PIC OF THE WEEK...
Belle Vue’s Craig Cook on his way to a 14+1 paid-maximum in Bank Holiday Monday’s lunchtime Premiership home match against Wolverhampton.
Picture: EDDIE GARVEY
Latest soundbytes and fixtures from around the tracks up and down the country.
“Unfortunately, it came down to a last-heat decider and they were just quicker out of the gate. Still, one point is better than nothing and we need to take what we can if we want to make the play-offs.”
Aces star Steve Worrall reflects on a dramatic clash at Wolverhampton where the Manchester side secured a point which still leaves them with work to do in order to secure a top-four finish.
NEXT HOME: Somerset, Mon Sept 10 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Swindon, Thur Sept 6 (7.30)
“This is the best feeling I’ve had as a team here at King’s Lynn and this was a brilliant performance. We’ve found our form and are on a good run, hopefully we can keep it going when we come up against Poole.”
Stars skipper Robert Lambert is hoping to lead his side all the way to the Premiership title, with another impressive win at Leicester completed by the Norfolk side on Monday.
NEXT HOME: Poole, Wed Aug 29 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Wolverhampton, Mon Sept 3 (7.30)
“I take my hat off to King’s Lynn, I thought they were magnificent. That’s the best King’s Lynn side I’ve seen for a number of years and we were simply beaten by the better team so we can have no complaints.”
Lions co-promoter Neil Machin was fulsome in his praise for opponents King’s Lynn after their 50-40 win at the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena on Monday.
NEXT HOME: Somerset, Mon Sept 3 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: King’s Lynn, Wed Sept 5 (7.30)
“Kacper (Woryna) is really getting to grips with the Wimborne Road track and was superb all afternoon. The other riders then really stepped up at Swindon in the evening where, with a little more luck, we could have won. But I’m delighted to be back on top of the table and our all-round strength in depth is showing just when we need it.”
Pirates promoter Matt Ford was satisfied with a four-point return from Bank Holiday Monday, with a 48-42 win over Somerset at home followed up by a point gained from a 42-47 defeat at Swindon.
NEXT HOME: Wolverhampton, Wed Sept 5 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: King’s Lynn, Wed Aug 29 (7.30)
“With the way the Premiership is shaping up and still five sides with very realistic chances of reaching the final four, it is imperative that we complete all our league matches before the cut-off date. Of course, we recognise that this is an off-night as far as Somerset Speedway is concerned but we had no other alternative to next Tuesday and I just hope that this change of dates won't inconvenience our supporters too much.”
The Rebels will stage a rare Tuesday meeting next week when they host King’s Lynn, with promoter Debbie Hancock determined to see her side cement their place in the top four.
NEXT HOME: Wolverhampton, Wed Aug 29 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Leicester, Mon Sept 3 (7.30)
“It was great to see young Tom go out and get a 5-1 in Heat 2, and in fairness he was racing hard all night which was a pleasure to see, and he looks good for the future.”
Robins boss Alun Rossiter praised youngster Tom Brennan who made a guest appearance at reserve and promptly defeated Kacper Woryna and Frederik Jakobsen in his first ride of the Robins’ 47-42 win over Poole which keeps their outside play-off hopes alive.
NEXT HOME: Belle Vue, Thur Sept 6 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: King’s Lynn (KOC), TBC
“It’s a remarkable performance after losing two riders. If we had lost at home tonight our play-off hopes were over, but we are still alive.”
Peter Adams saw his side grab a remarkable 46-44 win over Belle Vue despite Rory Schlein and Kyle Howarth both crashing out of Monday’s thriller at Monmore in Heat 1.
NEXT HOME: King’s Lynn, Mon Sept 3 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Somerset, Wed Aug 29 (7.30)
“It’s a bit out of our hands due to other teams playing catch-up with fixtures, but we have given ourselves a fighting chance and few teams will relish meeting us at present.”
Diamonds promoter Scott Courtney will now take his side to three away matches to see if they can gain enough points on the road to maintain their top four place once other clubs have caught up on fixtures.
NEXT HOME: TBC
NEXT AWAY: Ipswich, Thur Sept 6 (7.30)
“It was a tough meeting but a great result for the team. We needed to win this and we did. A big shout out to Joel (Andersson) who got big points at Sheffield last night and again tonight.”
Monarchs star Ricky Wells said the Armadale side had performed well in their home win over local rivals Glasgow, 24 hours after they picked up two league points with a draw at Sheffield.
NEXT HOME: Workington, Fri Aug 31 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Workington, Sat Sept 1 (7pm)
“They are really good here - it's a specialist track and they have a big home track advantage. You either score points here or you don't. It is a hard place for some of the younger riders in our team to come to as well. We have to just overcome tonight and move onto the next one.”
