PINJAR PARK LATEST
GENERAL NEWS - 1 September, 2014
Story by Brad Muller
Pinjar Park speedway are very pleased to announce that Berwick Bandits & Czech Republic international racer Matej Kus is returning to Perth this summer. Matej plans to arrive in Perth mid November once he's finished his racing commitments in England & Europe, just in time for the great Aussie weather. Welcome back to WA Matej Kus.
UK NEWS - 1 September, 2014
Story by BSPA Press Office
EASTBOURNE returned to third place in the Elite League table with a 50-40 home win over Lakeside at Arlington.
The Eagles now lead the Hammers, who are one place outside the play-offs, by three points, although only one of their remaining seven fixtures is on their own circuit.
Bjarne Pedersen and guest Kyle Newman both scored 11+2 for the Eagles, with guest Craig Cook also picking up 11+2 for the Hammers.
In the Premier League, Berwick reserve Matej Kus scored an astonishing seven-ride paid-21 maximum against his former club Redcar to enhance the Bandits’ position in the top four.
The home side won 52-43, taking all three points from the meeting with Kus piling up 20+1, backed up by Steen Jensen on 12+1. Aaron Summers (14) and Hugh Skidmore (10+1) were both in double figures for the Bears.
Berwick boss John Anderson said: “It took us a long time to remember the last time a Berwick Bandit scored a full or paid 21-point maximum, and we think it might have been Claus Kristensen over a decade ago, but Matej’s achievement will go down in Berwick history as a moment people will remember seeing in years to come.
“Other than that massive achievement the rest of the lads weighed in with vital points and young James Sarjeant – our National League guest scored a vital point that tipped the balance and gave us all three league points, so everyone played their part to the max!”
Workington were the big movers of the evening as they continued making inroads into their fixture backlog by taking maximum points from their home matches against Rye House and Scunthorpe.
The Comets’ 63-31 demolition of Rye House was their biggest victory of the season so far and they also beat the Scorpions 49-41, securing all three points with a 3-3 in the last race.
Workington leap up to eighth place in the table, six points off the play-offs, whilst Scunthorpe remain in a comfortable fifth.
Comets team manager Tony Jackson said: “Following last weekend’s home defeat to Glasgow this was the perfect way to bounce back and keep our play-off hopes alive. For the first time since May we were able to field a team of seven riders and no guests and every one of them did a great job in both meetings.
“We now need to produce more performances like that starting with our return visit to Scunthorpe this afternoon (Sunday).”
Scunthorpe boss Dave Peet said: “I guess it was disappointing to just miss out on a point. But to be honest, it was like trying to push water uphill all night, because we were only firing on four cylinders.
“Josh Auty (13 points) was awesome – he was a man on a mission. The big positive in this meeting was just how well Josh rode.”
Rye House manager John Sampford said: “It really was all about gating tonight. Edward (Kennett) made three excellent starts, and won those races easily, but he found it so much harder in his other heats. He also hit carburettor problems in his last race which we will need to sort out before tomorrow’s (Sunday) match.”
Ipswich strengthened their position in the top four with a 54-36 home win over Sheffield, moving up to second place with two matches to go as they completed a quickfire double against the Tigers.
Gino Manzares was top-scorer on 12+1 and received good support from Cameron Heeps (11+1), Richie Worrall (11) and Rohan Tungate (10+1) whilst Simon Stead led the Sheffield scoring on 12.
Sheffield boss Joe Screen said: “We got off to a great start and I thought we might get something, but they just had a few 5-1s which knocked us back and we tailed off towards the end.
"We always knew it was going to be difficult, and in the end I don't think the result quite reflected the effort the lads put and how well they rode at times.”
In the National League Mildenhall pulled off their best result of the season with a 44-40 win at Stoke despite racing without their regular top three and reserve Jack Kingston.
Brendan Johnson headed an all-round show from the much-changed Fen Tigers with 10 points to significantly strengthen their position in the top four with an away win over one of the chasing group.
Mildenhall chairman Kevin Jolly said: “This team never fails to surprise me! After the home defeat against Cradley and the away loss at Kings Lynn our season seemed to have hit a brick wall, but to their credit the youngsters have responded brilliantly and following a fine display on Sunday we have claimed a very important win tonight in the race for a play-off place.”
POOLE have called up Russian star Emil Sayfutdinov and two of their former riders for the inaugural World Speedway League event in Zielona Gora on Sunday.
The Pirates are without the suspended Darcy Ward and the injured Przemyslaw Pawlicki for the competition which pits them against reigning league champions of three other nations, with the host club joined by Piratena (Sweden) and Esbjerg (Denmark) – and their hopes of tracking Chris Holder were also dashed.
Sayfutdinov, Piotr Pawlicki and Leon Madsen are joined by Pirates regulars Josh Grajczonek and Maciej Janowski.
Promoter Matt Ford said: “I accept that the use of guests is not an ideal situation but neither would putting out an under-strength side in the competition. Zielona Gora have boldy agreed to stage the event and I know from the costings that I did initially it is not a cheap meeting to put on.
“The competition deserves to have a world class line-up. It is attracting a lot of interest, we have many fans from Poole making the trip at the weekend to see the Gorzow GP and going on to support Poole in this new competition.”
COVENTRY and Leicester go head-to-head in two Elite League meetings on Sunday with both sides having big incentive to score heavily.
The matches were rained-off on Bank Holiday Monday and now take place at Brandon at 2.30pm with the return at the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium at 7.30pm.
The Bees can move into the top three in the table with at least four points from the day, whilst the Lions are fighting to move clear of Belle Vue.
Coventry captain Chris Harris said: “It’s going to be tough, Leicester have some good riders who will be good around our place, and they’re good at their home track too.
“But we’re the same – we’ve already been there and won earlier in the season so whoever we race, we’re not worried. We’re on a good roll and we’ve just got to keep going.”
Leicester boss Norrie Allan said: “We will go to Brandon hoping to at least equal our previous performance when we picked up a point in April. They have run into good consistent form of late but we should not fear them on their territory.
“Our form at home has picked up lately and I can see another tight match ahead of us at Leicester which if past results is anything to go by will end with another last-heat decider.”
In the Premier League, fifth-placed Scunthorpe host Workington, who will be missing Rene Bach and Josh Grajczonek due to the World Speedway League event in Poland.
Tom Perry makes his Scorpions debut at reserve, and promoter Rob Godfrey said: “We’ll be out there to collect a win, and add further points to our account, to strengthen our claim to fifth place in the Premier League table.
“The one thing we can’t afford to do is to lose at home to the teams chasing us, such as Workington. It's a vital meeting for us.”
Workington boss Tony Jackson said: “Rene is riding for his Danish club Esbjerg, who won their top league last season, while reigning Elite League champions Poole have just called up Josh for the same meeting.
“This means that we will be using rider replacement for Rene at Scunthorpe today while last year’s number one Comet, Richard Lawson, will come into the side as a guest in place of Josh.”
Rye House continue their weekend Northern tour with a trip to Glasgow, with both sides forced into changes for a variety of reasons – and Rockets boss John Sampford his hoping the meeting can cure the Rockets’ travel sickness.
Sampford said: “We’ve really got to get our gating act together if we want the right result. Ashfield is another circuit where trapping is critical, so we’ve got to get out of the start much better than Saturday if we want to win there.
“We’ll also need a change in fortune for one or two riders who struggled (at Workington), though not for want of effort. It’s down to us.”
National League action sees Scunthorpe host Stoke after the Premier League fixture at the Eddie Wright Raceway, whilst Buxton are looking to bounce back from a heavy defeat at Coventry on Friday when they take on King’s Lynn at the Hi-Edge Raceway.
