PIC OF THE WEEK...
Hans Andersen seen here leading for Leicester in last week’s 48-42 Premiership home victory against Swindon.
Picture: STEVE DIXON
HERE'S our latest soundbytes and fixtures from around the tracks up and down the country.
“All the guys made valuable contributions to the result. I was particularly pleased for Damian because these smaller tracks are his kryptonite and he was extremely impressive.”
Aces boss Mark Lemon hails progression to the KO Cup semi-finals over Wolverhampton and a ‘superman’ display from Damian Drozdz to win Heat 8 on an unfamiliar circuit.
NEXT HOME: Poole, Mon June 25 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Rye House, Wed June 20 (7.30)
“Robert Lambert has been fantastic and he doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone here. Contrary to what people believed he is very happy here and we get on really well.”
Stars boss Dale Allitt slams the rumour-mongers after the in-form British Champion recorded yet another home maximum in Monday’s 58-32 thumping of Rye House.
NEXT HOME: Leicester, Wed July 4 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Swindon, Thur June 21 (7.30)
“Swindon beat us right at the last before and we didn’t want that to happen again, so it was nice to seal the win in heat 14. We didn’t give up and we kept fighting.”
Lions captain Danny King was relieved to see his side finally get the better of Swindon after comeback victories for the Robins on their two previous visits to the East Midlands.
NEXT HOME: Wolverhampton, Mon July 2 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Wolverhampton, Mon June 25 (7.30)
“I truly always knew this team would come good and I think the performance last night proved me right. To a man, we were incredible and I'm confident the only way is up for us now.”
Pirates promoter Matt Ford had his enthusiasm renewed by his new-look side’s impressive home victory over King’s Lynn last Wednesday.
NEXT HOME: Somerset (KOC), Wed June 27 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Somerset, Wed June 20 (7.30)
“The boys all know what they’ve got to do. We’re not hitting the panic button yet, but we must win at home, or we will have to look to change things.”
Rockets boss Peter Schroeck has a warning for his side after they suffered another heavy away defeat at King’s Lynn on Monday.
NEXT HOME: Belle Vue, Wed June 20 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Somerset, Wed July 4 (7.30)
“Unfortunately for Jonas he has been lacking track time and that has not brought him on as quickly as I had hoped and whilst I have taken him out of the team for now I would like to think that there will be an opportunity in the future to work with him once more.”
Rebels boss Garry May explains the decision to part company with Danish youngster Jonas Jeppesen – one of two riders released by the club this week with Charles Wright also making way.
NEXT HOME: Poole, Wed June 20 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Poole (KOC), Wed June 27 (7.30)
“We’ve just got to start making things easier for ourselves and get dialled in quicker. It was the same at Leicester, it took us eight or nine heats before we decided to make a start, and we can’t afford to do that in this league. It’s certainly a wake-up call and we need to be more focused early in meetings.”
Robins boss Alun Rossiter calls on the league leaders to regain their focus after being taken to the wire by Rye House at the Abbey last week.
NEXT HOME: King’s Lynn, Thur June 21 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Rye House Wed June 27 (7.30)
“I think I’m going to feel second-hand in the morning but it was worth it for my best score ever. I also got called up into the Great Britain Under-21 squad so it’s been a great day for me.”
A score of seven paid ten despite a Heat 4 crash completed a good day for reserve Nathan Greaves, on a night when Wolves went out of the KO Cup to holders Belle Vue.
NEXT HOME: Leicester, Mon June 25 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Leicester, Mon July 2 (7.30)
“What a fantastic recovery from these guys tonight after a couple of nightmares on the road. They regrouped and did better than anyone would have dared believe.”
Bandits promoter Scott Courtney was pleased to get back to winning ways at home after heavy defeats on the road for his side at Sheffield and Lakeside.
NEXT HOME: Edinburgh (KOC), Sat June 30 (7pm)
NEXT AWAY: Edinburgh (KOC), Fri June 29 (7.30)
“It was a battling performance against the odds after losing Erik. Ricky Wells was simply magnificent, only because he was slightly baulked in his first ride did he miss his maximum. Josh Pickering gave an exciting performance and by the end Joel Andersson was going quite well too.”
Some consolation for the Monarchs with praise from John Campbell despite defeat at Newcastle, with skipper Erik Riss crashing out in his first ride.
NEXT HOME: Platinum Jubilee Fours, Fri June 22 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Ipswich, Thur June 21 (7.30)
“It's always nice to start off with a win and I like being No 1 and being the first one out on the track. I like being first at everything I do.”
Back to form for the Tigers’ Richie Worrall in their 50-40 win over Workington, after he suffered problems in the previous week’s defeat at Peterborough.