Tigers star Paul Starke was in philosophical mood after a heavy derby defeat at Edinburgh on Friday, leaving the Ashfield side needing big results to maintain their play-off chances.
NEXT HOME: Newcastle, Fri Aug 31 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Ipswich, Thur Sept 13 (7.30)
“We were saying it is amazing how one day you can struggle to get 40 points at home and then the next night nearly hit 60 away from home. That is the sport and we know we can’t relax and think anything into last Friday, we need to be on our game and focused and the fans deserve a good performance after last week.”
Witches boss Ritchie Hawkins mulls over the inconsistencies of the sport after seeing his side lose at home to Peterborough and then win emphatically at Scunthorpe 24 hours later to revive their play-off hopes.
NEXT HOME: Scunthorpe, Thur Aug 30 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Glasgow, Tues Sept 4 (7.30)
“After all the heavy rain, the track was very difficult at Newcastle and we put safety first. We didn’t want any further injury problems. But going into it without Richard Lawson was always going to be hard. Rider-replacement scored just five points and he would have got an awful lot more than that.”
Hammers boss Will Pottinger reflects on a fruitless weekend, with Sunday’s defeat at Newcastle the only one of three planned meetings to reach a conclusion.
NEXT HOME: Glasgow, Fri Sept 14 (8pm)
NEXT AWAY: Edinburgh, Fri Sept 7 (7.30)
“Huge congratulations to firstly our track staff who worked feverishly throughout the day to get this track in a good shape for racing, when many thought we had no chance, which they did admirably - and to our lads for racing in superb style to take a good win over second in the league, and that's no mean feat at all!”
Diamonds boss George English praised participants both on and off the track for ensuring Sunday’s meeting against Lakeside went ahead, with his side taking an impressive 53-37 win.
NEXT HOME: Scunthorpe, Sun Sept 9 (6.30)
NEXT AWAY: Redcar, Thur Aug 30 (7.30)
“Ipswich is one of Tom’s favourite tracks, we know he likes the place, but for him to score 14 was fantastic. I did give him a hard time earlier in the season with chopping and changing him, but I think he’s grown for it. He knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but now he’s really stepped up and come to the fore.”
Manager Carl Johnson is delighted with the progress of Panthers reserve Tom Bacon, who made a crucial 14-point contribution in the 49-41 win at Ipswich which took them clear at the top of the table.
NEXT HOME: Berwick, Sun Sept 9 (5pm)
NEXT AWAY: TBC
The Bears have confirmed a date for their popular Teesside Silver Helmet event, which will take place at the Media Prima Arena on Thursday September 20.
NEXT HOME: Newcastle, Thur Aug 30 (7.30)
“Ipswich gave us a lesson in how to ride our own track. It was wet after the rain and they rode it far better than we did. It was embarrassing when we conceded a whole string of 5-1s mid-meeting. It shouldn’t happen, but it did.”
Scorpions promoter Rob Godfrey issued an apology to supporters after his team were routed 59-30 at home by Ipswich on a bad night for the club last Friday.
NEXT HOME: Sheffield, Fri Aug 31 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Ipswich, Thur Aug 30 (7.30)
“It's a big moment for me. I've been riding motorbikes since the age of five and to grow and grow and grow, come over to England and get a team place is pretty huge. To be riding for such a great club like Sheffield with the ambition they've shown me just makes me even more excited for March to come around.”
The Tigers have already confirmed the signing of Australian talent Zaine Kennedy for 2019 with the rider counting the days until the new season gets underway.
NEXT HOME: Championship Riders’ Individual, Sun Sept 2 (5pm)
NEXT AWAY: Scunthorpe, Fri Aug 31 (7.30)
“Naturally, we are all devastated for him and we all wish Dan a full and speedy recovery. We have already been inundated with messages of support for Dan from throughout the speedway community, which underlines just how popular he has become in the sport in a relatively short period of time.”
Comets boss Tony Jackson sums up the mood at the club after sensational British youngster Dan Bewley suffered serious injuries in a horror crash at Derwent Park on Saturday.
NEXT HOME: Edinburgh, Sat Sept 1 (7pm)
NEXT AWAY: Edinburgh, Fri Aug 31 (7.30)
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE SOUNDBYTES…
BELLE VUE COLTS
“All the boys were fired up for this one. The rain had made the track quite grippy, which a lot of us quite liked and it gave us a bit more of an advantage to go out and do what we needed to do.”