Hitmen No.5 Ryan Blacklock said: “We know we need to do better and we will turn in a better performance against Kings Lynn. I am relishing riding at No.5 but now need to start scoring heat-leader points.”
A vital meeting in the National Trophy sees Mildenhall take on Leicester at West Row, knowing three points should be enough to take them into the Final.
Fen Tigers chairman Kevin Jolly said: “It will be good to see Jack (Kingston) back after his short break and hopefully he can link up with Connor (Mountain) and prove a key player in what is a must win fixture.
“Our support has been magnificent this season and hopefully they will stick with us as we enter the final push for the trophies. Our young riders are improving week on week and the support they receive from the terraces is a big plus.”
Meanwhile, the sport’s rising stars are in action at Rye House in the fifth round of the British Youth Championship from 2pm, with nearly 40 races to be run across the four categories.
GB Youth co-boss Neil Vatcher said: “Anyone that comes to Sunday’s event will not be disappointed in either the determination or effort that every rider puts in to their racing, and will also, of course, be vocally supporting the next generation of British talent.
“With four rounds of the series already staged across the country in 2014, it is clear that the standard of the Youth Riders is getting higher each and every year, and this season’s class is no different.”
PETERBOROUGH boss Carl Johnson has blasted his side after their “embarrassing” defeat at Somerset on Friday.
The Panthers, who still harbour play-off ambitions, were routed 59-25 at the Oaktree Arena, and Johnson is calling for a big response when they stage a home double header against Scunthorpe and Plymouth on Tuesday.
Johnson said: “I told the team the performance was abysmal and embarrassing. We were out-gated, out-muscled and out-ridden during what was the lowest moment of my time as team manager - even more so than the recent home defeats.
“I've said all along that Somerset are the best team in the league and they have beaten most opponents by big scores at their place. But that is no excuse for our lacklustre display and I feel sorry for the paying public who witnessed it - especially those Peterborough fans that made the long journey down there.”
RECORD BREAKER BARTEK
SGP NEWS - 31 August, 2014
Story by FIM Speedway Grand Prix
The talented teenager, who was third in the 2012 Gorzow SGP on his World Championship debut, said: “I’m very happy. This is fantastic. I can’t believe this.
“I’ve always dreamed that I could win a Grand Prix. This was my third time here and it’s my second time in the top three. I’m very happy. The people of Gorzow were here together with me and helped me. This is just a dream – that’s all I can say.”
Zmarzlik may have been riding in the event for the third time, but he admits the increasing weight of expectation on his shoulders makes him more and more tense every year.
He said: “I was a little bit nervous before the meeting. But when I won the first heat, I felt a little better.
“Today I was the most nervous because when I first rode in the Gorzow SGP in 2012, I knew I could do well but I knew I could also score zero points. I was very young.
“When I rode last year after finishing third the season before, I felt the nerves because everyone wanted me in the top three again. And this was the most nervous day for me.”
Zmarzlik’s golden night is already making him dream of full-time qualification for the SGP series.
He said: “I’ve always wanted to ride in the Grand Prix and next year I want to ride in the qualifiers. It’s a dream to get into the series.”
Runner-up Zagar was elated to end his day with a silver medal after starting it with an early visit from the doctor. He said: “For me it was very good after a tough night. I was ill at 4am and the doctor gave me some tablets because I was in big pain before the meeting. But I got through and this is a great result.”
Polish ace Kasprzak advanced up to fourth place in the World Championship and is just one point behind Nicki Pedersen in third after racking up 16 points tonight – a figure bettered only by Zmarzlik’s 17.
Despite storming through his first six rides with three wins and three second places, he admits it was a tough night on home shale.
He said: “I had a problem with the setup all evening. Even when I won the races, it was very hard for me. I normally win the races here more easily in the league. I used the same engine, but I don’t know. Maybe I was racing different riders and the GP is stronger.
“It was hard in the final because gate one was really slick and Bartek and Matej were very fast. But I’m on the rostrum and I scored another point in that heat. I hope I can stay in the top eight and get back next season.”
World Championship leader Greg Hancock and world No.3 Niels-Kristian Iversen were forced out of the Gorzow SGP following a horrifying on the back straight in heat 14. NKI lifted as he exited bend two and the pair tangled.
Hancock suffered one broken finger on his left hand with another dislocated. Iversen confirmed via his personal Twitter account that he has suffered a suspected ligament injury and is awaiting an MRI scan to confirm the full extent of the damage.
Prior to his crash, Hancock had piled up nine points from a possible nine and now leads the standings by 14 after nearest rival, defending champion Tai Woffinden of Great Britain, was forced to withdraw on Friday due to a broken hand. Iversen drops two places to sixth.
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 1 Greg Hancock 112, 2 Tai Woffinden 98, 3 Nicki Pedersen 93, 4 Krzysztof Kasprzak 92, 5 Matej Zagar 91, 6 Niels-Kristian Iversen 87, 7 Darcy Ward 75, 8 Chris Holder 70, 9 Fredrik Lindgren 69, 10 Troy Batchelor 66, 11 Martin Smolinski 64, 12 Jaroslaw Hampel 63, 13 Kenneth Bjerre 60, 14 Andreas Jonsson 59, 15 Chris Harris 35, 16 Michael Jepsen Jensen 31, 17 Bartosz Zmarzlik 17, 18 Peter Kildemand 15, 19 Kasts Puodzuks 10, 20 Peter Ljung 7, 21 Adrian Miedzinski 5, 22 Joonas Kylmakorpi 5, 23 Kauko Nieminen 4, 24 Andzejs Lebedevs 3, 25 Jason Bunyan 2, 26 Vaclav Milik 2, 27 Craig Cook 2, 28 Adrian Cyfer 2, 29 Lukasz Kaczmarek 2.
GORZOW SGP SCORES: 1 Bartosz Zmarzlik 17, 2 Matej Zagar 16, 3 Krzysztof Kasprzak 16, 4 Michael Jepsen Jensen 14, 5 Kenneth Bjerre 10, 6 Greg Hancock 9, 7 Chris Holder 9, 8 Troy Batchelor 9, 9 Nicki Pedersen 7, 10 Niels-Kristian Iversen 6, 11 Chris Harris 6, 12 Fredrik Lindgren 6, 13 Martin Smolinski 5, 14 Andreas Jonsson 4, 15 Adrian Cyfer 2, 16 Lukasz Kaczmarek 2, 17 Jaroslaw Hampel 0, 18 Tai Woffinden DNR.
DEVESTATED BOSS BLASTS WARD
UK NEWS - 31 August, 2014
Story by Peter White
DESOLATE team boss Neil Middleditch was unsparing in his criticism of Poole Pirates captain Darcy Ward the Australian who was yesterday suspended indefinitely from all Speedway.
The Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) issued Ward with a blanket ban some 11 days after his failed alcohol test prior to the Latvian Grand Prix.
Ward's case has been referred to the FIM's International Disciplinary Court with the Australian star unable to compete before they reach their verdict.
There has been no indication as to how long that could take.
Middleditch pulled no punches over his talisman's actions and also launched a scathing attack on the FIM after their delayed decision over Ward left Pirates no time to find a suitable replacement.
Poole's team manager revealed that promoter Matt Ford had exhausted all suitable options in his quest to replace Ward before the Elite League deadline for re-declared teams passes at midnight. "We're in the business of trying to win the league and this is a massive blow to us. You just can't replace someone like Darcy Ward, it's not that simple.
"I'm devastated that the title race could slip away from us now. We're not throwing in the towel and will keep fighting but our options are limited.
"I feel sick to my stomach. I feel so disappointed in his (Ward's) actions.
He has been in enough trouble in the past and should have learned his lesson by now.
"He's let me down personally and he's let down the club, the supporters and himself. He could potentially have been world champion this year and now that he has lost that opportunity.
