PIC OF THE WEEK...
Newcastle’s Ludvig Lindgren on his way to an excellent 17+1 in Sunday’s 45-45 Championship draw against Ipswich at Brough Park.
Picture: STEVE BROCK
Latest soundbytes and fixtures from around the tracks up and down the country.
“Wolverhampton are a tough outfit. They’ve started the season well but are a team who haven’t always excelled at our track and I don’t think we expected to come away with such a big win. But we’re far from resting on our laurels. We know they are quite capable of turning things around on their home track so we need to be prepared for anything when we go down there.”
Aces boss Mark Lemon is taking nothing for granted ahead of the second leg of their KO Cup tie with Wolves, despite racking up a 24-point lead at home.
NEXT HOME: Swindon, Mon May 14 (12pm)
NEXT AWAY: Somerset, Wed May 23 (7.30)
“The boys dug deep and we’d have probably taken the result, given the circumstances, it’s all to play for and I’m over the moon with their dedication on a difficult night. We’ll bounce back, we’ve won both of our home meetings by more than six points so the challenge for us is to do it again.”
Stars boss Dale Allitt praised his side’s efforts as they held Leicester to a six-point margin in the first leg of their KO Cup tie despite being without skipper Robert Lambert with no facility to replace him.
NEXT HOME: Leicester (KOC), Wed May 16 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Belle Vue, Mon May 21 (7.30)
“We didn’t cover Danny’s rides as well as we would have liked and struggled a little bit at reserve, too, so there’s things we need to work on. It was difficult for Ricky (Wells) to come in and ride a track that he isn’t used to, he’s stepped in and did as well as he could. We needed more and probably would have got it with Danny.”
Lions boss Simon Stead was left to rue the injury absence of skipper Danny King from Monday’s KO Cup tie with King’s Lynn when the home side managed to build just a six-point lead.
NEXT HOME: British Semi-Final, Tues May 15 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: King’s Lynn (KOC), Wed May 16 (7.30)
“We’ve had a very slow start to the season and none of us can deny that. We started off okay with the win over Belle Vue but since then things haven’t gone too well at all. The Swindon loss at home was probably the big shock for everyone.”
Pirates captain Josh Grajczonek reflects on a tough start to the season which has seen the bookies’ favourites for the title propping up the Premiership table.
NEXT HOME: Premiership Riders’ Championship, Wed May 9 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Rye House, Mon May 14 (7.30)
“Obviously, I’m really pleased. I haven’t had a maximum for a little while, and to do that against a class team like Somerset, with the reigning World Champion in there, was extra special. It was very much a team effort, and I am very much a team man, but on a personal, selfish level, yes, I am delighted to get a maximum!”
Delight for Scott Nicholls with a five-ride paid maximum as the Rockets got the better of Somerset at Hoddesdon on Bank Holiday Monday.
HOME: Poole, Mon May 14 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Poole, Wed May 16 (7.30)
“We knew it would be a fairly even meeting and it proved to be but getting the meeting to a last heat decider and then losing out is always a disappointment.”
The Rebels picked up a point from their Bank Holiday trip to Somerset but boss Garry May was left feeling it could have been more.
NEXT HOME: Swindon, Wed May 16 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Wolverhampton, Mon May 14 (7.30)
“The other guys will help the reserves, and that’s what this team is all about. There’s good banter between them, and it’s a happy camp. There’s still a long way to go. Last year we had about three points on the board after nine meetings, but I’d much rather be in the position we’re in now!”
Robins boss Alun Rossiter saw his side go back to the top of the table with their Bank Holiday win over Poole, in stark contrast to their form of this time last year.
NEXT HOME: Wolverhampton, Thur May 17 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Belle Vue, Mon May 14 (7.30)
“This is our first real setback of the season results wise though so we've just got to keep our chins up, get back to winning ways in the league next week and then do what they've done to us when they come to our place next month.”
A 33-57 defeat at Belle Vue on Monday has put Wolves’ KO Cup hopes in jeopardy, but Australian star Sam Masters remains in positive mood.
NEXT HOME: Somerset, Mon May 14 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Swindon, Thur May 17 (7.30)
“Dany is settling into his new higher team position well and has sharpened up his gating to another level and top scored for the second match running.”
