PIC OF THE WEEK...
The victorious Peterborough Panthers celebrate winning the Championship Fours for the second season running with their jubilant supporters.
Picture: COLIN POOLE
Latest soundbytes and fixtures from around the tracks up and down the country.
“The team is in good form right now. We had two excellent away wins in June, plus a win over Poole at home last week. We’re in a good position and we’ve proven to ourselves that we’re capable of winning away from home, so that is a settling thought.”
Skipper Max Fricke says the Aces are in strong form and building momentum as a crucial phase of their season gets into gear this month.
NEXT HOME: Swindon, Mon July 9 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Poole, Wed July 4 (7.30)
“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.”
Stars boss Dale Allitt expects a concerted play-off bid from his side when they get into a consistent run of racing at the Adrian Flux Arena this month.
NEXT HOME: Leicester, Wed July 4 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Rye House, Mon July 9 (7.30)
“I don’t think it could have gone much better for Ricky on his debut, but I’ve got to mention Charles as well, because his performance will go a little under the radar with how well Ricky has done. Between them they’ve scored 20 paid 22 which is a game-changer for us.”
Lions boss Simon Stead was delighted with the instant impact of newcomers Ricky Wells and Charles Wright in the narrow win over Wolverhampton on Monday.
NEXT HOME: Poole, Mon July 9 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: King’s Lynn, Wed July 4 (7.30)
“Of course Frederik is something of an unknown quantity on these shores, having only raced a small number of times on British tracks. But he is without question the hottest young asset in Danish speedway and I believe he will really give us something extra at reserve for the remainder of this season.”
Promoter Matt Ford has high hopes for new signing Frederik Jakobsen, who has replaced Mateusz Szczepaniak in the Pirates’ side.
NEXT HOME: Belle Vue, Wed July 4 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Leicester, Mon July 9 (7.30)
NEXT HOME: King’s Lynn, Mon July 9 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Swindon, Mon July 23 (7.30)
“We were determined and deserving of that victory and the fact that we didn’t need to dip into the first leg lead was something pretty special. The lads deserve loads of credit for this result and you can’t single any one of them out. This was a team effort throughout.”
Garry May’s Rebels did far more than defend a 14-point lead at Poole in the second leg of their KO Cup tie, winning 47-43 on the night to reach the semi-finals.
NEXT HOME: King’s Lynn, Wed July 11 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Wolverhampton, Mon July 9 (7.30)
“We’ve built a team that would be here week-in and week-out, so I think when people say ‘we were lucky’, well, we were not lucky because we planned to make sure that we had all our seven riders here – and that’s what we do.”
Robins boss Alun Rossiter says the club are taking advantage of careful planning to ensure their rider availability during the Premiership campaign.
NEXT HOME: Leicester, Wed July 11 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Belle Vue, Mon July 9 (7.30)
“We came here looking for a point and we got that. It could have been more had it not been for our poor start, but the Leicester boys produced a good ride in the last race. We’re obviously disappointed that we didn’t win, but we’re also more than happy with a point.”
Boss Peter Adams takes the positives after going down 46-44 at Leicester on Monday despite an inspired 18-point haul from Aussie star Sam Masters.
NEXT HOME: Somerset, Mon July 9 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Poole, Wed July 11 (7.30)
“I think the damage to our cup hopes was done the night before at Edinburgh. Good luck to them in the semi as we get back on track for the League title starting next week against Workington.”
Co-promoter Scott Courtney admits a 57-33 defeat at Armadale in the first leg of their KO Cup tie gave the Bandits too big a mountain to climb in the return.
“I parked my car outside the stadium expecting to have to make a quick getaway after heat 22. And here I am at the end of the meeting, almost the only person left here!”
Monarchs boss John Campbell admitted their runners-up position in the Championship Fours had come as such a surprise that he had amended his travel plans for the remainder of the day!
“We gave it our all. We had an awful start but built some momentum and it felt good once we made the Final, I fancied our chances. Peterborough looked like they were going to sneak it but we had a big chance until the chain broke on me. It's a tough one to take for us all.”
Frustration for Tigers skipper Chris Harris with their Fours hopes finally shattered by mechanical failure in the final race at Redcar.
“I looked at his scores and he seems to have been doing ok for his first season in British speedway and has only done a few meetings. We have a lot of meetings in the next two months so he should settle into riding in this country with us.”
Witches boss Ritchie Hawkins discusses the signing of Jonas Jeppesen, who has replaced the injured Michael Hartel for the Foxhall club.
“I’m proud of all the boys, they all had a good go but we just lacked an extra bit of power in the middle order. But it was a great effort. Nick (Morris) was brilliant all day dropping only a point. To be honest he kept us in the hunt all afternoon and got the vital place in the run-off to make the Final.”
Hammers boss Will Pottinger said they could be pleased with their efforts in the Championship Fours, having reached the Final whilst missing the injured Kyle Newman.