NEXT HOME: Lakeside, Fri July 6 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Sheffield, Thur June 21 (7.30)
“To lose Michael is a big blow. We will probably look for a replacement as rider-replacement isn’t effective for long periods. Michael could be out for some time.”
Witches boss Ritchie Hawkins says a new face could be incoming at Foxhall after Michael Hartel was injured in a Longtrack crash last weekend.
NEXT HOME: Edinburgh, Thur June 21 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Sheffield, Thur July 5 (7.30)
“Both Ben (Morley) and Alfie (Bowtell) had to have seven outings each but everyone performed on the night to cover the absences. It was a long night so we thank the fans for sticking with us throughout.”
Hammers boss Will Pottinger praises his reserves for their hard work as the Hammers overcame Berwick despite being without Zach Wajtknecht and losing Kyle Newman to a crash during the meeting.
NEXT HOME: Scunthorpe, Sat June 23 (7.45)
NEXT AWAY: Scunthorpe, Fri June 22 (7.30)
“Ludde has been a superb captain and even in difficult times has fulfilled his captaincy role with aplomb, however he thinks he needs to take this step in an effort to allow him concentrate on his riding, particularly on away tracks and I fully appreciate his situation.”
Diamonds boss George English is standing by Ludvig Lindgren, who has stood down as captain in order to concentrate on his away from. Stuart Robson taken over the skipper’s role.
NEXT HOME: Sheffield, Sun June 24 (6.30)
NEXT AWAY: Workington (KOC), Fri July 13 (7.30)
“It’s very pleasing to get the win to put us through to the next round, and it completes another very good weekend for us with two good performances. The team spirit is good, everyone wants to work together and help each other, and I think it was always a case of getting everyone dialled into the track here.”
Boss Carl Johnson saw his side’s excellent season continue with an impressive win at Scunthorpe on Friday followed by progression to the Championship Shield semi-finals by beating Ipswich at home on Sunday.
NEXT HOME: Lakeside, Fri June 29 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Redcar, Thur June 21 (7.30)
“Nathan deserved a lot more points for his efforts. I love his never-say
-die attitude and he is somebody I will be taking serious interest in for the 2019 season. There is a lot more to come from him and he is a pleasure to work with.”
Bears boss Jitendra Duffill hints recent signing Nathan Greaves’s stay at the Media Prima Arena may extend beyond his current stint.
NEXT HOME: Peterborough, Thur June 21 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Ipswich, Thur July 19 (7.30)
“Our thought process has been to have the guest at No 1, instead of at No 2, and have strong heat-leaders, but we’ll have a re-think about that. Our thoughts have already turned to the home clash against Lakeside and what we need to do to ensure we win that meeting.”
Promoter Rob Godfrey hints at a possible change of strategy for covering the Scorpions’ injured riders following last week’s home defeat to Peterborough.
NEXT HOME: Lakeside, Fri June 22 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Lakeside, Sat June 23 (7.45)
“To have four riders go unbeaten shows the dominance that we had in this meeting. I wasn’t surprised that we won because we know what we can do as a team, but maybe I was a little surprised by the margin of our victory.”
Tigers boss Simon Stead saw his side finally click into gear as they convincingly defeated former Championship leaders Berwick at Owlerton.
NEXT HOME: Glasgow, Thur June 21 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Newcastle, Sun June 24 (6.30)
“The original plan had been to use R/R for Dan due to a lack of guests but once it became clear that Ty wasn't going to be fit then we obviously needed a guest - however that is easier said than done when there are hardly any that are available, and of those that aren't riding or riding overseas, there are some that are doing other things or have even taken the 'quiet week' as an ideal opportunity to get their engines serviced and the like.”
Comets boss Tony Jackson explains to the club’s website the difficulties he faced in covering for Dan Bewley and Ty Proctor in last Friday’s trip to Glasgow.
NEXT HOME: Glasgow, Sat June 23 (7pm)
NEXT AWAY: Berwick, Sat July 7 (7pm)
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE SOUNDBYTES…
BELLE VUE COLTS
“They are a tough team on their own track but we need to give it 100 per cent. Tom Perry and Jack Smith know Perry Barr well so they will get amongst it and cause a problem for them. They are tough on paper, but we are certainly not defeated before the match begins.”
Colts co-boss Steve Williams says his side will go into this week’s clashes with Birmingham with a positive attitude.
NEXT HOME: Birmingham, Fri June 22 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Birmingham, Wed June 20 (7.30)
“With the way Mildenhall have been riding this season, and the fact we were without our top three, it was always going to need one big effort from us. But the boys gave it a real good go and despite losing our first meeting of the season, the team overall can still hold their heads high.”