The move into the top five has not slowed down the scoring of former Bandits reserve Dany Gappamaier, which is good news for manager Scott Courtney after the weekend draws with Workington.
NEXT HOME: Ipswich, Sat May 12 (7pm)
NEXT AWAY: Ipswich, Thur May 24 (7.30)
“I feel I had a lot better starts to start with. I felt more confident on the bike. I'm really happy we managed to win today.”
Winter signing Joel Andersson is feeling more comfortable at Armadale having contributed paid-seven in the Monarchs’ home win over Peterborough.
NEXT HOME: Harrisons Scottish Open, Fri May 11 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Peterborough, Sun May 13 (5pm)
“I got paid 14 and after the few weeks we've had, I'll take that. We're getting there slowly. I changed a few things from when I was here. It's still not quite right, but we're moving in the right direction.”
A welcome boost for Tigers captain Chris Harris, who dropped his only point in the last race of their win over Sheffield at Ashfield.
NEXT HOME: Workington (CS), Sun May 13 (4pm)
NEXT AWAY: Redcar, Thur May 17 (7.30)
“Cam (Heeps) got three wins and it was a battling performance, and he was thinking well and has made a lot of improvements the last couple of weeks. A lot of things are heading in the right direction. Rory (Schlein) was great and handled the pressure and had to make a smart first turn in the final heat to make sure we got the draw.”
Reasons to be cheerful for Witches promoter Chris Louis with a 45-45 draw at Newcastle despite an unenviable injury list at present.
NEXT HOME: British Under-19 Final, Thur May 17 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Berwick, Sat May 12 (7pm)
“Everyone pulled their weight which is what you need. You have to feel a bit for Ipswich, because losing your No.1 in the first race to such a big crash was always going to leave them up against it. They were already using rider replacement as well, so it was very unlucky on their part and we obviously wish Danny King all the best for a speedy recovery.”
Hammers boss Will Pottinger had sympathy with his team’s opponents after effectively ensuring KO Cup progress with a 54-35 win at Ipswich last Thursday.
NEXT HOME: Edinburgh, Sat May 19 (7.45)
NEXT AWAY: Redcar, Thur May 24 (7.30)
“What a match! Brilliant speedway as well going right down to that last heat with our skipper on a new engine absolutely superb with some excellent racing for his paid 18 points which were very well deserved.”
Diamonds boss George English praised captain Ludvig Lindgren for his 17+1 score in the dramatic 45-45 draw with Ipswich.
NEXT HOME: Redcar, Sun May 27 (6.30)
NEXT AWAY: Scunthorpe (CS), Fri May 11 (7.30)
“To take two points from Sheffield and one from Edinburgh is still an excellent two nights’ work. Not many teams will come to these places and get points, and these points on the board for us all help. That’s what we want to do in every away meeting.”
A positive week on the road for the Panthers and promoter Ged Rathbone, with a draw at Sheffield followed up by a further point gained from a narrow defeat at Edinburgh.
NEXT HOME: Workington, Fri May 11 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Glasgow, Fri June 8 (7.30)
“It was an embarrassing defeat, I’m far from happy with the riders inconsistency and we simply are not providing enough race winners. We will look at all our options over the next few weeks and see where we might improve all aspects of our performances both on and off track.”
Bears boss Kevin Keay was left fuming after a heavy home defeat to Scunthorpe – and it got no better 24 hours later as the Scorpions racked up a 65-25 win in the return fixture.
NEXT HOME: Julie Lewis Memorial, Thur May 10 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Newcastle, Sun May 27 (6.30)
“It was a really good team performance. We scored 65 tonight, while I think an ever bigger performance was scoring 54 on an away track (at Redcar). It’s given us all a boost and we can take that forward into next week’s meeting at Scunthorpe against Newcastle, where we can claim a place in the final stages of the Championship Shield.”
A superb week’s work for the Scorpions in both league and Championship Shield, with Stefan Nielsen playing a starring role despite a crash at Redcar.
