PIC OF THE WEEK...
The Great Britain Under-21 team who booked their place in the World Team Cup Final with victory in Saturday’s semi-final at Glasgow.
Picture: IAN CHARLES
Latest soundbytes and fixtures from around the tracks up and down the country.
“We gave it every chance but there’s no sense compromising safety. It was the right call to make in the circumstances. There’s always another day and we can come back and put on a great show.”
A frustrated Mark Lemon after the Manchester weather ruined the Aces’ televised clash with Somerset, which was postponed before a wheel was turned on Monday.
NEXT HOME: Wolverhampton, Wed July 25 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Wolverhampton, Mon July 23 (7.30)
“It’s so disappointing to lose Lewi Kerr like we did but he wants us to do well and I’m sure he’ll be the first to offer any advice to Jason. I also talked to our skipper Robert Lambert about Jason and he gave me total support in making the move.”
Stars boss Dale Allitt says the club have made the best move possible in the circumstances by bringing in Jason Garrity to replace the injured Lewis Kerr.
NEXT HOME: Poole, Mon July 23 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Poole, Wed Aug 1 (7.30)
“It’s devastating to lose at home because we’ve had a good record here, and the track is very good but it has changed a bit – it’s not an excuse, but some of the riders haven’t really adapted to the changes.”
Lions skipper Hans Andersen top-scored in the defeat to King’s Lynn on Monday but admitted several of his team-mates weren’t able to reach the same level of performance.
NEXT HOME: Poole, Mon July 30 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Swindon, Mon July 23 (7.30)
“Chris phoned me after Rye House’s demise was confirmed and said that if an opportunity arose at Poole then he would jump at it. I wasn’t necessarily looking to make a change, but then Linus said he wanted to chat about things and said he was struggling for form. He said he hadn’t found the form he had hoped for in the UK but also in Sweden and Poland and said he felt he was letting the club down.”
Promoter Matt Ford explains the sequence of events which led to Chris Harris replacing Linus Sundstrom in the Pirates’ side.
NEXT HOME: Leicester, Wed July 25 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: King’s Lynn. Mon July 23 (7.30)
“You can't help but be proud to be top of the league, even though we have only just reached the halfway stage as far as this season's fixtures are concerned. The hard work starts now though as we look to try and stay there during the course of our remaining 12 league matches.”
Rebels boss Garry May is delighted with the current Premiership standings, which show the club leading the way in the top flight for the first time in their history.
NEXT HOME: Championship Pairs, Fri July 20 (7pm)
NEXT AWAY: Swindon, Thur July 19 (7.30)
“It’s how you deal with that adversity that really counts. We’ve always had sides that really dig in when they are up against it and we need to do that again. The boys now have to go up a gear to cover for them both.”
The Robins’ title defence has hit trouble, with Alun Rossiter looking at his options after both David Bellego and Zach Wajtknecht picked up knocks over the weekend.
NEXT HOME: Somerset, Thur July 19 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: King’s Lynn, Wed July 25 (7.30)
“The rest of the boys needed me to start chipping in and hopefully I can build on this going forward. I know I should have been doing better than I have been, but tonight reminded me of what I can do.”
A best-yet score in Wolves colours of 13+2 for Cameron Heeps in the 52-38 win over Swindon as the Monmore men got back on track on Monday.
NEXT HOME: Belle Vue, Mon July 23 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Belle Vue, Wed July 25 (7.30)
“Back to winning ways, and decisively too which put us back in fourth place in the league and is the best way to counteract the recent negative losses. The way we took off like a train at the start was awesome stuff.”
The Bandits moved back into the Championship’s top four with an impressive 54-36 win over Scunthorpe, to the delight of boss Scott Courtney.
NEXT HOME: Glasgow, Sat July 28 (7pm)
NEXT AWAY: Glasgow, Fri July 27 (7.30)
“I've always enjoyed riding Armadale, and I think I need to be on a track I enjoy now. This season's not been the best for me, for what reason I don't know. I've not really been enjoying riding the track at Glasgow, I think maybe the changes didn't suit me, that's all I can put it down to. So I want to get on a track I enjoy and have scored plenty of points on, and get some confidence back.”
Richie Worrall is moving across Scotland having agreed a deal to join the Monarchs after recently losing his place with their fierce rivals Glasgow…
NEXT HOME: Redcar, Fri July 27 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Berwick, Sat Aug 11 (7pm)
“I've always enjoyed racing in Scotland and the rivalry between Edinburgh and Glasgow was phenomenal. There was always a good atmosphere with the crowds and between the two teams, and it's something I'm really going to enjoy getting back into.”
