PIC OF THE WEEK...
Ipswich’s Nico Covatti leads Edinburgh’s Coty Garcia during the Witches 53-37 at Foxhall Heath last Thursday.
Picture: JEFF HIGGOTT
Latest soundbytes and fixtures from around the tracks up and down the country.
“Poole were a pretty solid side and made us work hard for this one. I was a bit disappointed not to get the nod for Heat 15 because I felt I had some good speed and the points to back it up, but it was Mark’s decision and the guys went out and did a great job.”
In-form Rohan Tungate believes he is ready to play an even greater role in the Aces’ quest for silverware this season.
NEXT HOME: Swindon, Mon July 9 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Poole, Wed July 4 (7.30)
“Before the meeting started we would have accepted the result, particularly having come into it under difficult circumstances. We need to keep climbing that table and get into the top four. We have four huge home meetings in July that we will look to make the most of so we have to be happy with this result.”
Stars boss Dale Allitt stresses the play-offs remain a major target for his side after they secured a dramatic 45-45 draw at Somerset on Monday.
NEXT HOME: Leicester, Wed July 4 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Rye House, Mon July 9 (7.30)
“That was a tough meeting to read to be honest. People were taking points off each other unexpectedly and thankfully two of those occasions came when Krystian (Pieszczek) won back-to-back races part way through and I think that was the turning point for us.”
Lions boss Simon Stead saw his side work hard for a league point at Wolverhampton on Monday, and now host the Monmore men in their next meeting.
NEXT HOME: Wolverhampton, Mon July 2 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: King’s Lynn, Wed July 4 (7.30)
“Brady was very down after the Somerset meeting but he worked on his equipment and tonight he came out all guns blazing and showed just what he is capable of.”
Pirates boss Neil Middleditch praised No.1 Brady Kurtz when speaking to the Daily Echo after the Australian scored 13+1 at Belle Vue with the Pirates securing a league point.
NEXT HOME: Somerset (KOC), Wed June 27 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Poole, Mon July 9 (7.30)
“We’ve got to say positive because otherwise we are not going to be in the right frame of mind for the Swindon match. My approach is: turn it around, win that match and then we are getting back on track. I’ve got to concentrate on making sure the boys have their heads right, forget about this one and we just go forwards.”
Rockets boss Peter Schroeck says they should look forwards and not back after seeing their unbeaten home record ended by last-heat defeat to Belle Vue last week.
NEXT HOME: Swindon, Wed June 27 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Somerset, Wed July 4 (7.30)
“Yes, it is two points dropped in one sense as we wanted the win but the point just keeps ticking things over for us and we can still claim to be unbeaten at home this season. Overall we have done better over the two fixtures against Lynn that we have ridden, having won at their place, but I think this result just goes to show how tough these Premiership matches are.”
Rebels boss Garry May had mixed emotions after seeing his side draw a topsy-turvy encounter with King’s Lynn on Monday, a result which keeps them in the play-off places.
NEXT HOME: Rye House, Wed July 4 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Poole (KOC), Wed June 27 (7.30)
“We had a long chat before the meeting, and whilst they did have some riders missing it was still important to get the points on the board. We didn’t want to be struggling and having to fight back like last week, so it was nice to see it work out.”
Alun Rossiter saw the Robins maintain top spot in the Premiership with their 52-38 win over King’s Lynn to maintain a 100 per cent record at the Abbey Stadium.
NEXT HOME: Leicester, Wed July 11 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Rye House, Wed June 27 (7.30)
“There’s a bit of a concern with this unwelcome trend we’ve got this season though. We keep seizing control of the fixture before letting it slip mid-meeting and it’s something we need to address. But it’s another win nevertheless and we’ll take it.”
Wolves boss Peter Adams says his side are making life difficult for themselves, having allowed Leicester back into Monday’s meeting at Monmore before digging out a win in the end.
NEXT HOME: Somerset, Mon July 9 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Leicester, Mon July 2 (7.30)
“I think the break has come at just the right time for us. It gives the riders a chance to get their engines re-tuned and prepare for the second half of the season. The first half has been very good for us, but we are well aware that there is still a long way to go.”
Bandits promoter Scott Courtney says his side will be well prepared for their KO Cup clash with Edinburgh this weekend, after a recent home win over the Monarchs before their two-week break.