NEXT HOME: Newcastle (CS), Fri May 11 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Workington, Sat May 19 (7pm)
“You can see the problem, we only got three points from Kyle’s rider replacement rides and he’s good for at least 12 or 15 round here. The boys battled really hard and showed a lot of spirit to stay in the match but in the end we ran out of steam.”
The Tigers raced at Glasgow without captain Kyle Howarth and boss Simon Stead admitted they had struggled to cope with the loss of their No.1 as they fell to defeat at Ashfield.
NEXT HOME: British Semi-Final, Thur May 10 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Berwick, Sat May 19 (7pm)
“From our own point of view we can take heart from how we fought back after falling behind in each match to get a draw, however we showed too much inconsistency in each fixture. Hopefully, when we get a few more matches under our belts, some of that can be eradicated.”
Two draws in two nights for the Comets against Berwick in the Championship Shield, with boss Tony Jackson hoping they can quickly find the key to consistency.
NEXT HOME: Scunthorpe, Sat May 19 (7pm)
NEXT AWAY: Peterborough, Fri May 11 (7.30)
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE SOUNDBYTES…
BELLE VUE COLTS
“It was tough for Stoke losing Paul Burnett at the eleventh hour but we had to take advantage of their misfortunes as they did ours, but in the end our lads dug deep and pulled off a great win.”
The Colts won 50-37 at Stoke last weekend to the delight of co-boss Steve Williams, with seven points from two matches giving their title defence a major boost.
NEXT HOME: Eastbourne, Fri May 25 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Plymouth, Fri May 18 (7.15)
“We're two teams who are built very similarly with a strong top three and then plenty of room for improvement with the potential lower down the team. We've both got some hugely talented, exciting riders as well and that's why I think it could be one of the meetings of the season.”
Brummies promoter David Mason expects a thrilling KO Cup clash with Mildenhall with two of this season’s favourites drawn together at the quarter-final stage.
NEXT HOME: Mildenhall (KOC), Wed May 9 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Coventry (NT), Sun May 27 (3pm)
“We are missing David Wallinger big-time. We knew it was always going to be hard covering for him and the youngsters are doing their very best and are coming on with each meeting, but they are always going to struggle to cover such an experienced rider as he is.”
Hitmen No.1 Ben Wilson reflects on a tough run for the Hitmen, with Connor Coles now joining Wallinger on the injury list at Hi-Edge.
NEXT HOME: Cradley (NT), Sun May 27 (3pm)
NEXT AWAY: Mildenhall, Sun May 13 (3pm)
“All of the lads rode really well, everybody chipped in, and this is a difficult place to come – it is quite a tricky track. But it was a convincing win for us. I go okay around here and Luke Ruddick rode really well – they all did, so the team is shaping up quite nicely.”
Bees captain Jon Armstrong praised the all-round team effort in Sunday’s 59-31 win at Buxton which took them to the top of their National League group.
NEXT HOME: Eastbourne (KOC), Sun May 13 (3pm)
NEXT AWAY: Isle of Wight, Thur May 10 (7pm)
“Little Jason (Edwards) did well, Brooksie [Charlie Brooks] had a good one. Kelsey (Dugard) put in some decent performances tonight. Those boys are a vital part of our team. We are getting them going which is the main thing we want to do. We are on the up at the minute.”
Eagles No.1 Mark Baseby says it will be a team effort for the club to enjoy success this season, with impressive home form maintained against the Isle of Wight last weekend.
NEXT HOME: Kent (NT), Sat May 12 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Coventry (KOC), Sun May 13 (3pm)
ISLE OF WIGHT
“This incentive is very similar to ‘bring my class’ and is really just an extension of that. I hope that fans will use this opportunity to introduce their friends and families to the Warrior Way and the Thursday night fun we have using the ‘My mate needs to see this’ idea.”
Warriors promoter Barry Bishop explains the new scheme whereby current fans can introduce their friends to speedway on the Island.
NEXT HOME: Coventry, Thur May 10 (7pm)
NEXT AWAY: Birmingham, Wed May 23 (7.30)
The Kings suffered a heavy defeat at Mildenhall in the National Trophy but bounced back to defeat Buxton 58-31 in a home league match despite losing reserve Jacob Clouting with a foot injury in Heat 2.
