PIC OF THE WEEK...
Teenage sensation Drew Kemp (blue) became only the third rider in Mildenhall history to record a seven-ride maximum in the Fen Tigers’ 59-31 National Trophy win on Sunday against Eastbourne.
Picture: DEREK LEADER
“Credit has to be given to King’s Lynn also. They’re a strong team and they came here looking to capitalize. We’re disappointed to have lost but what’s done is done. We move onto the next one.”
Aces boss Mark Lemon vows to park the disappointment of losing their unbeaten home record, with rider absences a factor in defeat to the Stars on Monday.
NEXT HOME: Leicester, Mon May 28 (12pm)
NEXT AWAY: Somerset, Wed May 23 (7.30)
“We’ve only lost by a few away from home so far this season and this is a big win. It’s not a statement in my mind, statements are only made at the end of the season.”
Stars boss Dale Allitt was pleased to see his side continue to confound the pre-season predictions with their win at Belle Vue – but is waiting for the final outcome before making full judgement!
NEXT HOME: Somerset, Wed May 30 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Rye House, Mon May 28 (7.30)
“Being without Hans (Andersen) and Danny (King) we covered well. The guests came in and did a good job and they deserved their run-out in Heat 15. I think we were unfortunate to let Wolves leave with a point and I think their 5-1 in Heat 15 flattered them in the end.”
Lions manager Simon Stead saw his side overcome the absence of two of their top three to get the better of Wolves in Monday’s Midlands derby.
NEXT HOME: Belle Vue, Mon May 28 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Belle Vue, Mon May 28 (12pm)
“Richie's return is great news. He performed superbly on our home track last year when stepping in and I'm sure he will do the same again if his performance away at Rye House is anything to go by.”
Pirates promoter Matt Ford is pleased to have recent signing Richie Worrall available once more for the clashes with Wolverhampton following a brief injury absence.
NEXT HOME: Wolverhampton, Mon May 23 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Wolverhampton, Mon May 28 (7.30)
“It didn’t help that Bomber (Chris Harris) and Scott (Nicholls) were involved in a high speed crash in Heat 13. Scott is OK, but Bomber has a light swelling in his elbow, although he’s not in pain. He also had his bike totally mangled – and he was on a brand new bike – so to say he is unhappy at the moment is a major understatement.”
Rockets boss Peter Schoeck reflects on a bad night at the office with his side defeated 59-31 at Swindon in the first leg of their KO Cup tie.
HOME: Swindon (KOC), Wed May 23 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Swindon, Thur June 14 (7.30)
“Jonas (Jeppesen) is hoping to get his cast off on Wednesday when he goes for another scan on his broken hand and Bradley (Wilson-Dean) has a fair bit of stiffness in his neck and needs time off the bike but he should be back for our Bank Holiday visit to Swindon on Monday.”
Rebels boss Garry May has been hit by injuries to both regular reserves, with Bradley Wilson crashing out of his World Championship qualifier last weekend.
NEXT HOME: Belle Vue, Wed May 23 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Swindon, Mon May 28 (7.30)
“We’ve come off the back of the two losses, which were tough meetings and everybody wants to beat us, and we’ve hit back well after that. We had a good chat last week and put in a great performance against Wolverhampton, and now this was another very good one tonight.”
A good response from Alun Rossiter’s Robins with two convincing home wins after defeats at Belle Vue and Somerset.
NEXT HOME: Somerset, Mon May 28 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Rye House (KOC), Wed May 23 (7.30)
“On our away travels we haven’t had a lot of luck and there’s always been somebody not firing. So when they all start firing at the same time, I think we’ll deal with most teams in this league no matter where we go.”
Consistency is the key for Wolves boss Peter Adams, whose side notched a league point at Leicester on Monday after missing out at Swindon four nights earlier.
NEXT HOME: Poole, Mon May 28 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Poole, Wed May 23 (7.30)
“What a brilliant night for David Howe. Last week he was at rock bottom and he has bounced back better than anyone could ever have done. We as a club are so, so proud of his achievement tonight, and Jye (Etheridge) got his first ever paid maximum in his British career which was great to witness.”
Two maximum men for Bandits boss Scott Courtney to hail in last weekend’s home win over reigning champions Sheffield.
NEXT HOME: Newcastle, Sat June 2 (7pm)
NEXT AWAY: Ipswich, Thur May 24 (7.30)
“As one of my good friends and sponsors said to me, I'm 26 this year and I've raced competitively since I was six years old. So it's been non-stop for twenty years and it's just got on top of me. It doesn't matter how hard I try, nothing's going right at the moment.”