The Brummies went out of the KO Cup with a five-point aggregate defeat to Mildenhall, but boss Laurence Rogers was far from downbeat after the meeting.
NEXT HOME: Belle Vue, Wed June 20 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Belle Vue, Fri June 22 (7.30)
“It wasn’t going to be easy here they are unbeaten around their home circuit and the younger lads were always going to struggle. We did our best and to be fair we got more points than maybe people were expecting us to get.”
Hitmen captain Tom Woolley said his side’s performance in scoring 30 points at powerful Birmingham was a worthwhile effort.
NEXT HOME: Birmingham (NT), Sun July 8 (3pm)
NEXT AWAY: Coventry, Sun July 15 (3pm)
“I’d say we were above average without being truly special, and we’re very disappointed we didn’t come here and win because these are the meetings we need to win if we’re to be looked at as challengers.”
Bees boss Martyn Macdonald wasn’t satisfied with a point at Plymouth on Friday, feeling his side should have done better than a 44-46 defeat to the Devils.
NEXT HOME: Belle Vue, Sun July 1 (3pm)
NEXT AWAY: Kent, Mon June 25 (6.30)
“We made a change and it was, thankfully, in the right direction. I didn’t purposely miss the gate and I was up against it. I had the compatibility and the legs in the engine to pull me through. It was quite a thrill being on the bike. Those last two races have put me sky high.”
Eagles’ No.1 Georgie Wood completed a 15-point maximum with two blasts from the back in the massive 68-21 win over Kent last Saturday.
NEXT HOME: Mildenhall (NT), Sat June 23 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Kent, Mon July 30 (6.30)
ISLE OF WIGHT
“I know that Stoke, like many clubs, have struggled with shale and making it bind – it’s a problem we too have endured and we relay the track each week and tyre pack it before each meeting, however we are where we are and I genuinely believe that the Warriors would have got at least a draw and probably a win out of the meeting despite losing two team members.”
Warriors promoter Barry Bishop gave a measured view after the National League match at Stoke was abandoned after Heat 10 due to track conditions with the home side 32-27 up.
NEXT HOME: Birmingham, Thur June 28 (7pm)
NEXT AWAY: Mildenhall, Sun July 1 (5pm)
“Nathan should not have been on his bike, and only rode out of loyalty to the team. He has since spent his time in hospital having his knee examined and I am now waiting the results of a CT scan. It may well result in some time off for him.”
Kings promoter Len Silver fears a lay-off for Nathan Stoneman could be a further problem to contend with after a crushing defeat at Eastbourne on Saturday.
NEXT HOME: Coventry, Mon June 25 (6.30)
NEXT AWAY: Stoke (KOC), Sat June 23 (7pm)
“Ryan just gets better and better. He seemed a bit introverted when he first joined us, but after another big score at Stoke he was celebrating with our fans so much we struggled to get him off the track.”
Fen Tigers promoter Kevin Jolly has pinpointed the dramatic improvement in form of Ryan Kinsley as one of the major highlights of the season so far.
NEXT HOME: Kent, Sun July 1 (3pm)
NEXT AWAY: Eastbourne (NT), Sat June 23 (7.30)
“We talked during the interval in the changing rooms that with five heats to go we were sure we had it in us to pull this one out of the bag. Every one of our team showed guts and determination. It makes me a proud team manager of a fine set of riders.”
Devils boss Matt Bates was delighted to see his team respond to a deficit and come back to defeat Coventry 46-44 in another thriller at the St Boniface Arena.
NEXT HOME: Kent, Fri June 29 (7.15)
NEXT AWAY: Mildenhall, Sun July 8 (3pm)
“On the positive side it was good to see Josh Embleton and Joe Alcock getting amongst the points and they really started to turn the tide in our favour after their 5-1 in Heat 8 - and it’s good to see Rob (Shuttleworth) getting going and gaining his confidence back, and we can hopefully push on with our season and get a win over Kent here next week.”
Potters captain Tony Atkin took the positives from the curtailed ten-heat meeting at Loomer Road on Saturday with the home side defeating the Isle of Wight.
NEXT HOME: Kent (KOC), Sat June 23 (7pm)
NEXT AWAY: Coventry, Sun July 8 (3pm)
MAJOR EVENTS LATEST…
EVERY Championship club will do battle at Redcar in the new-look Fours Championship.
A feast of racing is in prospect on Teesside on Sunday July 1 with a 2pm start at the Media Prima Arena, South Tees Motorsport Park.
A new format has been devised to enable every club to take part with a bumper crowd expected with northern clubs set to travel in huge numbers.