NEXT HOME: Plymouth (NT), Mon May 14 (6.30)
NEXT AWAY: Eastbourne (NT), Sat May 12 (7.30)
“The start of today’s meeting was not what we wanted, and I would like to apologise to everybody for the delay which was unacceptable. Once we finally got going I think the fans saw some excellent speedway especially from our No.1 Josh Bailey who will excite supporters wherever he goes with his ability to pass riders inside or outside.”
Problems with the starting gate at West Row on Sunday were the Fen Tigers’ only issues in a remarkable series of three high-scoring displays both at home and away in the National Trophy.
NEXT HOME: Buxton, Sun May 13 (3pm)
NEXT AWAY: Birmingham (KOC), Wed May 9 (7.30)
The Devils suffered a heavy 29-61 home defeat to Mildenhall in the National Trophy. They are next in action when they visit Kent on Monday.
NEXT HOME: Belle Vue, Fri May 18 (7.15)
NEXT AWAY: Kent (NT), Mon May 14 (6.30)
“I cannot fault the effort of the lads, and we battled really hard especially in the opening six races before they started to pull away from us in the second half of the meeting. Again we had some falls and a few decisions go against us, but we have to put this behind us and do better in the return on Saturday night.”
Potters boss Adam Isherwood was left to reflect on a recurring story of points being thrown away with his side being beaten both at home by Belle Vue and then at Cradley on Bank Holiday Monday.
NEXT HOME: Cradley (NT), Sat May 12 (7pm)
NEXT AWAY: Birmingham (NT), Wed May 16 (7.30)
MAJOR EVENTS LATEST…
ROBERT Lambert is now a double British Under-21 Champion after retaining the title at Berwick.
And the GB ace, who went through the card at Shielfield Park with six wins out of six, is now targeting a renewed challenge for honours on the World stage.
Lambert said: “We started off good and strong and it was flawless, I made six great starts and couldn’t ask for much more. I didn’t make a mistake on the track.
“I’m obviously over the moon and it’s something else to add to my CV.
“The World Under-21 is now on the cards. Last year I didn’t do as well as I expected. This year is obviously when I want to get on the rostrum like I did the first season.
“We’ve got a lot of big international meetings coming up and GP qualifiers. Obviously with GB it would be great to be part of the Speedway of Nations, it would be an awesome experience.”
Lambert was joined on the rostrum at Berwick by Connor Mountain and Nathan Greaves – whilst Dan Bewley sailed through the qualifying heats with 14 points, beaten only by Lambert, but missed out in the Final.
*THE draw has been made for the British Under-19 Final at Ipswich on Thursday May 17.
A new champion will be crowned as last year’s winner Zach Wajtknecht is now ineligible, and GB Youth boss Neil Vatcher believes the talent on show in that age bracket is the best for years.
He said: “The talent of the Under-19s is at its highest level and there will be many riders disappointed not to make the draw.
“Last year’s rostrum finishers Dan Bewley and Kyle Bickley are amongst the favourites alongside British U21 semi-final winner Jack Thomas.
“Mildenhall have three representatives in the competition with Jordan Jenkins, Sam Bebee and Drew Kemp. Along with Kemp, Jason Edwards and Leon Flint will be two other 15-year-olds competing for the U19 Championship.
“I would like to thank the Ipswich promotion for agreeing to host this event.”
BRITISH U19 FINAL DRAW: 1 Jamie Halder (Coventry), 2 Joe Lawlor (Belle Vue), 3 Dan Bewley (Belle Vue/Workington), 4 Ben Woodhull (Belle Vue), 5 Sam Bebee (Mildenhall), 6 Taylor Hampshire (Kent), 7 Jordan Jenkins (Mildenhall), 8 Charlie Brooks (Eastbourne), 9 Tom Brennan (Eastbourne), 10 Anders Rowe (Kent), 11 Jack Thomas (Glasgow/Kent), 12 Jason Edwards (Eastbourne), 13 Kyle Bickley (Workington/Belle Vue), 14 Alex Spooner (Kent), 15 Drew Kemp (Mildenhall), 16 Leon Flint (Birmingham). Reserves: Matt Marson (Mildenhall) and William O’Keefe (Stoke).