"He's a grown man and should know what he can't do. He knows the rules and now he's being punished for it. I don't know how far over (the alcohol limit) he was but he was. That's the bottom line.
"It's a crying shame because the kid is one of the best talents I can remember seeing on a bike but dare I say it, he's wasting it."
On Poole's next step, Middleditch added: "I think we're looking at guests.
The riders we wanted were not available, didn't want to do it or were focused on the Grand Prix as their main goal."
UK NEWS - 31 August, 2014
Story by BSPA Press Office
SWINDON climbed to third place in the Elite League by defeating play-off rivals Lakeside 57-35 at the Abbey Stadium.
Troy Batchelor scored a 15-point maximum for the Robins, who provided 13 of the 15 race winners in a meeting which went ahead despite heavy rain in the build-up.
The Hammers’ two successes came from guest Craig Cook in the early stages, with skipper Davey Watt suffering an elbow injury in a Heat 1 crash.
Swindon boss Alun Rossiter said: “A lot of credit has to go to the track staff, because the boys are confident in the track now. They know they can race on it, even in difficult conditions.
“Normally it can be a banana skin when the track is like that, because the away team can adapt faster, but the boys really did well and I was very proud of them tonight.”
In the Premier League there were two away wins with Ipswich strengthening their position by winning 51-42 at Sheffield.
The Witches have moved level on points with second-placed Edinburgh after a solid showing at Owlerton, with all seven of their riders scoring between five and ten points, led by Rohan Tungate on 10+3. Home skipper Simon Stead was out on his own at the top of the Tigers’ scorechart on 17.
Ipswich boss Brian Messenger said: “Somerset apart, they just keep on improving with every meeting and the team spirit was excellent again tonight.
“Every single rider contributed to this win with the reserves both in excellent form and all I ask is that they do the same again on Saturday!”
Sheffield manager Joe Screen said: “It was one of those nights again to be honest. I thought we could have done it, but we were just slow away from the start all night.
“We weren't riding particularly badly, but fair play to Ipswich - they had their gating gloves on and when you aren't making starts it's tough.”
There was also a vital away win for Scunthorpe, who completed the double over Redcar with a second narrow victory in two nights in a dramatic contest at the South Tees Motorsports Park.
The teams traded a two point lead throughout the meeting with the Scorpions hitting the front at a crucial stage with a 5-1 from David Howe and Josh Auty in Heat 14.
Nicolai Klindt and the previously unbeaten Thomas Jorgensen lined up for the visitors in Heat 15 and although Klindt was overtaken by Richard Lawson the Scunthorpe riders held on for second and third ahead of Aaron Summers.
Jorgensen said: “Both Nicolai and myself were gating well. It meant we could plan our races. We were talking about them in the pits beforehand. We got a couple of 5-1s between us and both got selected for Heat 15.
“We knew that second and third would be enough. I wasn’t quite if Aaron Summers had passed Nicolai because it was getting close, but Nicolai got it. It’s an important result for us.”
SOMERSET will look to maintain their lead at the top of the Premier League table when they host Peterborough at the Oaktree Arena on Friday.
The Rebels currently hold a seven-point lead and will continue to operate the rider-replacement facility for the injured Brady Kurtz.
Co-promoter Debbie Hancock said: “I know the boys want to put right the fact that the Panthers are the only side not to be beaten at the Oaktree Arena this year, going away with a draw to their name in our League Cup match here back in April.
“But more importantly, they want to collect another maximum three league points to keep Somerset at the top of the Premier League table.”
Peterborough boss Carl Johnson said: “We will be heading to Somerset in a positive mood after picking up the two wins we needed on Tuesday.
“I must admit it will be nice to go into an away meeting with a full one-to-seven and we will go there aiming to get something. The riders have the potential and ability to do that.”
Edinburgh have four matches in hand on the Rebels as they head into their Scottish derby against Glasgow at Armadale.
The Monarchs are at full strength for the fixture with Aaron Fox set to return after aggravating a previous injury last week, whilst the Tigers bring in Alex Edberg to guest for the injured Dimitri Berge at reserve.
Plymouth face Workington at the St Boniface Arena, with the Comets twelve points adrift of the play-off places but having multiple matches in hand on their rivals.
Stuart Robson guests for the home side in place of Ben Barker, who has to miss the meeting following a crash at Peterborough on Tuesday.
Devils boss Lee Trigger said: “When you look at their team, they are very strong and we will be in for a difficult time if they show their true form. But, if all our riders perform as well as they can, we are capable of beating any team on our own track.”
A National League double-header at Brandon sees the Storm taking on Buxton and then Devon as they look to boost their play-off chances.
The home side operate rider-replacement for the injured Stefan Nielsen, and can move back into the top two with maximum points on the night.
Coventry manager Laurence Rogers said: “It seems an age since we had any track action, but with a double-header the boys will soon be back in the swing of things.
“With the lull in fixtures, Kent have overtaken us in the league table, but with maximum points we can regain that position and help towards qualification for the play-offs.”
COVENTRY asset Ben Barker is rejoining the club for the final weeks of the season – after the Bees parted company with Michael Jepsen Jensen.
The Dane had made himself unavailable for the trip to Belle Vue on Monday in order to ride in a re-arranged match in Sweden, which would not have given the Bees a facility, and he is now replaced by Barker who started the Elite League season with Birmingham,
Promoter Mick Horton said: “Michael had a contract to race for us at Belle Vue. He was obliged to fulfil that fixture and has chosen not to do so. We haven’t accepted that, so he has refused to come over and has chosen to resign from British Speedway. We have accepted that resignation.
“We are the innocent party in this – we’ve done absolutely nothing wrong, and the club is now making a stand. Clearly Michael has put his Swedish club before his British club, and we cannot have these conflicts of interests so close to the play-offs.
“Ben is pleased to be back in the Elite League and he will be fired up to race, and I think this is a far more preferable option than going down the route of rider-replacement and so on.”
KENT have confirmed the new date for the British Under-19 Championship is Monday September 15 with the start-time set for 7pm.
The club have been granted special dispensation by Swale Council members on the local authority’s Planning Committee to start later than the Kings’ regular start-time and also extend the curfew to 9.30pm.
Kent co-promoter Roger Cearns said: “I am delighted at our local councillors’ decision to allow this meeting to go ahead and my thanks go to them. This is the very first major championship to be granted to our venue which I am sure is worthy of the event.
“I am expecting the people of Kent, who have already shown their keen interest in Speedway, to turn out in big numbers to enjoy what promises to be a great evening's entertainment.”
SOMERSET extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to ten points with a resounding 59-25 home win over Peterborough.
The meeting at the Oaktree Arena was cut short by one race due to rain but the Rebels had already done more than enough on a night where second-placed Edinburgh were frustrated by the weather as they were unable to face Glasgow.
Swedish star Pontus Aspgren scored a five-ride paid maximum for Somerset, an achievement matched by Nick Morris from four outings, whilst Ulrich Ostergaard was the top Panthers’ scorer on six.
Rebels boss Garry May said: “This was another fantastic all-round team performance. All the boys rode superbly and never gave Peterborough a look-in all night. Our boys were really up for this, they wanted to ‘do it’ for Brady (Kurtz) and they certainly did that in style with some awesome riding.
“Peterborough said that they were coming to Somerset to ‘settle a score’ for us winning at their place on Sunday, but in truth there was only ever one team in it right from the off.”
Plymouth’s home match against Workington was also abandoned after fourteen races, with the home side taking all three points from a 47-37 victory.
It was the Devils’ sixth successive home victory as they recovered from the Comets taking an opening-race 5-1 with the meeting turning on back-to-back 5-1s in Heats 8 and 9. Guest Stuart Robson top-scored with eight points whilst Josh Grajczonek scored 8+2 for the visitors.