British Speedway Promoters' Association Vice Chairman Rob Godfrey said: “We have learnt from the experience of last season when we got criticism for initially leaving teams out - this time every club is in the meeting.
“It means there will be a lot of riders in the pits and a lot of races to get through, but we are sure the Redcar club will do the meeting proud.
“It's a great track at Redcar and easily accessible for supporters to get there on a Sunday afternoon. I'm looking forward to it, obviously with my Scunthorpe hat on I want to see us do well but above that I want it to be a successful day for the Championship and British Speedway in general.
“I know cars, minibuses and coaches will be bringing fans from throughout the league and it should be a carnival-type atmosphere.
“It's also a very tough meeting to predict. Whoever comes out on top will have really worked hard for it.”
*GREAT BRITAIN will have two representatives in this year’s FIM World Under-21 Championship Final.
Newly crowned British Champion Robert Lambert and wonderkid Dan Bewley both qualified from their respective semi-finals to guarantee themselves a place in the three meeting mini-series.
Lambert, who also secured silver with Great Britain in the recent Speedway of Nations, came out on top in his semi-final in Poland. He dropped just one point in his programmed rides before getting the better of Bartosz Smektala in a run-off.
Bewley was one of three riders to finish on 13 points in Vetlanda, Sweden, and finished second overall behind Russia’s Gleb Chugunov in a three man run-off.
Wolverhampton and Redcar racer Nathan Greaves also scored a respectable six points in the same meeting on an invaluable afternoon of experience for the youngster.
Meanwhile there was heartbreak for Swindon and Lakeside talent Zach Wajtknecht who notched ten points in the Czech Republic, but missed out on the final qualification spot after finishing behind Nick Skorja and Filip Hajek in the all-important run-off.
BRITISH SPEEDWAY MAJOR EVENTS 2018
PREMIERSHIP RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: JASON DOYLE
BRITISH FINAL: ROBERT LAMBERT
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: TBC
NATIONAL LEAGUE RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: Leicester, September 23
WEDNESDAY JUNE 20:
PREMIERSHIP: Rye House v Belle Vue 7.30, Somerset v Poole 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Birmingham v Belle Vue 7.30
THURSDAY JUNE 21:
PREMIERSHIP: Swindon v King’s Lynn 7.30
CHAMPIONSHIP: Ipswich v Edinburgh 7.30, Redcar v Peterborough 7.30, Sheffield v Glasgow 7.30
FRIDAY JUNE 22:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Scunthorpe v Lakeside 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Belle Vue v Birmingham 7.30
PLATINUM JUBILEE FOURS: Edinburgh 7.30
SATURDAY JUNE 23:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Lakeside v Scunthorpe 7.45, Workington v Glasgow 7pm
NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP Q/F 2nd leg: Stoke v Kent 7pm
NATIONAL TROPHY: Eastbourne v Mildenhall 7.30
SUNDAY JUNE 24:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Newcastle v Sheffield 6.30
BRITISH YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP: Glasgow 3pm
MONDAY JUNE 25:
PREMIERSHIP: Belle Vue v Poole 7.30, Somerset v King’s Lynn 7.30, Wolverhampton v Leicester 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Kent v Coventry 6.30
WEDNESDAY JUNE 27:
PREMIERSHIP: Rye House v Swindon 7.30
PREMIERSHIP KO CUP Q/F 2nd leg: Poole v Somerset 7.30
THURSDAY JUNE 28:
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP Q/F 1st leg: Sheffield v Scunthorpe 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Isle of Wight v Birmingham 7pm
FRIDAY JUNE 29:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Peterborough v Lakeside 7.30
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP Q/F 1st leg: Edinburgh v Berwick 7.30; 2nd leg: Scunthorpe v Sheffield 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Plymouth v Kent 7.15
SATURDAY JUNE 30:
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP Q/F 2nd leg: Berwick v Edinburgh 7pm
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Eastbourne v Birmingham 7.30
SUNDAY JULY 1:
CHAMPIONSHIP FOURS: Redcar 2pm
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Coventry v Belle Vue 3pm, Mildenhall v Kent 3pm, Mildenhall v Isle of Wight (follows previous fixture)
MONDAY JULY 2:
PREMIERSHIP: Leicester v Wolverhampton 7.30, Swindon v Belle Vue 7.30 (prov)
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Kent v Stoke 6.30
NATIONAL TROPHY: Cradley v Birmingham 7.30
WEDNESDAY JULY 4:
PREMIERSHIP: King’s Lynn v Leicester 7.30, Poole v Belle Vue 7.30, Somerset v Rye House 7.30