Monarchs reserve Matt Williamson explains his shock decision to take time out of the sport with immediate effect.
NEXT HOME: Glasgow (KOC), Fri May 25 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Glasgow (KOC), Sun May 27 (3pm)
“The one with Richie was great with him sitting behind me and guiding me over the line. It got a bit loose but it's getting used to riding big tracks like this. I feel confident - today has been a big confidence booster.”
A career-best 8+2 score in the Championship for Tigers youngster Jack Thomas, who paid tribute to his team-mate Richie Worrall after the home win over Redcar.
NEXT HOME: Edinburgh (KOC), Sun May 27 (3pm)
NEXT AWAY: Edinburgh (KOC), Fri May 25 (7.30)
“We have been hit and miss at home so far but I have no doubt if they perform to their abilities that we will win but that is up to the boys to go and do that. Everyone is capable in the league and there are no givens.”
Witches boss Ritchie Hawkins is taking nothing for granted with his side having suffered a stop-start campaign punctuated by injuries so far.
NEXT HOME: Berwick, Thur May 24 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Sheffield, Thur July 5 (7.30)
“We're more than happy with the result and we certainly can't complain It's more points on the board and again we've managed to send the opposition home with nothing.”
The Hammers’ imposing home form continued against Edinburgh last weekend leaving boss Will Pottinger able to reflect on a job well done again.
NEXT HOME: Workington, Fri June 1 (8pm)
NEXT AWAY: Redcar, Thur May 24 (7.30)
“After the Bandits took that win over Sheffield just 24 hours earlier, we were wondering if the Bandits might have the firepower to run us closer that we'd like, but our lads knuckled down and rode hard, as we knew they'd have to, and did well to take our first trophy this season with relative ease.”
Diamonds boss George English was pleased to have the Tyne/Tweed Trophy safely locked in the Brough Park cabinet after aggregate victory over Berwick.
NEXT HOME: Redcar, Sun May 27 (6.30)
NEXT AWAY: Berwick, Sat June 2 (7pm)
“We’ve started slowly in a lot of meetings, which is something we’ve got to sort out, but it’s another three points which is good for us with the little break to come, and that stands us in good stead.”
The Panthers continue to set the early pace in the Championship and boss Carl Johnson believes there will be more to come when they resume their campaign.
NEXT HOME: Glasgow, Sun June 10 (5pm)
NEXT AWAY: Glasgow, Fri June 8 (7.30)
“I finally got a bit of a confidence booster. I had my engines done but I haven’t really changed very much – just tried to go out and enjoy myself, and I’m certainly happy now.”
A massive turnaround in fortunes for the Bears’ winter signing Jordan Stewart, who finished third in the Julie Lewis Memorial and then piled up 16+1 from reserve in a home win over Glasgow.
NEXT HOME: Lakeside, Thur May 24 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Newcastle, Sun May 27 (6.30)
“It’s never easy when you lose one of your reserves fairly early in the meeting, and my best wishes go to Gino. But all the boys stuck together, helped each other and got the job done, so I’m pretty proud about that.”
Jake Allen’s thoughts were with team-mate Gino Manzares after the Scorpions won their big home clash with Workington last weekend.
NEXT HOME: Lakeside, Fri May 25 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Glasgow, Fri June 1 (7.30)
“For whatever reason, things just aren’t going our way at the moment and we’ve got to keep striving to do everything we can to improve. It’s still early days in the season, and we’ll continue to look at whether changes need to be made.”
A candid Tigers boss Simon Stead admits the Owlerton side’s title defence has not gone according to plan so far in 2018.
NEXT HOME: Workington, Thur May 24 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Redcar (KOC), Fri June 1 (7.30)
“On our day I think we would be able to beat anyone. But in the same context, if we all have bad days, we’re going to get smashed.”
Comets captain Ty Proctor is keeping his feet on the ground after some eye-catching results in the early weeks of the Championship campaign.
NEXT HOME: Glasgow (CS), Sat June 2 (7pm)
NEXT AWAY: Sheffield, Thur May 24 (7.30)
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE SOUNDBYTES…
BELLE VUE COLTS
“This break from racing is great timing for me as I’m not out injured it means I don’t miss out on too much. I’m still frustrated by this injury. It’s niggly and it doesn’t feel like I’m injured as it was only a dislocated thumb.”
Paul Bowen is one man happy with the Colts’ current inactivity as he looks to recover from a recent injury setback.