Plymouth co-promoter Ashley Taylor said: “We allowed Workington to take the early lead and that left us with a bit of an uphill struggle.
“But we came through with a good all-round team effort. It is always easier to turn a meeting around when you have seven riders who are all making a contribution.”
In the National League, Coventry have moved back into second place by winning both matches in their double-header at Brandon.
The Storm defeated Buxton 65-27 with Luke Priest, James Sarjeant and Oliver Greenwood all unbeaten, and they then got the better of Devon 41-22 in a meeting abandoned after ten races due to the curfew.
Manager Laurence Rogers said: “That was job done, the boys got stuck in and did well in tricky conditions in the second match.
“The aim was to get six points from the meetings and cement our place in the play-offs, and I’m pleased with all of the riders.”
EASTBOURNE host Lakeside in a massive Elite League clash at Arlington on Saturday with both clubs looking to boost their play-off aspirations.
The Eagles and the Hammers are both on 41 points and are fourth and fifth in the table respectively, with Eastbourne having four matches in hand although this is their penultimate home fixture.
Eagles boss Trevor Geer said: “We can severely damage Lakeside’s hopes on Saturday night by scoring an emphatic win. It won’t knock them out of the play-off race completely but it will certainly hit their hopes.
“Equally, if we lose, our chances will be hanging by a thread. We need three points on Saturday and another three the following the week at home to King’s Lynn. It is clear, however, that we will need to win away during September to make the play offs.”
In the Premier League, Berwick are in fourth place as they head into their home clash with Redcar, whose play-off hopes were hit by double defeat by Scunthorpe earlier in the week.
The Bandits go into the meeting without French youngster David Bellego due to a European commitment, with James Sarjeant stepping in to replace him.
Berwick co-promoter Dennis McCleary said: “In an ideal world the club and David would wish he was riding on Saturday against Redcar.
“However, it is just not feasible. David needs to be signed in for the lunch time practice mid-morning on Sunday and although we tried to see if there was an early-morning flight to a Polish airport near enough to the circuit, this has proved impossible.”
Ipswich can move into second place in the table if they complete the double over Sheffield when the sides meet at Foxhall, the Witches having won 51-42 at Owlerton on Thursday. Marc Owen guests for the unavailable Adam Ellis for the home side.
Workington stage a double-header against Rye House and Scunthorpe as they look to stage a late run towards the play-offs after a tough run of recent results.
The Rockets have been hit by a further double blow in their bid to move away from the lower reaches of the table, with Luke Bowen ruled out for a fortnight with a fractured elbow and Jason Bunyan also on the sidelines with possible knee ligament damage when practicing on his moto-cross bike.
Rye boss John Sampford said: “Derwent Park has not often been the happiest of hunting grounds for us, but then again, who would have thought that Glasgow would go there and win 54-40 last week?
“Anything is possible in speedway, so we’ll go there in a positive frame of mind after Sunday’s big win over Berwick and try to do the same.”
Meanwhile Scunthorpe boss Rob Godfrey insists his team’s play-off place is not secure yet as they face back-to-back matches this weekend, with the Comets set to visit the Eddie Wright Raceway on Sunday in the return fixture.
Godfrey said: “The win at Redcar was a huge boost to our play-off hopes and it’s hard to see either Newcastle or Redcar finishing ahead of us now.
“However, both Workington and Peterborough have plenty of meetings in hand, so we’re not quite safe yet. We’ve got both those chasing teams home and away in the next week and the very least we require is to win the two home meetings.”
In the National League, Mildenhall are forced into several changes for their trip to Stoke as their top three all have higher-league commitments and reserve Jack Kingston is not due back until Sunday.
The Fen Tigers have recruited Tom Perry and Nathan Greaves to guest at Loomer Road and will strengthen their position in the top four if they can take victory.
ELITE League leaders King’s Lynn have brought in club asset Simon Lambert on an initial 28-day deal to replace the injured Lewis Rose.
Stars boss Rob Lyon has made the move after Rose suffered knee ligament damage in a recent crash at Glasgow, although Lambert’s temporary signing means Rose can return if he regains fitness.
Lyon said: “Lewis has been unlucky by picking up an injury late in the season, hopefully he can make a recovery and complete the season with us.
“He has had a great year and it would be a shame for him to end it on the sidelines.”
SCUNTHORPE have made a switch at reserve with Tom Perry joining the Scorpions in place of Matt Williamson.
The duo are ironically team-mates at National League club Cradley, with the decision taken after Williamson suffered a broken bone in his hand when racing for the Heathens earlier in the week.
Scunthorpe promoter Rob Godfrey said: “I wanted to stick by Matt the whole season, I really did; that was the plan. He was really starting to turn his potential into points a couple of months back. He’s had a more difficult spell since then and the injury was the deciding factor, because it’s too much asking him to go out there and score points when he’s not fully fit.
“Tom gives us a bit more firepower at reserve. We’re not looking for huge scores from him, just for him to score a handful of points which could make a big different to the result of a meeting.”
TAI Woffinden has admitted defeat in his battle to race in Saturday's Gorzow FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland.
The reigning World Champion has seen his hopes of retaining the title hit by a broken bone in his left hand.
He did two laps in practice at the Edward Jancarz Stadium on Friday afternoon and pulled up in too much pain.
"I'm gutted about it but not totally surprised because I knew I was up against it," he said.
"I went out there to see what I could do and I had to pull up after a couple of laps. I've done all I can to race.
"I had a local anaesthetic in the hand, I had daily physio, I had ice treatment, I had softer grips on the bike and a different clutch set-up - but it was no good.
"I cannot go out there in the knowledge that I can ride the bike without being a danger to both myself and my fellow competitors.
"The track was smooth, I felt good in myself but when it came to riding the bike it just got too much. This is the logical, but obviously regrettable, decision.
"Now I have to look at the next round in a fortnight and try and get ready for that."
FIM STATEMENT: DARCY WARD
SGP NEWS - 29 August, 2014
Story by FIM Speedway Grand Prix
Disciplinary Court (CDI) which will adjudicate on the merits of the case.
For the duration of his Provisional Suspension, Mr Darcy Ward is barred from participating in any competition.
Under the World Anti-Doping Code and the FIM Anti-Doping Code, the FIM is unable to provide any additional information at this time.
The FIM has also confirmed that Ward’s place at the Gorzow FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland on Saturday will be taken by first reserve, rider No.19, Michael Jepsen Jensen from Denmark.
HANCOCK WARY OF INJURED RIVALS
SGP NEWS - 29 August, 2014
Story by FIM Speedway Grand Prix
toughest men in world speedway will do everything in their power to pile on the pressure.
He said: “Nobody likes injuries and I feel for those guys right now because I have been in that position too. You’re doing everything you can, but accidents happen.
“One thing is for sure; those two guys are very, very tough, as we’ve seen in the past. You can’t think they won’t be there and giving it their all for a minute. They will still be stiff competition, no matter how you look at it.
“I can’t just look at the two competitors that are close to me, though. I have to look at everybody. The point-spread is still not so big that you can think of taking it easy for one minute. It’s so tight at this stage.
“You can go from a few points up to a few points down within a few heats. I’ll just keep my head down. I need a lot of points in every round. It’s not about winning finals. It’s about scoring points and that’s what I’m doing.”
If anyone can withstand the pressure of leading the World Championship at the business end of the season, it’s Hancock. The 44-year-old has raced in all 176 SGP rounds staged since the competition was launched in 1995.
Five points is the biggest SGP lead any rider has held this season, apart from the 11-point advantage Krzysztof Kasprzak racked up at Bydgoszcz in April – a week before he was sidelined with a torn cruciate knee ligament.