Colts youngster Kyle Bickley scored a 15-point maximum in last Friday’s win over Buxton which keeps them in the play-off places.
NEXT HOME: Kent, Fri Aug 31 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Kent, Mon Sept 10 (6.30)
“It couldn't have come at a worst time for us really, mainly because not only have we got Wednesday's home meeting with Coventry, but we've also got two big away matches at Plymouth and Stoke this weekend. But we take it one meeting at a time right now and our first priority is to continue our winning run at home.”
Boss Laurence Rogers reflects on more bad luck for Danyon Hume, who suffered a broken collarbone in a crash at Kent on Bank Holiday Monday.
NEXT HOME: Coventry, Wed Aug 29 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Plymouth, Fri Aug 31 (7.15)
“We battled hard especially early on in the meeting and it was only in the latter stages that Belle Vue pulled away from us to give them what looks a comfortable win in the end. The lads did not let their heads go down and battled on throughout and it showed the spirit in the camp is really good.”
The Hitmen went down 57-32 at Belle Vue on Friday but manager Joshua Moss says the effort is still very much there from his side.
NEXT HOME: Isle of Wight, Sun Sept 2 (3pm)
NEXT AWAY: TBC
“From Sunday it would be coming towards the end of the line if we start losing against Plymouth, and then we have a run-in of matches we should largely be looking to win, although we do still face Mildenhall.”
Bees boss Martyn Macdonald knows his side face a run of must-win fixtures if they are to keep up their challenge to reach the National League play-offs.
NEXT HOME: Plymouth, Sun Sept 2 (3pm)
NEXT AWAY: Birmingham, Wed Aug 29 (7.30)
“Busy is good. We haven’t had that much track time and we have to build on this.
We have got the momentum going as we come to the crunch time of the season. We know what we have to do, we just have to finish it off.”
Eagles captain Mark Baseby says his side are ready for a hectic spell of racing as they look to continue their bid for silverware this season.
NEXT HOME: Kent, Sat Sept 1 (7.30)
NEXT AWAY: Isle of Wight, Thur Aug 30 (7pm)
ISLE OF WIGHT
“We could hardly have asked for a tougher finish having to take on the Fen Tigers and the Eagles at Smallbrook in our last two home league fixtures, but it is what it is and we will be working overtime to try and round our season off on a winning note.”
Warriors chief Barry Bishop wants to end the home National League campaign on a high when Eastbourne visit Smallbrook this week.
NEXT HOME: Eastbourne, Thur Aug 30 (7pm)
NEXT AWAY: Buxton, Sun Sept 2 (3pm)
“It's a massive step towards the play-offs to get the league points we needed against a very powerful and determined Birmingham side. And the architect of our win was undoubtedly our battered and bruised reserve, Alex Spooner. He struggled all evening with severe pain after his bad crash just six days earlier and was pleased to get it all behind him!”
Kings boss Len Silver praised Alex Spooner who returned under a week after a heavy crash at the Isle of Wight to play a part in the 46-43 win over Birmingham on Monday.
NEXT HOME: Mildenhall, Mon Sept 3 (6.30)
NEXT AWAY: Belle Vue, Fri Aug 31 (7.30)
“These are the big meetings we have wanted and they will now come thick and fast, and the lads are so driven and focused they will take little motivating for these fixtures. The side is still improving and progressing and we are in for some exciting weeks in the run up to the end of the season.”
Fen Tigers promoter Kevin Jolly is relishing the prospect of meeting some of their biggest rivals over the coming weeks as they look to secures silverware this season.
NEXT HOME: Eastbourne, Sun Sept 2 (3pm)
NEXT AWAY: Kent, Mon Sept 3 (6.30)
“We have already won at Birmingham so we will be looking to complete a double over them, and there is no reason why we can’t expect to win away to Coventry.”
Devils promoter Stuart Kellie is optimistic of a successful weekend to get back in the race for the top four.
NEXT HOME: Birmingham, Fri Aug 31 (7.15)
NEXT AWAY: Coventry, Sun Sept 2 (3pm)
“We were simply beaten by the better side on the day. Connor Coles, David Wallinger and Max Clegg did their best against a team who are currently on fire and have come into form and we have to accept that we well beaten in the end.”
Potters co-boss Adam Isherwood had no complaints after the Potters went down to a 27-63 defeat at Birmingham last Wednesday.
NEXT HOME: Birmingham, Sat Sept 1 (7pm)
NEXT AWAY: Coventry, Sun Sept 9 (4.30)
MAJOR EVENTS LATEST…
CRAIG Cook will look to repeat one of his greatest days in the sport when he competes in this Sunday’s Championship Riders’ Individual at Sheffield (5pm).