NEXT HOME: Eastbourne, Fri May 25 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Buxton, Sun June 3 (3pm)
“I've sorted a lot of stuff out now and when Birmingham rang there was no way I could say no. It's like home away from home for me and I've got so many good memories with the club. I've won the league twice with them, I was their youngest ever captain last season and I just feel like I belong there.”
Jack Parkinson-Blackburn is all set for his comeback to racing having agreed a Brummies return in place of seriously injured skipper Mitchell Davey.
NEXT HOME: Isle of Wight, Wed May 23 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Coventry (NT), Sun May 27 (3pm)
“We have three young lads in the team and it’s a tough ask, but when you are not having any luck at all it really puts things against you. If we can get through this period then I’m sure we will reap the rewards in the end.”
Tough times for the Hitmen and boss Joshua Moss, with a double defeat to Stoke in the National Trophy extending their winless run.
NEXT HOME: Cradley (NT), Sun May 27 (3pm)
NEXT AWAY: Cradley (NT), Mon June 4 (7.30)
“That was one of the most joyous experiences I’ve had at Monmore Green! We are a solid team, obviously Connor (Mountain) is head and shoulders over a lot of other people in the league, and we work as an all-round unit which is what gets us results.”
The best weekend of Martyn Macdonald’s short managerial career with a big home win over the Isle of Wight followed up by a 49-40 National Trophy victory at local rivals Cradley.
NEXT HOME: Birmingham (NT), Sun May 27 (3pm)
NEXT AWAY: Birmingham (NT), Wed May 30 (7.30)
“Mildenhall have a very good team. Everyone knew that before a wheel was turned this season, and we saw first-hand how good. Fair play to them, they made us look second best.”
No complaints from Eagles boss Connor Dugard after a heavy defeat at Mildenhall on Sunday confirmed the Fen Tigers as firm favourites for the Southern section of the National Trophy.
NEXT HOME: Coventry (KOC), Sat June 2 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Belle Vue, Fri May 25 (7.30)
ISLE OF WIGHT
“We put 30 tons of new shale on the track after last week’s meeting and it took a couple of heats to fully blend in with the old surface but after that it was absolutely fine as evidenced by several sub-70 second times.”
Extensive track work at the Smallbrook Stadium paid dividends for club boss Barry Bishop with a successful Vince Mapley Memorial Trophy meeting last week.
NEXT HOME: Kent (NT), Thur May 24 (7pm)
NEXT AWAY: Birmingham, Wed May 23 (7.30)
The Kings saw their 16-match home winning run ended by Mildenhalls’ 45-44 success at Central Park on Monday. They now move on to home and away clashes with the Isle of Wight in the National Trophy.
NEXT HOME: Isle of Wight (NT), Mon May 28 (3.30)
NEXT AWAY: Isle of Wight (NT), Thur May 24 (7pm)
“We are now in pole position in our National Trophy group, but mustn’t ease off, we have two very important home meetings now against Plymouth and Isle of Wight and hopefully with the backing of good crowds we can keep moving forward with this group of lads.”
Fen Tigers promoter Kevin Jolly saw his side end Kent’s long unbeaten home winning run despite racing at Central Park with only three of their regular riders.
NEXT HOME: Plymouth (NT), Sun May 27 (3pm)
NEXT AWAY: Stoke, Sat June 9 (7pm)
“Matt spent some time on the track with young Macauley (Leek). It is especially beneficial to have a team manager who can do that.”
Devils promoter Stuart Kellie was pleased to see boss Matt Bates getting back on a bike to pass on his knowledge to team-mates during a blank week of action for the club.
NEXT HOME: Belle Vue, Fri June 1 (7.15)
NEXT AWAY: Mildenhall, Sun May 27 (3pm)
“It’s been a fantastic weekend for both the club and myself personally, and you could say that the season started at Loomer Road last night. Buxton are a similar side in strength to us and it’s been more of a level playing field, and it has showed in these couple of performances that the confidence is coming.”
A perfect weekend for Potters No.1 Max Clegg, who scored back-to-back maximums in the weekend double over his former club Buxton.
NEXT HOME: Kent (KOC), Sat June 2 (7pm)
NEXT AWAY: Kent (KOC), Mon June 4 (6.30)
MAJOR EVENTS LATEST…
SOMERSET and Lakeside star Richard Lawson won the second British Semi-Final at Leicester last Tuesday.
Lawson totalled 13 points from his five rides to edge out former champion Chris Harris on count-back, with seven times winner Scott Nicholls third on the night with 12.