So Hancock knows he is under fire, but that doesn’t bother the cool Californian. He said: “There is pressure in every single heat that I do. I put a lot of pressure on myself, probably more than I get from the other riders. Pressure is my biggest competitor and also my biggest motivator.
“I know I’ve got to be good and I can be better every time I go out on the track. I never underestimate anybody and I know it’s going to be a long, hard run to the end. But that’s what I’m in it for. It’s not a series you can take control of easily – otherwise everyone would do it.”
Hancock reached a remarkable milestone at the Rietumu Bank Latvian SGP in Daugavpils on August 17, appearing in and winning his 1,000th SGP heat in semi-final two. Having earned a place in the final, he has now featured in 1,001 SGP races.
The oldest rider in FIM Speedway Grand Prix history sets records with every race and isn’t usually one to concern himself with statistics.
But he admitted: “When you get serious about it, 1,000 heat races in the GP is pretty crazy. That’s in the GP alone. Think about all the other league meetings and events I do too. I’ve done a few circles!”
KILDEMAND SET FOR VOJENS SGP
SGP NEWS - 29 August, 2014
Story by FIM Speedway Grand Prix
The Swindon, Czestochowa, Vargarna and Fjelsted racer is enjoying the season of his life throughout Europe and is one of the favourites in the GP Challenge at Lonigo on September 20, where the top three earn World Championship places for 2015.
Another big result just a week before that event would give Kildemand the ultimate confidence boost for his Italian job.
He is joined in the Nordic SGP by FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship finalists Mikkel Bech Jensen, who dons the No.17 race jacket, and Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen, who wears No.18.
The referee at Vojens will be Poland’s Marek Wojaczek.
SGP NEWS - 29 August, 2014
Story by BSPA Press Office
WORLD Champion Tai Woffinden says his chances of riding in Saturday’s Gorzow FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland are in the balance.
Woffinden, who is currently second in the defence of his title behind the iconic Greg Hancock, has revealed how his hand injury isn’t good – and he’s suffered a fracture in his right wrist.
He was involved in a horror crash at Eastbourne last weekend when riding for British club Wolverhampton – and initial fears were of serious multiple injuries.
But Woffinden said: “I went to Manchester to see a hand specialist who had worked with Chris Holder previously.
“I haven’t had surgery but the left hand, which obviously is the clutch hand, isn’t good right now. I cannot pull a clutch in at this moment and I need to see an improvement by Saturday.
“The break in the wrist isn’t a problem. It’s lower down the wrist and it only hurts when I twist the wrist from side to side, so it’s not an issue.
“I’m having cold and hot treatment every hour to try and get the swelling down on the left hand, I’ve been working out every day and I will continue to do what I can to get back on a bike as soon as possible.
“But at this moment in time, I cannot honestly say whether I will be able to ride on Saturday.”
TRIPLE world champion Nicki Pedersen hopes some shock therapy will help him complete a sensational return from a double dislocation of his shoulder in time for the Gorzow SGP on Saturday evening.
The 37-year-old was left unable to move his right arm after suffering the injury in heat 11 of the International Individual Ekstraliga Championship at Tarnow last Friday.
It was feared he would be forced to sit out the Gorzow round, but thanks to some cutting-edge treatment from physio Lisa Thomey, Pedersen heads to the Edward Jancarz Stadium keen to continue closing the 17-point gap between him World Championship leader Greg Hancock.
Third-placed Pedersen has been pictured on his Instagram account using electric shock pads to stimulate the muscles in his shoulder and strengthen them without him bearing any weight.
And after five days of intense treatment in Denmark, he is hopeful of lining up in Gorzow.
He said: “Of course practice on Friday will tell me exactly what’s going on and what’s going to happen. Testing everything is one thing; riding and racing the bike is something different.
“But the process we have gone through this week is quite intense and there has been a lot of improvement since I led on the track and couldn’t move my arm. By the next afternoon, I could put my arm over my head.
“The doctor told me I should put it in a strap and keep it to my chest for the next two or three weeks. But seven hours later, I had started to mobilise the arm.
“I’ve been giving everything and doing exactly what Lisa says. That’s all I can do. She hasn’t failed yet and hopefully she won’t on Saturday.
“After Latvia things were going my way, so it was a disaster what happened.
"But that’s racing. I haven’t experienced a dislocated shoulder in my career before, but I’ve done everything to get as fit as possible.
“The ligaments are not 100 percent, so we had to make sure we gave the muscles around them a wake-up call. They’ll keep the shoulder in place and now I can get used to the vibration of the bike and build up the strength.”
Pedersen has been using treatment techniques, employed by Olympic javelin throwers to keep themselves in competition shape when they are unable to lift weights. But that doesn’t mean receiving electric therapy has been an easy option.
“It feels like I’m putting my finger straight into the power socket!” Pedersen said. “It has been extremely, extremely painful. The pads give you lots of shocks.
“They go straight into the muscle we want to work with, without having any heavy weight on it.
“If you have an injury and can’t lift any heavy weights, this new treatment makes you feel like you’re working with 10 or 20kg, but you’re not actually carrying any weight.
“We’re turning the power up stronger and stronger. Lisa put it on for the first time last Saturday and today’s treatment was a lot, lot stronger. It’s definitely going in the right direction.
“If you aren’t fully fit and you can’t train properly, this gets the right muscle working and trains it. You get used to the shocks, and fingers crossed it will help me out on Saturday. I’m sure it will.”ot honestly say whether I will be able to ride on Saturday.”
UK NEWS - 29 August, 2014
Story by BSPA Press Office
KING’S Lynn edged a tight Elite League encounter with play-off chasing Swindon 44-43 at the Norfolk Arena.
Troy Batchlelor won Heat 15 for the Robins but they had to be content with a point from the meeting as home duo Niels-Kristian Iversen and Kenneth Bjerre took second and third places for the 3-3 the league leaders required.
Swindon move on to 41 points, the same total as Eastbourne, Lakeside and Coventry, but boss Alun Rossiter was left frustrated by the disqualification of Peter Kildemand from Heat 11 in a race where only one rider finished, with home skipper Rory Schlein suffering a shoulder injury.
Rossiter said: “We were robbed again by a really poor refereeing decision. Peter had a problem with his clutch but was still under power when Rory fell, so for him then to be excluded by the referee anyway was a bad call.
“It's very disappointing to again be talking about a meeting which we've been cost points by a poor decision, and when it's so tight in the battle for the top four it's hugely frustrating. We will take plenty of positives from the racing because it was a great performance, but the referee has cost us again.”
Meanwhile Scunthorpe held on to defeat Redcar 46-43 in a nip-and-tuck Premier League encounter at the Eddie Wright Raceway.
Bears duo Richard Lawson and Aaron Summers held a match-winning 5-1 position in Heat 15, but home riders Josh Auty and Ryan Douglas both passed Summers for a 3-3.
Scunthorpe boss Dave Peet said: “I felt we got out of jail in this meeting. Redcar lost a few points through shed chains and so forth, otherwise they could have left here with a win. Rider replacement for Nicolai Klindt scored just two points and that left us vulnerable.
“I plumped for Josh Auty and Ryan Douglas in Heat 15, because Redcar had choice of gates and we needed riders who could come from behind. Josh and Ryan did just that, by passing Aaron Summers and that saw us home.”
SWINDON boss Alun Rossiter says his side cannot afford any slip-ups as they host Lakeside at the Abbey on Thursday.
The Robins will be searching for their seventh consecutive Elite League win on home soil as they look to continue their play-off push, with both teams currently on 41 points and Danny King set to make his Hammers debut.
Rossiter said: “We all know we have to get all three points - we can't afford any slip-ups now.
“It's going to be a tough test but we've been riding well at home recently, so hopefully we can step up with another good performance to get the job done.”
In the Premier League, third-placed Ipswich visit Sheffield with the home side’s problems easing as they go for a third straight home win.