NEXT HOME: Edinburgh (KOC), Sat June 30 (7pm)
NEXT AWAY: Edinburgh (KOC), Fri June 29 (7.30)
“It was a relaxing night and it was great to see so many familiar faces all over the place. There was a good atmosphere and it felt like a big occasion. We are back to the serious stuff next week of course.”
Monarchs co-promoter Alex Harkess reflected on an enjoyable Platinum Jubilee Fours event at Armadale, before they turn their attention to the KO Cup this weekend.
NEXT HOME: Berwick (KOC), Fri June 29 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Berwick (KOC), Sat June 30 (7pm)
“I couldn’t see anything wrong in what I did in heat 15. I knew Ty was on the outside but I didn’t make any silly moves, I kept my line coming out the corner. The throttle goes two ways. He’s just as experienced as me and he knew I was going to go there.”
Tigers star Claus Vissing was unrepentant following his clash with Comets star Ty Proctor in the final race of Saturday’s dramatic Championship fixture at Derwent Park.
NEXT HOME: Lakeside, Fri July 6 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Lakeside, Sat July 7 (7.45)
“Danny’s arm is not great and he has pulled it again. He has some more appointments this week so we will know more as the days go on I guess but he is not fit and another injury is not good. We will know more on Michael in the coming days. We need to look for a temporary replacement for him but who that will be I don’t know yet.”
Witches boss Ritchie Hawkins gives the injury update from Foxhall, with the club having major concerns over skipper Danny King and German youngster Michael Hartel.
NEXT HOME: Workington, Thur July 12 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Sheffield, Thur July 5 (7.30)
“We’re on a winning run and feel like we have some momentum. It was a bit nail-biting at the end. But Richard came good in Heat 15. He came past them on the inside and he had Jason Garrity and Jake Allen on his tail. That result keeps us up at the top of the table which is obviously where we want to be.”
Hammers boss Will Pottinger hailed skipper Richard Lawson after his match-winning Heat 15 ride at Scunthorpe on Friday at the start of a weekend double over the Scorpions for the Purfleet side.
NEXT HOME: Glasgow, Sat July 7 (7.45)
NEXT AWAY: Peterborough, Fri June 29 (7.30)
“I have to acknowledge that had they not been unfortunate enough to lose Kyle Howarth in the Heat 1 fall, then it would have been a lot closer, but this club this year is pulling as a single unit and all again took one win or paid win at least so what more can we ask, and that was without Tero Aarnio to boot!”
Diamonds co-promoter Martin Phillips was delighted with another solid effort from his side in their 54-36 win over Sheffield on Sunday.
NEXT HOME: Workington (KOC), Sun July 8 (6.30)
NEXT AWAY: Workington (KOC), Fri July 13 (7.30)
“We’re all really looking forward to Friday. Matches at this stage of the season really don’t get any bigger than this one. We’re the two most in-form sides in the league, we’ve both had some great results over the last few weeks and really everything is set for a classic encounter.”
Panthers promoter Ged Rathbone is eagerly anticipating this Friday’s top-of-the-table showdown with Lakeside as both sides look to further enhance their play-off chase.
NEXT HOME: Lakeside, Fri June 29 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Lakeside (KOC), Fri July 27 (8pm)
“Sometimes you just have to put your hands up and admit that you were beaten by a better team. No lack of effort on our part, there was plenty of fight in camp but ultimately we were beaten by a superb performance from Michael Palm Toft and the impressive Tom Bacon.”
Bears boss Jitendra Duffill praised opponents Peterborough following their away win at the Media Prima Arena last week.
NEXT HOME: Championship Fours, Sun July 1 (2pm)
NEXT AWAY: Ipswich, Thur July 19 (7.30)
“The wheels have fallen off a little over the last couple of weeks, but we’re going to glue those wheels back on, and get going again. I think we’ve put together a decent enough side for out two cup matches against Sheffield for this week.”
Scorpions promoter Rob Godfrey is pleased to turn his attentions to the KO Cup after a tough run in the Championship for the injury-hit Scorpions over recent weeks.