…and former Edinburgh stalwart Craig Cook will be lining up in Tigers colours for the remainder of the season after the Tigers completed their own team changes!
NEXT HOME: Berwick, Fri July 27 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Scunthorpe, Sun July 22 (3pm)
“It is no fault of Jonas whatsoever, he has come in and really impressed in two meetings. We had to get Mark signed up this week and get him in the team before someone else signs him up. Bringing Mark in should benefit us in the long term.”
Witches boss Ritchie Hawkins expresses sympathy for Jonas Jeppesen, who has been released as part of a triple change at Foxhall with Mark Riss amongst the incoming riders.
NEXT HOME: Redcar, Thur July 19 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Redcar, Thur July 26 (7.30)
“That’s why they’re so invaluable at this level. Nine times out of ten, you can rely on them when it matters most and they did what we needed them to do tonight. They stepped up when one or two of the boys had a below par night and it was another good victory for the team overall.”
Hammers boss Will Pottinger praised top two Nick Morris and Richard Lawson who combined for two late maximums to ensure their side saw off Sheffield at Purfleet last Friday.
NEXT HOME: To be confirmed
NEXT AWAY: Sheffield, Thur July 26 (7.30)
13-year-old Newcastle Gem Archie Freeman will be amongst ten young riders taking part in the Speedway Grand Prix Academy Workshop this weekend, which includes an hour of on-track training on the British GP circuit at Cardiff.
NEXT HOME: Glasgow, Sun Aug 5 (6.30)
NEXT AWAY: Workington (KOC), Sat July 28 (7pm)
“I’m not going to say we’ve got one foot in the play-offs – but we’re just confident that we can carry on doing what we’re doing. Yes, we look at the table, but until it comes to the nitty-gritty we just want to keep banging in the points, and hopefully it will keep us at the top.”
Two more home wins last weekend have put the Panthers seven points clear at the top of the Championship – but boss Carl Johnson isn’t going to get carried away just yet!
NEXT HOME: Ipswich, Lakeside (KOC), Sun Aug 5 (5pm)
NEXT AWAY: Berwick, Sat Aug 18 (7pm)
“I’m at my wits’ end. There just isn’t any consistency throughout the team and I just don’t know why or how to change it. We were out-gated and out-ridden and that doesn’t please me at all, but Edinburgh were awesome and the result shows that.”
Bears promoter Kevin Keay was left scratching his head after his side suffered a massive 33-57 home reverse at the hands of the Monarchs last time out.
NEXT HOME: Ipswich, Thur July 26 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Ipswich, Thur July 19 (7.30)
“I did show in Heat 13 and Heat 15 that I could still do it. It doesn’t go away, and physically I’m fine. But it’s all about that mental block, of going up to the tapes alongside three other riders. It’s a psychological thing and it’s just about getting back into it.”
Returning Scorpions skipper Steve Worrall made his comeback at Peterborough last Friday and helped his side to pick up a useful league point.
NEXT HOME: Glasgow, Sun July 22 (3pm)
NEXT AWAY: Sheffield, Thur Aug 2 (7.30)
“This promises to be a great night of racing and there's a real cosmopolitan flavour. Our own James Shanes will race along with showman Danny Ayres and I'm predicting an exciting night for the fans."
Promoter Damien Bates is looking forward to handing opportunities to several newcomers in Thursday’s Top Gun Individual, with three of the Australian Under-21 team which raced at Glasgow last weekend included.
NEXT HOME: Top Gun Individual, Thur July 19 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Scunthorpe, Fri July 27 (7.30)
“Rasmus has continued his rich vein of form since dropping to reserve and his 15+2 points were a major factor in our success so that when we had falls or engine problems we were able to overcome them and go on to take the win.”
Comets owner Laura Morgan praised in-form reserve Rasmus Jensen for his contribution in the 47-43 win at Ipswich which extended an impressive run of results for the Derwent Park side.
NEXT HOME: Newcastle (KOC), Sat July 28 (7pm)
NEXT AWAY: Newcastle, Sun Aug 12 (6.30)
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE SOUNDBYTES…
BELLE VUE COLTS
“Stoke fancied their chances but we weren’t about to let lightning strike twice. We knew it was critical for us to get the win because things are getting very tight in the table.”