Simon Stead and Josh Bates are back from injury and illness respectively whilst Leigh Lanham is set for a fitness test at lunchtime after a back injury.
Tigers co-promoter Peter Mole said: “Ipswich always put together a good blend of experience and youth, and are currently riding high in the league.
“It will be yet another tough meeting, but all our Tigers will be doing their best to get the league points. We always seem to get fantastic racing here at Owlerton and Thursday will be no different I’m sure.”
Meanwhile Redcar and Scunthorpe clash for the second time in 24 hours, as they meet at the South Tees Motorsports Park with the Scorpions sixth in the table, three points clear of the Bears with five matches in hand.
UK NEWS - 28 August, 2014
Story by BSPA Press Office
PETERBOROUGH moved back into Premier League play-off contention with a double victory at the Showground on Tuesday to add six points to their total.
The Panthers defeated Berwick 52-38 and then Plymouth 51-31 in a match curtailed two races short due to the curfew.
Lasse Bjerre and Ales Dryml led the scoring for the home side in both matches, Bjerre securing a 12-point maximum against Plymouth, with the Devils losing No.1 Ben Barker due to concussion in a second-ride crash.
The results move Carl Johnson’s side into eighth place in the table, with matches in hand on all of the teams above them.
Johnson said: “The boys did exactly what I expected them to do. That is to win two meetings and pick up all six available points. I know we have taken a fair bit of criticism after losing twice at home in recent days, but I remain adamant that we are capable of reaching the play-offs and these results will only help our cause.
“We battled brilliantly against Berwick before getting on top in the final few heats and then dominated against Plymouth.”
Berwick boss John Anderson said: “There was a lot of fight and vigour shown, and despite us falling at the last hurdle to take a win, we can come away from Peterborough proud of putting on a decent show and proving we're still a determined team who want success when the play-offs come around. It's just a pity we couldn't add to our league total.”
Cradley have secured top position in the National League ahead of the play-offs after also securing double victory at home on Tuesday.
The Heathens defeated King’s Lynn 64-24 and then Mildenhall 55-31, with all but one race of the second meeting possible before the curfew time was reached.
Steve Worrall was unbeaten throughout the evening for the home side, whilst British Under-21 Champion Josh Bates won two races for Mildenhall on his way to 12-points.
Cradley boss Will Pottinger said: “The track was tricky to start with after all the rain we've had, but we managed to come through the first meeting quite convincingly in the end.
“We had a tough test against Mildenhall, but we came away with another good win to secure our place at the top of the table which is a great achievement for everybody involved with the club.”
THE Elite League’s top two teams are both in action at home on Wednesday – with matches against sides also fighting for a play-off place.
King’s Lynn are four points clear of Poole with both having six matches to go, and the Stars host Swindon at the Norfolk Arena – with the Robins currently sixth but only one point off the top four.
The hosts are without reserve Lewis Rose due to knee ligament damage but they do welcome back Nicklas Porsing, whilst Swindon have Peter Kildemand back at No.1 in a full-strength line-up.
Robins boss Alun Rossiter said: “Obviously we are going there with great expectations. We nearly pulled it off last time we visited King's Lynn, it was only in the last few races we let it slip.
"We hold no fears going there whatsoever, it's a track we quite like as a team and we feel we are capable of coming away with something.”
Poole have brought in Edward Kennett to guest for the injured Przemyslaw Pawlicki as they look to keep the pressure on King’s Lynn, with a home match against Eastbourne.
The Eagles are in third place but remain without a win on the road, and six of their final eight matches are away from Arlington. They bring in Scott Nicholls and Charles Wright for injured duo Bjarne Pedersen and Lewis Blackbird, and will also be without Mikkel Michelsen due to a Danish commitment.
Poole promoter Matt Ford said: “When I knew Shamek would be out I had no hesitation in making the call to Ed as I am fully aware of what he is capable of and how much he enjoys riding for us. He has shown that in his previous two appearances for us this season and I am convinced he will fill the void left by Shamek with no problem at all.
“This meeting has increased its importance a little bit after we only took two points from Saturday's trip to Leicester, especially as Coventry had a massive win at Lakeside the same evening. They certainly have the chance to overtake us in the league but with them having such a fixture backlog they may struggle to get enough matches in to do so.”
In the Premier League, Scunthorpe take on Redcar in a meeting hastily re-arranged from Bank Holiday Monday.
The Scorpions currently hold sixth place in the table with the Bears being one of the teams who are still in the hunt for the play-offs, although they only have five matches to go.
Scunthorpe promoter Rob Godfrey said: “This is like a cup final for both teams. Redcar can really ride the Eddie Wright Raceway well; they have riders who like our track.
“It’s going to be an absolutely cracking night of speedway, with both teams after precious points, and we need our fans to be noisy and get behind the lads.”
BRITISH Youth bosses are urging supporters to get behind the stars of the future in the final two rounds of the British Youth Championship.
Over 30 riders aged between 8 and 16 will be competing at both Rye House this Sunday (August 31) and at Redcar on Saturday September 6.
There are four classes of racing with British titles at 500cc and 250cc levels to be decided, with Luke Harris and Lewis Whitmore the respective class leaders ahead of the two meetings.
British Youth co-boss Phil Morris said: “Each year the standard of racing has improved, and 2014 is no different. We have some great and determined kids in this year’s four different classes and it’s fair to say that the racing is as good as you will see anywhere across the country.
“At both venues there will be over 30 riders competing in almost 40 heats, and we are very proud of the organisation that these meetings get completed in under three hours of pure entertainment. The speed that these young riders go on bikes with no brakes will take your breath away.”
An added attraction is that amongst the competitors will be newly-crowned FIM 125cc Gold Trophy winner Kyle Bickley, who will have his silverware on display.
Morris added: “All British Speedway fans should be proud that Britain has what is classed as a new World Champion in this 125cc FIM Event, and Kyle will be there for both weekends proudly showing the British public his Gold Trophy.”
GENERAL NEWS - 27 August, 2014
Story by RC Media
The second of this year’s Heffernan Motorsports Winter Series double headers takes place this weekend and to say that it’s going to be a great couple of days would be an understatement.
With riders from five states and territories taking part and a brand new track thrown into the mix it shapes as one of the highlights of the series so far.
International quality riders Tyson Nelson, Jake Allen, Jack Holder, Joey Ringwood and Kozza Smith head up the 28 senior riders that will do battle at North Brisbane speedway and Ipswich Speedways respectively over this coming Saturday and Sunday (Aug 30,31).
Nelson leads a tightly packed points race and with over $10,000 in product at stake and just four points separating the top three it will no doubt be a battle of the bravest and the best off season speedway Queensland has seen for two decades.
With the overall prize pool and series outright winner products open to both junior and senior riders, the juniors will have to get a move on as the seniors hold the majority of the top ten places including the top three.
Victoria’s Cooper Riordan leads the charge of the juniors and he is capable of a clean sweep up north which would certainly aid his cause, we will watch his progress with interest.
With the North Brisbane track a bit round and full throttle and the newly constructed Ipswich circuit very much in the two straights, two tight turns mould, this will test everyone that takes part.
The promoters of both tracks are excited about the prospect of what this weekend has to offer and it is another milestone for this ground breaking series.
We look forward to seeing you trackside!
North Brisbane –
Gates Open: 9am
Sign on: 9 - 10.30
Practice: 10.30 – 11.30
Racing: From Noon (Saturday) – Note: 125cc Juniors will be on prior to the main program
Gates Open: 7.30am
Sign On: 7.30 – 9am
Practice 9 – 10am
Racing: From 10.30 (No 125cc Juniors at Ipswich)
Contact: Tim Heffernan: 0407846433
TROY NEEDS HELP
SGP NEWS - 27 August, 2014
Story by FIM Speedway Grand Prix
Troy Batchelor admits he needs more financial support to cement his spot in the FIM Speedway Grand Prix series, but says the cost won’t stop him pursuing his World Championship dream.