The Grand Prix star won the title under its previous guise of the PLRC back in 2012, and regards that as one of the big launch points of his career.
Back then, Cook was representing Edinburgh but a mid-season return to Championship level in 2018 has seen him sign for the Monarchs’ rivals Glasgow.
And he’s hoping to give the Tigers fans a night to remember at Owlerton by lifting the second-tier individual crown for a second time.
Cook said: “When you are younger, any big win is vital. It pushes you on, and that certainly happened with me. I got a lot of extra belief and confidence from that day.
“We then went on to have a very successful period with Edinburgh and they were all milestones, as was making the play-off Final with Belle Vue.
“Individually I’ve finished three times as British Final runner-up before winning it and then I made the Grand Prix. It’s been a continual upward trend and progress, progress, progress. But each step you take obviously gets harder.
“Winning is all I want to do. It’s addictive and also keeps you hungry for more. I simply don’t believe in second place.
“Perhaps my expectations are too high at times. But I will keep striving for the sky.”
Cook is part of an all-star line-up in South Yorkshire on Sunday, with numerous riders having their eyes on the top prize.
All eleven Championship clubs are represented with Peterborough, Edinburgh, Lakeside, Scunthorpe and hosts Sheffield each having two riders in the field.
Charles Wright and Kyle Howarth line up for the Tigers, just under two months on from successfully combining to win the Championship Pairs title at Somerset.
Howarth has also enjoyed major event success at Owlerton in the past as he was also a Pairs winner in the re-staging of the 2017 meeting back in October.
LINE-UP: Michael Palm Toft (Peterborough), Charles Wright (Sheffield), Ben Barker (Redcar), Stuart Robson (Newcastle), Adam Ellis (Lakeside), Kevin Doolan (Berwick), Richard Lawson (Lakeside), Ricky Wells OR Richie Worrall (Edinburgh), Rory Schlein OR Nico Covatti (Ipswich), Ty Proctor (Workington), Erik Riss (Edinburgh), Craig Cook (Glasgow), Kyle Howarth (Sheffield), Scott Nicholls (Peterborough), Josh Auty (Scunthorpe), Steve Worrall (Scunthorpe).
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 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
THURSDAY AUGUST 30:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Ipswich v Scunthorpe 7.30, Redcar v Newcastle 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Isle of Wight v Eastbourne 7pm
FRIDAY AUGUST 31:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Edinburgh v Workington 7.30, Glasgow v Newcastle 7.30, Scunthorpe v Sheffield 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Belle Vue v Kent 7.30, Plymouth v Birmingham 7.15
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 1:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Workington v Edinburgh 7pm
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Eastbourne v Kent 7.30, Stoke v Birmingham 7pm
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 2:
CHAMPIONSHIP RIDERS’ INDIVIDUAL: Sheffield 5pm
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Buxton v Isle of Wight 3pm, Coventry v Plymouth 4pm, Mildenhall v Eastbourne 3pm
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 3:
PREMIERSHIP: Leicester v Somerset 7.30, Wolverhampton v King’s Lynn 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Kent v Mildenhall 6.30
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 4:
PREMIERSHIP: Somerset v King’s Lynn 7.30
CHAMPIONSHIP: Glasgow v Ipswich 7.30
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 5:
PREMIERSHIP: King’s Lynn v Leicester 7.30, Poole v Wolverhampton 7.30
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 6:
PREMIERSHIP: Swindon v Belle Vue 7.30
CHAMPIONSHIP: Ipswich v Berwick 7.30
WIGHTLINK SUMMER SHOWDOWN: Isle of Wight 7pm
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 7:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Edinburgh v Lakeside 7.30, Redcar v Sheffield 7.30
CHAMPIONSHIP SHIELD S/F 1st leg: Scunthorpe v Workington 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Belle Vue v Isle of Wight 7.30
CHALLENGE: Plymouth v Young Lions Select 7.15
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 8:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Workington v Newcastle 7pm
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Mildenhall v Birmingham 7.30, Stoke v Eastbourne 7pm
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 9:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Peterborough v Berwick 5pm, Newcastle v Scunthorpe 6.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Buxton v Eastbourne 3pm, Coventry v Birmingham 3pm, Coventry v Stoke (follows previous fixture)
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 10:
PREMIERSHIP: Belle Vue v Somerset 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Kent v Belle Vue 6.30
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 11:
NATIONAL TROPHY FINAL 1st leg: Cradley v Mildenhall 7.30
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 12:
INTER-LEAGUE CHALLENGE: Birmingham v Peterborough Select 7.30