BRITISH SPEEDWAY MAJOR EVENTS 2018
PREMIERSHIP RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: Poole, May 9
BRITISH FINAL: Belle Vue, June 11
CHAMPIONSHIP FOURS: Redcar, July 1
CHAMPIONSHIP PAIRS: Somerset, July 20
CHAMPIONSHIP RIDERS’ INDIVIDUAL: Sheffield, September 2
PREMIERSHIP PAIRS: TBC
OTHER NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP DATES
BRITISH UNDER-21 SEMI-FINALS: ZACH WAJTKNECHT; JACK THOMAS
BRITISH UNDER-21 FINAL: ROBERT LAMBERT
BRITISH UNDER-19 FINAL: Ipswich, May 17
BRITISH SEMI-FINALS: Sheffield, May 10; Leicester, May 15
NATIONAL LEAGUE EVENTS
NATIONAL LEAGUE FOURS: Coventry, June 24
NATIONAL LEAGUE RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: Leicester, September 23
WEDNESDAY MAY 9:
PREMIERSHIP RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: Poole 7.30
NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP Q/F 1st leg: Birmingham v Mildenhall 7.30
THURSDAY MAY 10:
BRITISH SEMI-FINAL: Sheffield 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Isle of Wight v Coventry 7pm
JULIE LEWIS MEMORIAL: Redcar 7.30
FRIDAY MAY 11:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Peterborough v Workington 7.30
CHAMPIONSHIP SHIELD: Scunthorpe v Newcastle 7.30
HARRISONS SCOTTISH OPEN: Edinburgh 7.30
SATURDAY MAY 12:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Berwick v Ipswich 7pm
NATIONAL TROPHY: Stoke v Cradley 7pm, Eastbourne v Kent 7.30
BRITISH YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP: Redcar 2pm
SUNDAY MAY 13:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Peterborough v Edinburgh 5pm
CHAMPIONSHIP SHIELD: Glasgow v Workington 4pm
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Mildenhall v Buxton 3pm
NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP: Coventry v Eastbourne 3pm
MONDAY MAY 14:
PREMIERSHIP: Belle Vue v Swindon 7.30, Rye House v Poole 7.30, Wolverhampton v Somerset 7.30
NATIONAL TROPHY: Kent v Plymouth 6.30
TUESDAY MAY 15:
BRITISH SEMI-FINAL: Leicester 7.30
WEDNESDAY MAY 16:
PREMIERSHIP: Poole v Rye House 7.30, Somerset v Swindon 7.30
PREMIERSHIP KO CUP Q/F 2nd leg: King’s Lynn v Leicester 7.30
NATIONAL TROPHY: Birmingham v Stoke 7.30
THURSDAY MAY 17:
BRITISH UNDER-19 FINAL: Ipswich 7.30
PREMIERSHIP: Swindon v Wolverhampton 7.30
CHAMPIONSHIP: Redcar v Glasgow 7.30
VINCE MAPLEY MEMORIAL TROPHY: Isle of Wight 7pm
FRIDAY MAY 18:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Glasgow v Redcar 7.30, Scunthorpe v Workington 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Plymouth v Belle Vue 7.15
SATURDAY MAY 19:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Berwick v Sheffield 7pm, Lakeside v Edinburgh 7.45, Peterborough v Newcastle 7pm, Workington v Scunthorpe 7pm
NATIONAL TROPHY: Stoke v Buxton 7pm
SUNDAY MAY 20:
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Coventry v Isle of Wight 3pm
NATIONAL TROPHY: Buxton v Stoke 3pm, Mildenhall v Eastbourne 3pm
MONDAY MAY 21:
PREMIERSHIP: Belle Vue v King’s Lynn 7.30, Leicester v Wolverhampton 7.30
PREMIERSHIP KO CUP Q/F 1st leg: Swindon v Rye House 7.30
NATIONAL TROPHY: Cradley v Coventry 7.30, Kent v Mildenhall 6.30
WEDNESDAY MAY 23:
PREMIERSHIP: Poole v Wolverhampton 7.30, Somerset v Belle Vue 7.30
PREMIERSHIP KO CUP Q/F 2nd leg: Rye House v Swindon 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Birmingham v Isle of Wight 7.30