Colts reserve Kean Dicken celebrated his first race win at National League level during the thumping 61-29 win over Stoke at the NSS last Friday.
NEXT HOME: Mildenhall, Wed Aug 1 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Kent, Mon Aug 13 (6.30)
“The amount of bad luck we’ve had with some of the boys this year already is unbelievable. You have to feel for Danyon himself though because he’s had his own fair share of bad luck in the past 15 months or so and this is another blow for him.”
Brummies boss Laurence Rogers bemoans their latest misfortune with Danyon Hume ruled out with a dislocated shoulder after a crash at Ipswich last week.
NEXT HOME: Mildenhall, Wed July 18 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Kent (EC), Mon July 23 (6.30)
“James is a good and capable rider around Buxton and away from home he is always a force to be reckoned with at the majority of tracks. His personality will help develop the younger lads as he is a real team player.”
Hitmen boss Joshua Moss expects good things from recent signing James Cockle, who is back in racing at Hi-Edge after starting the season at Plymouth.
NEXT HOME: Plymouth, Sun July 29 (3pm)
NEXT AWAY: Isle of Wight, Thur July 26 (7pm)
July has been a quiet month for the Bees due to a double-postponement of Sunday home matches at Leicester, but they return to action on the weekend of July 28/29 when they face home and away clashes with title favourites Mildenhall.
NEXT HOME: Mildenhall, Sun July 29 (3pm)
NEXT AWAY: Mildenhall, Sat July 28 (7.30)
“We were a bit worried that once people had had a few beers, watched the football and got comfortable, they wouldn't be able to make it to the speedway, or they would find something else to do. Essentially that would be financial suicide for us.”
Eagles boss Connor Dugard explains the decision to postpone last weekend’s home match with Mildenhall on the same day as England’s third-place play-off in the World Cup.
NEXT HOME: Plymouth, Sat Aug 11 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Kent, Mon July 30 (6.30)
ISLE OF WIGHT
“I am so pleased to welcome back our very good friend Steve Luxton for his Best Pairs event. Being based in Florida, Steve is one of our long distance supporters but that hasn’t stopped him being a constant source of sponsorship, encouragement and innovative suggestions that help us be the very best we can be.”
Warriors promoter Barry Bishop is looking forward to this Thursday’s Pairs event at Smallbrook, with six combinations competing for the top prize.
NEXT HOME: Cobra’s Mahal Garage Best Pairs, Thur July 19 (7pm)
NEXT AWAY: Buxton, Sun Aug 5 (3pm)
The Kings enjoyed a successful weekend by making KO Cup progress at the expense of Stoke with a win at Loomer Road, and then hit 64 points against the Potters in Monday’s league match at Central Park.
NEXT HOME: Birmingham (EC), Mon July 23 (6.30)
NEXT AWAY: Plymouth (KOC), Fri July 20 (7.15)
“We have had a break since the Plymouth meeting and welcome back Josh Bailey to our line up after a bout of concussion. Josh is a big player in our team and it is good to have him available again. The lads are in no doubt what is required on Wednesday and we will be all out for the win as we look to continue our unbeaten record.”
Fen Tigers promoter Kevin Jolly is eagerly awaiting the trip to Birmingham this week, in a clash of two National League title hopefuls.
NEXT HOME: Coventry, Sat July 28 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Birmingham, Wed July 18 (7.30)
“Each time he rode the track like it had been his own for years, passing one rider then another like a hot knife through butter. He actually finished the meeting with four race wins and apart from that engine failure was unbeaten.”
Devils promoter Stuart Kellie was left hugely impressed by the home debut of Ellis Perks against the Isle of Wight, after a first ride mechanical breakdown.
NEXT HOME: Kent (KOC), Fri July 20 (7.15)
NEXT AWAY: Birmingham, Wed July 25 (7.30)
“It was always going to be difficult coming here without both our reserves and using rider replacement for Adam Extance against an in-form Kent side. Even our heat-leaders struggled early on and got better as the meeting went on.”
Malcolm Vasey reacts to a second successive away match in which the Potters conceded 60+ points, with a depleted side going down at Kent on Monday.
NEXT HOME: Birmingham, Sat July 28 (7pm)
NEXT AWAY: Isle of Wight, Thur Aug 2 (7pm)
MAJOR EVENTS LATEST…
GREAT Britain Youth boss Neil Vatcher said he'd been moved to tears by some of the performances of his young Lions - as they booked their place in the final of the FIM Team Speedway U21 World Championship.
