Workington’s Kyle Bickley leading in Saturday’s 47-43 victory against Sheffield at Derwent Park.
Picture: DAVID PAYNE
HERE'S our latest soundbytes and fixtures from around the tracks up and down the country.
“It’s very difficult to put our finger on what went wrong, but we can’t take anything away from Leicester. They were the better team on the night and took full advantage of our misfortunes. For some reason this year, we just don’t seem to have found our mojo on the road.”
Aces boss Mark Lemon was left scratching his head after his side missed a chance to make ground in the play-off race with a damaging 32-58 defeat at Leicester on Monday.
NEXT HOME: Leicester, Mon Aug 20 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Somerset, Wed Aug 15 (7.30)
“We expected it to be hard we had to dig deep to get the win. We were solid throughout and all the boys delivered. Max Fricke was awesome all night and we just had to keep edging ahead and we just did enough. Every win is vital at this stage of the season.”
Stars man Ty Proctor reacts to a vital home win over Belle Vue as the Stars completed the double in a key clash to keep their play-off push very much on.
NEXT HOME: Wolverhampton, Wed Aug 22 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Leicester, Mon Aug 27 (7.30)
“Everyone was winning races and you saw it all the way down to Connor (Mountain), who is learning and was on the pace, and it’s nice to see someone young getting better and better.”
Lions skipper Hans Andersen praises the team effort in Monday’s 58-32 win over Belle Vue which ended an eight-match losing sequence for the club.
NEXT HOME: King’s Lynn, Mon Aug 27 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Belle Vue, Mon Aug 20 (7.30)
“I’d said before that Josh had been consistent for most of the season, but what we had not seen from him was a big return during a key meeting. Now we’ve had it and I couldn’t be happier as I always knew he would stand up when we really needed him.”
Pirates promoter Matt Ford praises skipper Josh Grajczonek after his vital 12-point haul in the narrow 47-43 win over Somerset on Monday.
NEXT HOME: Swindon, Wed Aug 22 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Somerset, Mon Aug 20 (7.30)
“We achieved six of those shared heats by filling second and third places, thus avoiding too many zeroes on the scorechart, and you have to be happy with those sorts of performances.”
Rebels boss Garry May was encouraged by the strength in depth shown by his side in the narrow defeat at play-off rivals Poole on Monday, which still added a league point to their total.
NEXT HOME: Belle Vue, Wed Aug 15 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Poole, Mon Aug 27 (12.30)
“I’m proud of my boys, we did a good job I thought, we showed a good attitude and got the job done. Its another three points on the board and keeps our home run going which we need to continue in the remaining weeks.”
Robins boss Alun Rossiter saw his side defeat Leicester 55-35 at the Abbey and says that form must be maintained over their three remaining home matches.
NEXT HOME: Belle Vue, Thur Aug 16 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Wolverhampton, Mon Aug 20 (7.30)
“We’ve got five away matches to go though and if we’re going to make the play-offs then we need to win at least one of them if not more. The home defeat to Somerset was particularly damaging and we need to try and make those points up somewhere along the line.”
Wolves boss Peter Adams knows the pressure is on his side to collect points on the road as the run-in to play-off qualification gathers pace.
NEXT HOME: Swindon, Mon Aug 20 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: King’s Lynn, Wed Aug 22 (7.30)
“These guys are just up for everything at the moment and got rid of all their frustrations of two rain-offs in two nights by taking Edinburgh reasonably comfortably, with some excellent passing on a Shielfield track which has rarely been in better shape.”
Delight for Bandits boss Scott Courtney with a home win over Edinburgh to maintain their excellent form around their own circuit.
NEXT HOME: Peterborough, Sat Aug 18 (7pm)
NEXT AWAY: Scunthorpe, Fri Aug 17 (7.30)
“We've tried several times to get William back on a bike and now it is happening. He was practising at Berwick on Saturday and told me that his arms were feeling sore, but I assured him that he won't be riding two successive races in five minutes on a 400 metre track while he's with us!”
Monarchs co-promoter John Campbell announces the return of William Lawson, who has re-joined the club some eight years after his previous stint at Armadale.
NEXT HOME: Sheffield, Fri Aug 17 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Sheffield, Thur Aug 23 (7.30)
“If we were to win one and maybe gain a couple of other points, which will be difficult, I think we would give ourselves a great chance too. Ipswich picking up a couple of points at Peterborough is very interesting because it brings Peterborough back into the pack, but brings Ipswich into the pack too!”