The Australian international, who lines up in the Gorzow SGP on Saturday, reached the Rietumu Bank Latvian SGP semi-finals on August 17, before exiting the meeting on eight points.
He is now 12th in the World Championship on 57 points, but is only six short of Jaroslaw Hampel, who occupies the eighth and final automatic qualification place for the 2015 series.
Batchelor only found out he was going to be a permanent SGP rider this term one month before the series started in Auckland following Emil Sayfutdinov’s late withdrawal. This meant he had next to no time to secure the sponsorship needed to compete with the big boys.
It didn’t put Batchelor off and he has not been afraid to invest his own cash making a success of his debut SGP season. But he believes some extra financial backing would help him be even more competitive on the sport’s biggest stage.
He said: “If I can stay in this year and get some kind of financial backing for next season, it would be fantastic. A lot of these guys have already been here before and they’ve got the backing they need.
“I’m kind of struggling with things and I could do with a couple of new engines to try. My stuff hasn’t been working for the last couple of weeks and I’ve been really struggling.
“I borrowed an engine off Dakota (North) for Daugavpils. If I had more money, I’d be able to go and buy some engines. At the moment, I kind of have to borrow engines.
“I’d like to say ‘cheers Dak’ for letting me borrow that one, but I really need to get things sorted out. What you ride defines who you are sometimes. You’re only as good as your bike can let you be.
“I’m still working hard and I’ve still got a lot more to give. I want to be back next year. But I’ve got slim to no financial backing. I get some help with parts and things like that, but at the end of the day, it’s all financed by me.”
Batchelor scored 10 points for Wroclaw on Sunday, but admits an indifferent season for the Polish Ekstraliga club has placed an even greater strain on his bank balance. That still hasn’t put him off chasing his boyhood dream.
He said: “I’ve been up and down in Poland this year. It has been a really tough season on and off the track. But the tough times show you who you are. They either make you or break you. I’m going to let it make me.
“This is where I want to be. This is why I have raced since I was a kid – to be up here. There are the guys who are talented on bikes, but I really need to be in the top eight to get back next year.
“A wild card is a long shot. But I caught up some points in Daugavpils and I’ll just keep fighting for the top eight in every GP. We’ve got four to go and anything can happen. I can’t give up. We just need to keep working hard.”
UK NEWS - 27 August, 2014
Story by BSPA Press Office
NEWCASTLE continued to put Premier League points on the board with a 59-34 win over Glasgow at Brough Park.
The Diamonds, who are making good progress with their fixture schedule, will be setting the target for the clubs chasing the play-offs and moved into fifth place with the result, with just two matches remaining.
Lewis Kerr scored a five-ride paid maximum for the home side with Danny King and Ludvig Lindgren adding 13+1, although Simon Nielsen joined Lewis Rose on the sidelines due to a shoulder injury.
Diamonds boss George English said: “Solid and determined describes us tonight and we got our just deserts with a good win over Glasgow, but we again have to wish our injured Diamonds all the best and we're hoping for some good news as soon as possible.
“At least we don’t have another match until the home meeting with Peterborough on September 7, so there’s time to get the aches and pains dealt with… we hope!”
PETERBOROUGH boss Carl Johnson insists nothing less than six points will do for the Panthers in their double-header at the Showground tonight.
Johnson’s side entertain both Berwick and Plymouth in Premier League action and are looking to bounce back from two successive home defeats.
He said: “There are six points up for grabs tonight and we need them all. It is the perfect opportunity for us to get out of the little slump that we’ve been in during the past few days.
“Our sights are still set on the play-off places and we can make up a lot of ground with two victories tonight. It is a big night for us and hopefully the fans will get behind the lads.”
There is also a National League double header as leaders Cradley face King’s Lynn and then Mildenhall at Monmore Green.
Heathens skipper Paul Starke said: “It should be a good night of racing. It's been a while since we had a home meeting, so all of us are really looking forward to it.
“It's going to be a tough test against two good sides, but we know we are more than capable of getting two more wins.”
SOMERSET have confirmed they will operate the rider-replacement facility until the injured Brady Kurtz is fit to return.
Kurtz broke his upper arm in a crash at the Oaktree Arena on Friday but the Rebels still won at Peterborough in Sunday in his absence and will not be making a new signing.
Promoter Debbie Hancock said: “We have decided as a team to use the rider replacement facility to cover Brady’s absence for the remainder of the season or until he is fit to return, rather than rush into making any new rider signing.
“The rest of the boys in the team feel that they are riding well enough to be able to cope with the additional work-load that places on both rider and machinery.”
BRITISH SPEEDWAY WEEKLY BULLETIN
UK NEWS - 27 August, 2014
Story by BSPA Press Office
BIG EVENT LATEST…
KING'S Lynn, widely regarded as one of the best speedway tracks in the world, will host the Elite Riders' Championship next month.
The event, which attracts the top stars from each Elite League club, will take place at the Norfolk Arena on Thursday, September 25.
It's perfect timing for the event with the play-offs launched the following Monday in an exciting time for British racing.
Jon Cook, vice chairman of the British Speedway Promoters' Association and promoter of Lakeside Hammers, said: “We are pleased to finally agree a new date and venue following the unfortunate postponement of the original staging back in March.
“It was originally planned as a launch to the season but we now feel this is a perfect way to mark the end of the regular league campaign before the top four sides battle it out for the league title.
“King's Lynn offers fine racing and Keith Chapman is working hard to add new facilities at the Norfolk Arena all the time - as seen at the summer's World Cup event there.
“I would urge fans to put the date in their diary. It's sure to be a night to remember.”
Current King’s Lynn rider Rory Schlein has won the title in two of the last three years, and was victorious last season at Swindon ahead of Niels-Kristian Iversen, Craig Cook and Hans Andersen.
The ERC re-arrangement means late-September will see a busy programme of Riders’ Championships, as Elite, Premier and National events all take place within the space of eight days.
The Premier Riders’ Championship is at Sheffield on Sunday September 21 and is always one of the most popular events on the calendar.
The fast Owlerton circuit has staged numerous thrilling battles for the title over the years, with the 2013 event being won by Olly Allen, who was then representing Rye House prior to his switch to Somerset over the winter.
Meanwhile Rye House will be the venue for the National League Riders’ Championship on Sunday September 28.
There will be a new name on the trophy this year as 2013 winner Steve Boxall, who was representing Kent, has moved back into the Premier League with Rye House this season.
ELITE LEAGUE LATEST…
BELLE VUE are facing a busy programme of racing to complete their home schedule after last Monday’s scheduled double-header was abandoned with a result only possible from the first match against Lakeside.
Co-promoter Chris Morton told Speedway Star: “It is a disaster, but only a small disaster. We had a shower that turned into heavy rain, and it completely destroyed the track.
“We had seen some fantastic racing, and it was a shame we couldn’t get the double-header on.”
COVENTRY made significant progress towards their play-off target with home and away wins over rivals Lakeside to add seven points to their Elite League total – including a 56-39 triumph at Purfleet.
Manager Gary Havelock said: “It was sensational, unbelievable, I could almost run out of superlatives. I was standing next to Mick (Horton) and he said ‘am I dreaming or is this really happening?’
“Much as I wanted to say on Friday night what I thought we could do here, I thought I’d just keep it to myself this time. I’m a big believer in fate, so I said I’d be happy with a point but I genuinely believed with a full team we could do it.”
EASTBOURNE secured another three points at home by defeating Wolverhampton 55-35 in a meeting marred by Tai Woffinden’s horror crash.