The Diamonds are back in action at Brough Park on Sunday (July 8) when they host Workington in the first leg of a KO Cup tie.
“We did a live feed with Simon (Lambert), who’s captain of the club, halfway through, and we seem to have an edge at the moment which can win you trophies when it comes down to it. The riders all feel obliged to give that extra bit of effort on track because they’ve got another six behind them doing the same.”
Promoter Ged Rathbone hails the team effort which has taken the Panthers to the top of the Championship and helped retain the Fours title at Redcar last Sunday.
“I felt the event was a huge success and Kev Keay should be very proud of what he achieved. A lot of time and planning went into the event to ensure that it ran as smoothly as possible and to cater for the extra supporters that we expected to arrive. We have had some very positive feedback and that was very pleasing to hear.”
Bears boss Jitendra Duffill says all at the Media Prima Arena should be happy with their debut staging of the Championship Fours last weekend.
“We’re through to the next round and more meetings is always a good thing. I had a horrible night at Sheffield in the first leg, but the whole team dug deep and we got the job done today.”
Scorpions star Gino Manzares notched 10+1 at reserve to help his side to a local derby KO Cup triumph over Sheffield, and a place in the last four of the competition.
“It's very disappointing when it comes down to one last race. I did everything I could but it was tough against (Chris) Harris and (Nick) Morris, they are top riders. We did everything we could today and I think it was OK considering we were without Kyle (Howarth).”
Heartbreak for the Tigers and Lasse Bjerre, who missed out on the Final of the Championship Fours in a three-man run-off against Glasgow and Lakeside after a tie for the last two qualifying places.
“I think he’ll suddenly click one day Kyle, I really do. Craig Cook was in the pits, giving him tips and pointing out what he should be doing and I thought he looked a bit more on the pace as a result.”
Comets boss Tony Jackson is backing young reserve Kyle Bickley to find the key to Championship scoring, with assistance from a former club No.1.
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE SOUNDBYTES…
BELLE VUE COLTS
“We were struggling to make the gates whereas Coventry were having no such trouble. There’s no taking anything away from them. They were the better team on the day and deserved the win.”
The Colts suffered a heavy 59-31 defeat against Coventry at Leicester on Sunday, as other clubs begin to reel them in at the top of the table.
NEXT HOME: Stoke, Wed July 11 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Kent, Mon Aug 13 (6.30)
“The boys tried really hard to keep us in the meeting. But without having our third heat leader it was going to be tough. Leon Flint is just up into the team and it will take him time to settle and he had an awkward fall late on in the meeting too.”
A 15-point maximum from James Shanes wasn’t enough for the Brummies in their National Trophy match at Cradley, with Danyon Hume crashing out in Heat 4.
NEXT HOME: Kent, Wed July 11 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Buxton (NT), Sun July 8 (3pm)
The Hitmen are due back in action for the first time in nearly a month when they face Birmingham in the National Trophy at Hi-Edge on Sunday.
NEXT HOME: Birmingham (NT), Sun July 8 (3pm)
NEXT AWAY: Coventry, Sun July 15 (3pm)
“Everything went smoothly for us, which makes a change, and the track held up reasonably well and there was some decent racing. We actually showed what we can do when we keep on going. We’ve been losing silly points but today everyone just rode as they should.”
The Bees hit form with a 59-31 win over reigning champions Belle Vue, very much to the satisfaction of manager Martyn Macdonald.
NEXT HOME: Stoke, Sun July 8 (3pm)
NEXT AWAY: Mildenhall, Sat July 28 (7.30)
“It was a great performance. I still think we have got a bit more left in the tank. Things didn’t go all our own way tonight but credit to Birmingham – they did really well but we are a good side.”
Eagles captain Mark Baseby praised the team effort of the Eagles to overcome Birmingham 49-41 at Arlington on Saturday.
NEXT HOME: Mildenhall, Sat July 14 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Kent, Mon July 30 (6.30)
ISLE OF WIGHT
“I thought that was a good meeting and thank all those attended preferring speedway over soccer. Ben’s fall probably cost us at least six points and a real nail biting finish, but fair play to the Brummies who are one of the best outfits in the division with a true star of the future in Leon Flint.”
Warriors promoter Barry Bishop was generous in defeat against Birmingham, with his side hit by the withdrawal of Ben Morley after a Heat 10 crash.
NEXT HOME: Kent, Thur July 5 (7pm)
NEXT AWAY: Kent, Mon July 9 (6.30)
“Chris (Hunt) and I spoke with Jacob's father Savalas, and we all three reached the same conclusion that Jacob is not yet ready for the hurly-burly of League racing. I'm personally unhappy that my judgement has been so wrong. He has looked good in practice, but has not shown the spirit and tenacity that I expected.”
Kings promoter Len Silver explains his decision to stand reserve Jacob Clouting down from the team, with the club now in the market for a replacement.