Tigers co-boss Michael Max knows away results will be crucial over the coming weeks as the race for the Championship top four is set for a fascinating conclusion.
NEXT HOME: Ipswich, Fri Aug 17 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Ipswich, Thur Aug 16 (7.30)
“As good as he has been and as talented as we know he is we can’t expect too much from him. It is a really big meeting for him to come into but he is in great form and is an immense talent who we are lucky to have and it is a massive boost for everyone. I am sure everyone will be excited to see a local lad riding for the local team and whatever happens everyone will get behind him.”
Witches boss Ritchie Hawkins says no pressure will be put on 16-year-old Drew Kemp ahead of his Championship debut on Thursday.
NEXT HOME: Glasgow, Thur Aug 16 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Glasgow, Fri Aug 17 (7.30)
“The boys are even more up for the cause now and we’re an even bigger threat to everyone in the league. Hopefully the boys get a trophy to show for their efforts come the end of the season.”
Hammers co-promoter Jon Cook says the club’s determination to secure honours this season has only increased given uncertainty over their long-term future at Purfleet.
NEXT HOME: Newcastle, Fri Aug 24 (8pm)
NEXT AWAY: Newcastle, Sun Aug 26 (6.30)
The Diamonds’ hopes of avenging their KO Cup exit at the hands of Workington were thwarted by the weather at Brough Park last Sunday, but they go back into action at Sheffield and at home to Peterborough this week.
NEXT HOME: Peterborough, Sun Aug 19 (6.30)
NEXT AWAY: Sheffield, Thur Aug 16 (7.30)
“The draw against Ipswich does put a bit of pressure on us because we’ve dropped some points at home. The important thing is being in the top four, and if we’re in there we know anything can happen in the play-offs.”
Boss Carl Johnson says the Panthers head into an important away mini-tour to Berwick and Newcastle this weekend looking for points on the road to cancel out those lost at home with the recent 45-45 draw against Ipswich.
NEXT HOME: Berwick, Sun Sept 9 (5pm)
NEXT AWAY: Berwick, Sat Aug 18 (7pm)
“I like Nike's give-it-all racing style and it very much fits with what we want here at Redcar. I’m sorry to see Tobi go but we need riders that give 100 per cent every time they pull on a Bears jacket and Tobi fell short of that.”
Bears manager Jade Mudgway explains the decision to release Tobias Busch in favour of Nike Lunna, now fit again after losing his place with Peterborough due to injury.
NEXT HOME: Workington, Thur Aug 23 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Workington, Sun Aug 26 (7.30)
“If all goes to plan, we should be back to full strength against Berwick for the first time since Steve Worrall crashed during our opening meeting way back in April.”
Scorpions boss Dave Peet confirms Stefan Nielsen is expected back for the club’s clash with Berwick on Friday to bring an end to an injury nightmare affecting several of their riders throughout 2018.
NEXT HOME: Berwick, Fri Aug 17 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Ipswich, Thur Aug 30 (7.30)
“We’re delighted to welcome both Kasper and Connor to the club. They both arrive with plenty of potential and this is an excellent opportunity for them to show what they can do at this level.”
Tigers co-promoter Julie Reading speaks after confirmation the club have signed Kasper Andersen and Connor Mountain for the closing weeks of the season, replacing Lasse Bjerre and Joe Lawlor.
NEXT HOME: Newcastle, Thur Aug 16 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Edinburgh, Fri Aug 17 (7.30)
“Everyone knew that the rain was coming at some point but with our backlog of home fixtures we needed to get a result; and thanks to the Sheffield promotion for their co-operation in enabling us to get the first ten heats raced in record time, then right on cue the rain started as the riders lined up for heat 11.”
Comets boss Tony Jackson was thankful for a window in the weather to enable Saturday’s clash with Sheffield to take place at Derwent Park, with the home side emerging 47-43 winners.
NEXT HOME: Ipswich, Sat Aug 18 (7pm)
NEXT AWAY: Redcar, Thur Aug 23 (7.30)
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE SOUNDBYTES…
BELLE VUE COLTS
“Now that other clubs are starting to catch up to us, in terms of the number of meetings they’ve raced, we need to up our game and keep the pressure on in the build-up to the play offs.”
Colts skipper Jack Smith knows the final set of matches are crucial if the Colts are to reach the play-offs in a bid to defend their National League title.
