 6.30

TUESDAY APRIL 14:BRITISH UNDER-21 FINAL: Coventry 7.30

WEDNESDAY APRIL 15:ELITE LEAGUE: Poole v Coventry 7.30CITY GEARBOXES NATIONAL LEAGUE: Birmingham v Rye House 7.30NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP 1st round 2nd leg: King’s Lynn v Mildenhall 7.30


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