NEXT HOME: Sheffield (KOC), Fri June 29 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Sheffield (KOC), Thur June 28 (7.30)
“Obviously this is a disappointing night for us and we must do better going forward. But the injury to Kyle has been a crushing blow and we need to hope there is no long term damage there.”
A shoulder injury to skipper Kyle Howarth in the defeat at Newcastle on Sunday has left Tigers promoter Damien Bates anxiously hoping for good news on his top rider.
NEXT HOME: Scunthorpe (KOC), Thur June 28 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Scunthorpe (KOC), Fri June 29 (7.30)
“The dead heat in heat 11 between Mason Campton and Paul Starke showed just how competitive the match was and, ultimately, it had a bearing on the final result as the seven-point winning margin prevented Glasgow from picking up a consolation match point, which could prove crucial in the final reckoning.”
Comets boss Tony Jackson is expecting a close battle for play-off qualification this season – and so was delighted to send rivals Glasgow home point-less after Saturday’s match at Derwent Park.
NEXT HOME: Berwick, Fri July 6 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Berwick, Sat July 7 (7pm)
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE SOUNDBYTES…
BELLE VUE COLTS
“There’s no taking anything away from the Brummies. They were the better team on the night and they certainly had a secret weapon in Leon Flint. It was difficult for our reserves to match him. We’ve really got to focus on picking up points on the road to compensate going forward.”
Colts skipper Jack Smith was gracious in defeat as his former club Birmingham took the points in Manchester last Friday.
NEXT HOME: Stoke, Wed July 11 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Coventry, Sun July 1 (3pm)
“Even when I took Layne, Callum and Arran out of one of their rides, they took it well and understood that I’d got the team’s best interests at heart. So credit to all of the boys for again finishing so dominantly and this is another huge win for us.”
Brummies boss Laurence Rogers hailed the team spirit after they broke an unbeaten Belle Vue Colts home record which dated back to October 2016 with their win at the National Speedway Stadium last Friday.
NEXT HOME: Kent, Wed July 11 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Isle of Wight, Thur June 28 (7pm)
The Hitmen have been inactive over the second half of June and are set to return to action when they face Birmingham in the National Trophy on Sunday July 8.
NEXT HOME: Birmingham (NT), Sun July 8 (3pm)
NEXT AWAY: Coventry, Sun July 15 (3pm)
“Whatever I said about Plymouth, I can just about repeat that for this one. We seem to do it every single time, we’re doing alright or even better than alright away from home to go eight points up, but then it feels like the same old story.”
Boss Martyn Macdonald was left frustrated by the Bees’ 46-44 defeat at Kent – in remarkably similar circumstances to their loss by an identical scoreline at Plymouth earlier this month.
NEXT HOME: Belle Vue, Sun July 1 (3pm)
NEXT AWAY: Stoke, Sat Aug 11 (7pm)
“The win doesn’t really tell us anything new. Mildenhall are a very strong team but we are equally as strong. Our heat-leaders were on fire tonight, as I knew they would be.”
Eagles boss Connor Dugard was keeping his feet on the ground after they became the first side to defeat the Fen Tigers in the Southern section of the National Trophy.
NEXT HOME: Birmingham, Sat June 30 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Kent, Mon July 30 (6.30)
ISLE OF WIGHT
“The team spirit is still positive and it hasn’t faded away like it can do. Ben Morley is doing a good job as captain. He is an outgoing character and tries to pull the team together on race nights.”
Warriors man Scott Campos says there is still a good feeling in the pits at the Smallbrook Stadium despite vastly mixed fortunes on-track this season.
NEXT HOME: Birmingham, Thur June 28 (7pm)
NEXT AWAY: Mildenhall, Sun July 1 (5pm)
“It was a brilliant comeback for sure, and fair play to all the lads who kept fighting in every race and to the end of the match. We were all shell-shocked by that heavy defeat at Eastbourne and to do what we did today and claim the league points against very strong opposition is the perfect tonic.”
Kings boss Chris Hunt praised the character of his side to recover from their mauling at Eastbourne and edge out Coventry in another Central Park thriller on Monday.
NEXT HOME: Stoke, Mon July 2 (6.30)
NEXT AWAY: Plymouth, Fri June 29 (7.15)
The Fen Tigers saw their unbeaten National Trophy run ended at Eastbourne on Saturday but have already made the Final; and are now building up to a big West Row double-header in the league this Sunday where they face Kent and the Isle of Wight.