Lawson dropped his only points to home captain Danny King in Heat 4 and then Nicholls in Heat 10, but he did beat Harris when they met in Heat 7 which proved decisive with both riders ending with three wins and two second places.
Harris and Nicholls completed the rostrum finishers on the night with Lewis Kerr, Richie Worrall, Danny King, Ben Barker and Adam Ellis also securing places for the Final at Belle Vue on June 11.
Lawson said: “It’s always nice to win this kind of event, and it was one of those nights when it all came together. I made some decent starts so I really enjoyed it!
“I think it’s twice now that I’ve missed out on the Final (in the British Final) because I’ve messed up the semi, so now I need to get that off my back and get into that Final, and then anything can happen.
“The season so far has been pretty good for me. Everyone is busy now and it’s pretty hectic, but I quite like it that way.”
The eight qualifiers from Leicester will be joined at the National Speedway Stadium by the eight riders who previously made it through from Sheffield.
They were Jason Garrity, Kyle Howarth, Josh Auty, Edward Kennett, Robert Lambert, Rory Schlein, Dan Bewley and defending champion Craig Cook.
*DAN Bewley was crowned British Under-19 Champion with a 15-point maximum at Ipswich last Thursday.
The Belle Vue and Workington sensation was the pre-meeting favourite and he did not disappoint with a dominant display at Foxhall.
Bewley’s third ride saw him get the better of Tom Brennan, which turned out to be the Eastbourne rider’s only defeat as he finished second overall with 14 points.
The last place on the rostrum went down to a run-off as Leon Flint and Jack Thomas both ended on 11 – and it was 15-year-old Flint who clinched third overall after Thomas suffered a clutch problem at the start of the race.
BRITISH SPEEDWAY MAJOR EVENTS 2018
PREMIERSHIP RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: JASON DOYLE
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: DAN BEWLEY
BRITISH SEMI-FINALS: JASON GARRITY; RICHARD LAWSON
NATIONAL LEAGUE EVENTS
NATIONAL LEAGUE FOURS: Coventry, June 24
NATIONAL LEAGUE RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: Leicester, September 23
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
THURSDAY MAY 24:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Ipswich v Berwick 7.30, Redcar v Lakeside 7.30, Sheffield v Workington 7.30
NATONAL TROPHY: Isle of Wight v Kent 7pm
FRIDAY MAY 25:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Scunthorpe v Lakeside 7.30
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP 1st round 1st leg: Edinburgh v Glasgow 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Belle Vue v Eastbourne 7.30
SUNDAY MAY 27:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Newcastle v Redcar 6.30
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP 1st round 2nd leg: Glasgow v Edinburgh 3pm
NATIONAL TROPHY: Buxton v Cradley 3pm, Coventry v Birmingham 3pm, Mildenhall v Plymouth 3pm
MONDAY MAY 28:
PREMIERSHIP: Belle Vue v Leicester 12pm, Leicester v Belle Vue 7.30, Rye House v King’s Lynn 7.30, Swindon v Somerset 7.30, Wolverhampton v Poole 7.30
NATIONAL TROPHY: Kent v Isle of Wight 3.30
WEDNESDAY MAY 30:
PREMIERSHIP: King’s Lynn v Somerset 7.30, Poole v Leicester 7.30
NATIONAL TROPHY: Birmingham v Coventry 7.30
THURSDAY MAY 31:
PREMIERSHIP: Swindon v Belle Vue 7.30
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP 1st round 1st leg: Sheffield v Redcar 7.30
FRIDAY JUNE 1:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Glasgow v Scunthorpe 7.30, Lakeside v Workington 8pm
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP 1st round 2nd leg: Redcar v Sheffield 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Plymouth v Belle Vue 7.15
SATURDAY JUNE 2:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Berwick v Newcastle 7pm
CHAMPIONSHIP SHIELD: Workington v Glasgow 7pm
NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP Q/F 2nd leg: Eastbourne v Coventry 7.30, 1st round 1st leg: Stoke v Kent 7pm
BRITISH YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP: Rye House 3pm
SUNDAY JUNE 3:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Newcastle v Berwick 6.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Buxton v Belle Vue 3pm, Coventry v Kent 3pm
NATIONAL TROPHY: Mildenhall v Isle of Wight 3pm
MONDAY JUNE 4:
NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP 1st round 2nd leg: Kent v Stoke 6.30
NATIONAL TROPHY: Cradley v Buxton 7.30
TUESDAY JUNE 5:
SPEEDWAY OF NATIONS: Belle Vue 7pm
WEDNESDAY JUNE 6:
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Birmingham v Eastbourne 7.30