NEXT HOME: Isle of Wight, Mon July 9 (6.30)
NEXT AWAY: Isle of Wight, Thur July 5 (7pm)
“We know there are not many unattached riders out there who are suitable to use as cover and Sam seemed the perfect fit. He has experience, is a team player and knows the club well.”
Promoter Kevin Jolly has moved to sign Sam Woods for a second spell with the club as cover for the injured Sam Bebee.
NEXT HOME: Plymouth, Sat July 7 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Eastbourne, Sat July 14 (7.30)
“I am embarrassed to have only scored so few, it may have been close to my average but I always want double figures.”
Recent Devils signing Ben Hopwood wasn’t satisfied with a seven-point score in the 47-43 win over Kent last Friday.
NEXT HOME: Isle of Wight, Thur July 12 (7.15)
NEXT AWAY: Mildenhall, Sat July 7 (7.30)
The Potters saw their trip to Kent on Monday postponed due to rush-hour travel chaos at the Dartford Bridge. They now face an away match against Coventry on Sunday.
NEXT HOME: Plymouth, Sat July 14 (7pm)
NEXT AWAY: Coventry, Sun July 8 (3pm)
MAJOR EVENTS LATEST…
PETERBOROUGH retained the Championship Fours title in a tense finale at Redcar last Sunday.
The Panthers became the first club in nearly a decade to take back-to-back Fours crowns having come out on top in a meeting which went down to the last race.
Peterborough topped the group standings and were joined in the Final by Edinburgh, with Glasgow and Lakeside taking the last two places after a three-way run-off which saw Chris Harris and Nick Morris get the better of Sheffield’s Lasse Bjerre.
Glasgow were then the nearest challengers to Peterborough, who held a three-point lead going into the final race.
Harris led for the Tigers whilst Scott Nicholls held third place which would have clinched the Panthers’ success – before Harris dropped a chain on the last lap which not only sealed victory for Peterborough, but also promoted Edinburgh to second place overall.
Nicholls said: “There's a togetherness at Peterborough. Everyone is pulling in the right direction and that showed today.
“The spirit is so good with everyone and that gives you a desire to win. I didn't do what I can today but the boys were really strong and got us over the line.
“It's a great boost for the club and totally what the promotion deserve. They've worked hard for this.”
Frustrated Harris said: “I'm obviously gutted. I was leading the last race and although Scott was getting the point to win it for Peterborough, he could have been passed to give us a run-off for the title.
“Peterborough looked like they were going to sneak it but we had a big chance until the chain broke on me. It's a tough one to take for us all.”
Meanwhile the next Major Event is less than three weeks away as the Championship clubs head to Somerset on Friday July 20 for the Pairs event – staged in its traditional pre-British Grand Prix slot.
*GREAT Britain have named their line-up for the FIM World Under-21 Team Championship semi-final at Glasgow on July 14.
Dan Bewley, Ellis Perks, Zach Wajtknecht, Nathan Greaves and reserve Connor Mountain will represent GB in the clash with Australia, Germany and the Czech Republic – with Robert Lambert unavailable due to the Speedway Euro Championship.
The Final takes place at Danish venue Outrup on August 18.
BRITISH SPEEDWAY MAJOR EVENTS 2018
PREMIERSHIP RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: JASON DOYLE
BRITISH FINAL: ROBERT LAMBERT
CHAMPIONSHIP FOURS: PETERBOROUGH
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 JULY 4:
PREMIERSHIP: King’s Lynn v Leicester 7.30, Poole v Belle Vue 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
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Mildenhall v Plymouth 7.30
SUNDAY JULY 8:
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP Q/F 1st leg: Newcastle v Workington 6.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Coventry v Stoke 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
THURSDAY JULY 12:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Ipswich v Workington 7.30, Redcar v Edinburgh 7.30
NATIONAL LEAGUE: Plymouth v Isle of Wight 7.15
FRIDAY JULY 13:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Edinburgh v Ipswich 7.30
SATURDAY JULY 14:
FIM WORLD UNDER-21 TEAM CUP SEMI-FINAL: Glasgow 7pm
CHAMPIONSHIP: Berwick v Scunthorpe 7pm
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Eastbourne v Mildenhall 7.30, Stoke v Plymouth 7pm
SUNDAY JULY 15:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Newcastle v Scunthorpe 6.30, Peterborough v Sheffield (follows KOC fixture)
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP Q/F 1st leg: Peterborough v Lakeside 5pm
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Coventry v Buxton 3pm
MONDAY JULY 16:
PREMIERSHIP: Belle Vue v Somerset 7.30, Leicester v King’s Lynn 7.30, Wolverhampton v Swindon 7.30
NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP Q/F 1st leg: Kent v Plymouth 6.30 (prov)
WEDNESDAY JULY 18:
PREMIERSHIP: Rye House v Poole 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Birmingham v Mildenhall 7.30