The home riders racked up 50 points to win the semi-final against Australia, Czech Republic and Germany in a thrilling meeting at the Peugeot Ashfield Stadium in Glasgow.
Belle Vue and Workington favourite Dan Bewley was the star of the show, bagging a 15-point maximum for GB, with new Glasgow man Nathan Greaves notching 13. Ellis Perks added 10 with Zach Wajtknecht winning his first two rides before crashing out, whilst reserve Connor Mountain stepped in and won his two outings.
GB now take on Poland, Sweden and hosts Denmark in next month's Final at Outrup.
Vatcher said: “It's a new breed of Australian team and they pushed us really well with some guys that haven't raced in Britain or even Europe before.
“We didn't have Robert Lambert, and guys like Adam Ellis and Josh Bates are now too old, so it's a new breed for us. We're fortunate to have a bigger pick of riders. All credit to the boys who did a good job.
“I've been with Dan a few times across Europe this year and he's definitely stepped up to the plate. He's an absolutely top-quality rider now and deserves all the credit he's been getting. This is just his third season in speedway now which is quite amazing.
“Zach doesn't seem to get much luck and prior to his injury he had two great rides. That ride from third to first actually brought me to tears - and he was looking good to win his next one but got caught up with the Australian rider.”
*LAMBERT, meanwhile, made it a day of celebration for Great Britain by winning the second round of the Speedway Euro Championship in Germany.
The King’s Lynn skipper charged round Leon Madsen on the second bend of the Final to take a stunning victory, and was also ahead of Mikkel Michelsen and Emil Saydutdinov in that race.
The result means Lambert sits just five points behind series leader Jarek Hampel with two rounds remaining.
Said Lambert: “It was an awesome night. To be able to get a win at Gustrow is a great feeling for me and I couldn’t have asked for much better.
“It was hard for me to get around the outside, but there was a bit of space and I managed to get off the fence and get in front, so I’m really pleased with it.”
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 18:
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Birmingham v Mildenhall 7.30
THURSDAY JULY 19:
PREMIERSHIP: Swindon v Somerset 7.30
CHAMPIONSHIP: Ipswich v Redcar 7.30
TOP GUN INDIVIDUAL: Sheffield 7.30
COBRA’S GARAGE MAHAL BEST PAIRS: Isle of Wight 7pm
FRIDAY JULY 20:
CHAMPIONSHIP PAIRS: Somerset 7pm
NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP Q/F 1st leg: Plymouth v Kent 7.15
SATURDAY JULY 21:
BRITISH GRAND PRIX: Cardiff 5pm
SUNDAY JULY 22:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Scunthorpe v Glasgow 5pm
BRITISH YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP (500cc/250cc): Scunthorpe (follows Champ fixture)
MONDAY JULY 23:
PREMIERSHIP: King’s Lynn v Poole 7.30, Swindon v Leicester 7.30, Wolverhampton v Belle Vue 7.30
EASTER CUP 2nd leg: Kent v Birmingham 6.30
WEDNESDAY JULY 25:
PREMIERSHIP: Belle Vue v Wolverhampton 7.30, King’s Lynn v Swindon 7.30, Poole v Leicester 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Birmingham v Plymouth 7.30
THURSDAY JULY 26:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Redcar v Ipswich 7.30, Sheffield v Lakeside 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Isle of Wight v Buxton 7pm
FRIDAY JULY 27:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Edinburgh v Redcar 7.30, Glasgow v Berwick 7.30, Scunthorpe v Sheffield 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Plymouth v Buxton 7.15
SATURDAY JULY 28:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Berwick v Glasgow 7pm
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP 2nd leg: Workington v Newcastle 7pm
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Mildenhall v Coventry 7.30, Stoke v Birmingham 7pm
BRITISH YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP: Belle Vue 6pm
SUNDAY JULY 29:
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Buxton v Plymouth 3pm, Coventry v Mildenhall 3pm
MONDAY JULY 30:
PREMIERSHIP: King’s Lynn v Somerset 7.30, Leicester v Poole 7.30, Swindon v Wolverhampton 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Kent v Eastbourne 6.30
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 1:
PREMIERSHIP: Poole v King’s Lynn 7.30, Somerset v Swindon 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Belle Vue v Mildenhall 7.30
NATIONAL TROPHY: Birmingham v Cradley 7.30