NEXT HOME: Kent/IOW, Sun July 1 (3pm)
NEXT AWAY: Eastbourne, Sat July 14 (7.30)
“Ben’s average of 7.16 gives us more room in the team numbers if we want to move things around a bit. Additionally it helps team building if we decide to replace Adam Roynon during his period of absence.”
Devils co-promoter Stuart Kellie hints Ben Hopwood may not be the only incoming rider at the St Boniface Arena given the long-term shoulder injury suffered by the unlucky Adam Roynon earlier in the month.
NEXT HOME: Kent, Fri June 29 (7.15)
NEXT AWAY: Mildenhall, Sun July 8 (3pm)
“Despite efforts to improve the situation the promotion at Stoke Speedway, mindful of rider safety and the effect of dust for spectators, has taken this decision to allow time for further sources of material to be identified and for the track to be restored to the desired condition.”
A statement from the Potters explains the postponement of last weekend’s Cup-tie with Kent as work continues to resolve ongoing track issues at Loomer Road.
NEXT HOME: Plymouth, Sat July 14 (7pm)
NEXT AWAY: Coventry, Sun July 8 (3pm)
MAJOR EVENTS LATEST…
ALL eleven Championship clubs will compete at Redcar in the ever-popular Fours tournament this Sunday (July 1).
A 34-race programme is in prospect for supporters, and with all clubs competing in the same qualifying group every race will be relevant to their chances.
The 22-heat qualifier will involve each club on eight occasions, with each rider competing twice.
The format ensures that each club races from every gate position twice, each rider races from a different gate in his two rides, and also faces three different opponents across his two outings.
Additionally, each club faces representatives from every other club on a minimum of two and a maximum of three occasions.
The top four clubs after the qualifier will progress to the 12-heat Final, which is run over the standard Fours format and will involve each club retaining the same helmet colours throughout that section of the meeting.
Peterborough defend the trophy which they won at the East of England Arena last season, with Scott Nicholls, Ulrich Ostergaard, Michael Palm Toft and Bradley Wilson-Dean forming their quartet.
The newcomers to the league this season, Lakeside, enter the competition in strong form with a run of Championship victories propelling them into title contention.
And skipper Richard Lawson feels the Fours offers them an early opportunity to put silverware into the Purfleet cabinet.
Lawson said: “The Fours is quite a fun event to be a part of and one I won with Workington a few years ago.
“There have been other occasions where I have gone close with teams and I believe we have a strong unit that can challenge at Redcar. I think we should be pushing for the trophy, definitely.
“All of the boys have been strong and weighed in but there has been something about Adam (Ellis) from the start of this year. I said in the build-up to this season that he would go well and so it has proved, he has impressed a lot of people.”
Gates open at midday at the Media Prima Arena on Sunday, with the event getting underway at 2pm. Admission prices are £20 adults, £15 concessions, £5 children (5-15) and under-5s free.
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 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
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
THURSDAY JULY 5:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Redcar v Scunthorpe 7.30, Sheffield v Ipswich 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Isle of Wight v Kent 7pm
FRIDAY JULY 6:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Glasgow v Lakeside 7.30, Workington v Berwick 7.30
CALEDONIAN RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: Edinburgh 7.30
SATURDAY JULY 7:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Berwick v Workington 7pm, Lakeside v Glasgow 7.45
SUNDAY JULY 8:
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP Q/F 1st leg: Newcastle v Workington 6.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Coventry v Stoke 3pm, Mildenhall v Plymouth 3pm
NATIONAL TROPHY: Buxton v Birmingham 3pm
MONDAY JULY 9:
PREMIERSHIP: Belle Vue v Swindon 7.30, Leicester v Poole 7.30, Rye House v King’s Lynn 7.30, Wolverhampton v Somerset 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Kent v Isle of Wight 6.30
TUESDAY JULY 10:
VMA HANDICAP ROUND 1: Isle of Wight 7pm
WEDNESDAY JULY 11:
PREMIERSHIP: Poole v Wolverhampton 7.30, Swindon v Leicester 7.30, Somerset v King’s Lynn 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Belle Vue v Stoke 7.30, Birmingham v Kent 7.30