NEXT HOME: Kent, Wed Aug 15 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Mildenhall (KOC), Sun Aug 19 (3pm)
“To have both Danyon and Leon back earlier than we expected is huge news for us and our season. Not only are they huge for the team on track, they bring something totally different to the atmosphere behind the scenes as well.”
Brummies boss Laurence Rogers has a full-strength team on track this week with Danyon Hume and Leon Flint back from injury whilst Callum Walker also returns from illness.
NEXT HOME: Buxton, Wed Aug 15 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Mildenhall, Sun Aug 26 (3pm)
The Hitmen return to action this week with a trip to Birmingham on Wednesday, before hosting another play-off chasing club Coventry at Hi-Edge on Sunday.
NEXT HOME: Coventry, Sun Aug 19 (3pm)
NEXT AWAY: Birmingham, Wed Aug 15 (7.30)
“I thought we would do better than we did, even though we got a draw, and we basically gave points away. It was a match I was pretty confident of taking four points from, that was the plan, but we didn’t get that far unfortunately.”
Bees boss Martyn Macdonald had to be satisfied with two points from a 29-29 draw at Stoke with rain preventing any further action beyond Heat 10.
NEXT HOME: Plymouth, Sun Sept 2 (3pm)
NEXT AWAY: Buxton, Sun Aug 19 (3pm)
“I had four heats sitting round waiting and then Georgie [Wood] had a big locker [in Heat 13] and Connor said 'do you want to go out'. I jumped on it and made a good start. It is a good learning experience in Heat 15 because you are always against the better riders, which is a good thing.”
Eagles youngster Jason Edwards enjoyed his outing in the final race during the 54-36 home win over Plymouth on Saturday.
NEXT HOME: Coventry, Sat Aug 25 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Isle of Wight, Thur Aug 30 (7pm)
ISLE OF WIGHT
“I put everything into making that start. I was concentrating hard, knew what I had to do and had good speed. Riding on the Island has been a huge help. Winning races is so good for building confidence and things here are really good.”
Warriors star Alfie Bowtell took victory in the second round of the VMA Challenge at Smallbrook last week.
NEXT HOME: Mildenhall, Thur Aug 16 (7pm)
NEXT AWAY: Eastbourne, Sat Sept 1 (7.30)
“Two very important league points in the bag. It was an evening when it could have gone either way and our Kings stepped up to the mark when it was needed most. A super performance and I’m proud of them all.”
Promoter Len Silver was more than satisfied with a 45-45 draw for his side at Birmingham last week, a result which helped the Kings more than the Brummies.
NEXT HOME: Plymouth, Mon Aug 20 (6.30)
NEXT AWAY: Belle Vue, Wed Aug 15 (7.30)
“We head to the Isle of Wight and Plymouth in a confident mood and following conversations between the riders and management will operate rider-replacement for Drew. The lads are so solid and together we all feel we have the quality within the six riders to cover his absence.”
Fen Tigers promoter Kevin Jolly says rider-replacement will be a good option to cover for Drew Kemp on their southern tour, as the 16-year-old makes his Championship debut for Ipswich.
NEXT HOME: Belle Vue (KOC), Sun Aug 19 (3pm)
NEXT AWAY: Isle of Wight, Thur Aug 16 (7pm)
“The Devils had a mountain to climb and unfortunately it was not to be. The only remaining heat-leader and captain Henry Atkins, once dialled into the track proved a worthy rider and was backed up by form man Richard Andrews who was truly exciting, making outside passing manoeuvres in most of his races.”
Co-promoter Stuart Kellie says the loss of No.1 Ellis Perks in his first ride, with the side already a heat-leader down, was too big a handicap to overcome against Eastbourne last weekend.”
NEXT HOME: Mildenhall, Fri Aug 17 (7.15)
NEXT AWAY: Kent, Mon Aug 20 (6.30)
“I’m very proud of how the lads battled throughout the meeting. We got off to a really poor start but despite being well down they kept battling away and in the latter heats started to come good and got a few points on the board.”
Potters boss Malcolm Vasey focused on the positives as his side went down 60-29 at the hands of runaway league leaders Mildenhall on Sunday.
NEXT HOME: Kent, Sat Aug 18 (7pm)
NEXT AWAY: Birmingham, Wed Aug 22 (7.30)
MAJOR EVENTS LATEST…
BRITISH icons Chris Harris and Scott Nicholls are in line to lock horns at the Championship Riders’ Individual next month.
It’s the biggest meeting on the Championship calendar and takes place at Sheffield’s Owlerton Stadium on Sunday September 2 (5pm).
Under the qualifying criteria Harris makes it as a Glasgow representative and Nicholls with Peterborough – and that means the men with 10 British titles between them will battle it out for the Riders’ Championship.
Sheffield co-promoter and British Speedway major events co-ordinator Damien Bates said: “Whilst the full line-up is still subject to confirmation it has all the makings of a terrific line-up.
“When you’re talking about riders like Scott and Bomber you know you’re going to be in for a fantastic early evening of entertainment.
“I believe the racing will be as keenly competitive as any of the old PLRC meetings we staged here and there’s a lot of pride on the line to show who is the best rider at Championship level.
“And even though riders have had big meetings in the World Cup and Grand Prix in the past, this meeting is one they want to win.
“We at Sheffield are delighted to be hosting the event and we will do our very best to make it a spectacle as we always do.
“And on a selfish basis, after the season we’ve had at Sheffield I would love to see a home winner to go with the Pairs title we won!
“But there’s very little home advantage because everyone loves riding at Sheffield these days and it’s going to be a wide open field.”
The action starts at 5pm and a bumper crowd is expected with fans from throughout the UK expected to make the journey to South Yorkshire.
Gates are expected to open at 3pm and a 56-page special souvenir programme will be available to commemorate the occasion.
BRITISH SPEEDWAY MAJOR EVENTS 2018
PREMIERSHIP RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: JASON DOYLE
BRITISH FINAL: ROBERT LAMBERT
CHAMPIONSHIP FOURS: PETERBOROUGH
CHAMPIONSHIP PAIRS: SHEFFIELD
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 AUGUST 15:
PREMIERSHIP: Somerset v Belle Vue 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Belle Vue v Kent 7.30, Birmingham v Buxton 7.30
THURSDAY AUGUST 16:
PREMIERSHIP: Swindon v Belle Vue 7.30
CHAMPIONSHIP: Ipswich v Glasgow 7.30, Sheffield v Newcastle 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Isle of Wight v Mildenhall 7pm
FRIDAY AUGUST 17:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Edinburgh v Sheffield 7.30, Glasgow v Ipswich 7.30, Scunthorpe v Berwick 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Plymouth v Mildenhall 7.15
SATURDAY AUGUST 18:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Berwick v Peterborough 7pm, Workington v Ipswich 7pm
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Stoke v Kent 7pm
SUNDAY AUGUST 19:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Newcastle v Peterborough 6.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Buxton v Coventry 3pm
NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP: Mildenhall v Belle Vue 3pm
MONDAY AUGUST 20:
PREMIERSHIP: Belle Vue v Leicester 7.30, Somerset v Poole 7.30, Wolverhampton v Swindon 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Kent v Plymouth 6.30
TUESDAY AUGUST 21:
CHALLENGE: Isle of Wight v Young Lions Select 7pm
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 22:
PREMIERSHIP: King’s Lynn v Wolverhampton 7pm, King’s Lynn v Wolverhampton (follows previous fixture), Poole v Swindon 7.30, Somerset v Leicester 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Birmingham v Stoke 7.30
THURSDAY AUGUST 23:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Ipswich v Peterborough 7.30, Redcar v Workington 7.30, Sheffield v Edinburgh 7.30
FRIDAY AUGUST 24:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Edinburgh v Glasgow 7.30, Lakeside v Newcastle 8pm, Scunthorpe v Ipswich 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Belle Vue v Buxton 7.30
SATURDAY AUGUST 25:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Workington v Lakeside 7pm (prov)
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Eastbourne v Coventry 7.30
SUNDAY AUGUST 26:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Glasgow v Edinburgh 3pm, Newcastle v Lakeside 6.30, Workington v Redcar 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Buxton v Kent 3pm, Mildenhall v Birmingham 3pm
MONDAY AUGUST 27:
PREMIERSHIP: Belle Vue v Wolverhampton 12pm, Leicester v King’s Lynn 7.30, Poole v Somerset 12.30, Swindon v Poole 7.30, Wolverhampton v Belle Vue 8pm
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Kent v Birmingham 6.30
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 29:
PREMIERSHIP: King’s Lynn v Poole 7.30, Somerset v Wolverhampton 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Birmingham v Coventry 7.30