Eagles skipper Cameron Woodward said: “It certainly changed things. Tai was really flying tonight. I think that was the best he has ever ridden here.”
With their trip to Wolverhampton on Bank Holiday Monday postponed, the Eagles now face home matches against Lakeside and King’s Lynn following an away match at Poole on Wednesday.
KING’S LYNN reserve Lewis Rose has been ruled out of the league leaders’ home clash with Swindon this Wednesday.
Rose has suffered knee ligament damage which will be assessed before a decision is taken as to his likely comeback date.
The match against the Robins’ is the Stars’ penultimate home fixture as they look to maintain top spot in the table, with Nicklas Porsing due back from injury.
LAKESIDE have signed Great Britain international Danny King as a replacement for Mikkel Bech for the closing weeks of the Elite League campaign.
Hammers co-promoter Jon Cook said: “My thanks go to Mikkel for a superb debut year wrecked at the finish by niggling injury and clashes with U21 and Danish meetings, a couple of which moved after he had joined us.
“Danny's an all out racer and we've agreed this is a great trial period for us to look at each other and see if it's a good fit. He'll be given the track for a day to get used to his new home and with him now being a BSPA asset following the closure of Birmingham we will now have first option on him for the 2015 season as far as Elite racing is concerned.”
LEICESTER saw another home match go down to a dramatic conclusion as Jason Doyle overhauled Maciej Janowski on the line in Heat 15 to secure a 45-45 draw against title-chasing Poole.
Lions boss Norrie Allan said: “With so much uncertainty concerning the composition of the team I felt that we would do well to hold Poole. My team just consisted of Jason Doyle and Max Clegg on Friday!
“That said, it all came together and it was a terrific contest with Poole who were heading for a win in Heat 15 when Janowski held the lead right until the final metres on the run-in to the flag. It took a sublime four laps from Jason to overhaul Maceij right on the line to earn us a draw.”
POOLE promoter Matt Ford believes his side must maximise their opportunities at home to cover the run of form of Coventry in the play-off battle.
Ford said: “They certainly have the chance to overtake us in the league but with them having such a fixture backlog they may struggle to get enough matches in to do so. They have got ten matches to complete and whilst the gap of 14 points between us looks comfortable they are on a very good run of form and could perceivably haul us in.
“So we need to make things as difficult as possible for them and with only one more home meeting left for us after Wednesday we must maximise every opportunity.”
SWINDON will have Danish star Peter Kildemand back from injury at No.1 in Thursday’s re-arranged crunch clash with play-off rivals Lakeside at the Abbey Stadium.
Robins boss Alun Rossiter said: “This is a massive meeting for both sides, Lakeside need to win after their home defeat by Coventry on Saturday and we need to keep things ticking over at home.
“I’m naturally delighted to have Peter back in the side and it’s a timely boost for us. Hopefully we can claim all three points.”
WOLVERHAMPTON promoter Chris Van Straaten admits the outcome of Tai Woffinden’s crash at Eastbourne on Saturday could have been far worse for the defending World Champion.
Woffinden would have missed Wolves’ postponed Bank Holiday home clash with the Eagles after breaking a bone in his hand as well as suffering bruising.
Van Straaten said: “Woffy is an iron man, it was a horrendous crash at Eastbourne and I can't believe he got to his feet, he has so much strength. I’m so relieved the injury isn’t as bad as first feared.”
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BERWICK boosted their play-off position with six points out of six from a home double-header against Rye House and Newcastle, although the return trip to Hoddesdon on Sunday resulted in defeat.
Bandits boss John Anderson said: “We would have liked to have taken a league point or two, but we're still in the hunt for a good end of season Championship play-off place and we can still climb a place or more before the cut off date.”
EDINBURGH maintained their perfect home record with a 57-35 win over Berwick at Armadale to keep the pressure on Somerset at the top of the table.
Monarchs boss Alex Harkess said: “We thought the Bandits would improve on their last visit, and they did a bit, but it was another excellent display by the team.”
GLASGOW star Kasper Lykke says the Tigers can still dream of a play-off place following their impressive away win at Workington last Friday, although they were then limited to two points from the Bank Holiday double against Newcastle.
Lykke said: “Of course we can aim for the play-offs. We might make it. I haven't been looking too much at all the scores but from what I'm hearing, we have a chance, so of course we're going to go for it."
IPSWICH kept up their excellent run of form with a 60-36 home win over Workington last Thursday, to add to their two recent away wins which have put the Witches into a strong position.
Manager Brian Messenger said: “They all did so well again and are just keeping everything going in the right direction. I think as long as we can win our remaining home fixtures we should be okay for a playoff position.”
NEWCASTLE boss George English is awaiting news on Simon Nielsen and Lewis Rose ahead of the Diamonds’ final regular-season fixtures, after both riders were involved in crashes over the weekend.
English said: “Simon is off to his native Denmark with a view to getting his injured shoulder sorted while Lewis is off to his Norfolk base to get a scan done on his damaged knee ligaments. He had been to the RVI but he only had it x-rayed here which showed no bones broken, but he needs the scan to reveal the full damage.”
PETERBOROUGH boss Carl Johnson knows his side must hit back quickly from successive home defeats to Ipswich and Somerset if they are to take advantage of their matches in hand and break into the top six.
Johnson said: “A second successive home defeat is obviously a big disappointment. We put ourselves in a great position early in the meeting, but let it slip. The tactical ride changed the meeting and our gating from then on was not good enough.”
PLYMOUTH were relieved to secure all three points before the final race when they defeated Peterborough at the St Boniface Arena last Friday.
Co-promoter Ashley Taylor said: “Things were a little more comfortable for us than in recent meetings. But what was important was the quality of the racing. Forget the scoreline, there were two teams of racers out there and they provided the spectators with some superb and spectacular speedway.”
REDCAR boss Jitendra Duffill praised the team effort from the Bears in their win over Sheffield last Friday which made it four points in two nights against the Tigers.
Duffill told gazettelive.co.uk: “I know Sheffield came with a pretty decimated team but we can only beat what is put out in front of us. And with a number one like Simon Stead and reserves like Taylor Poole and Josh Bates, it was never going to be easy. I’m really pleased for everyone.”
RYE HOUSE suffered a heavy defeat at Berwick on Saturday but quickly turned the tables on the Bandits with a 58-37 home win the following evening to move off the bottom of the Premier League table.
Manager John Sampford said: “It was a powerful performance against very strong opposition. 13 out of 15 heat wins says a lot. It really was a solid all-round team effort, and hopefully one that we can build on in the closing weeks of the season.”
SCUNTHORPE promoter Rob Godfrey has described this week’s action as “make or break” for the Scorpions, who face four matches in five days.
Godfrey said: “This is the most important week of the season for us so far. In particular, the two home meetings are absolutely massive. We can’t afford either Redcar or Workington leaving here with a win.”
SHEFFIELD boss Joe Screen admitted the Tigers’ extensive injury list had caught up with them in their 37-53 defeat at Redcar on Friday.
Screen said: “We are still up against it at the moment, and although we gave it our best shot we just didn't quite have enough in the end. Fingers crossed Leigh Lanham and Andre Compton can come back soon and we can get back to full strength, because we really want to try and finish the season strongly."
SOMERSET are looking for revenge over Peterborough when the sides meet at the Oaktree Arena on Friday – after the Panthers snatched a draw on their previous visit.
Promoter Debbie Hancock said: “I know the boys want to put right the fact that the Panthers are the only side not to be beaten at the Oaktree Arena this year, going away with a draw to their name in our League Cup match here back in April, but more importantly, they want to collect another maximum three league points to keep Somerset at the top of the Premier League table.”
WORKINGTON head into what could very well be a make or break weekend for their play-off hopes with four matches in three days as they continue to catch up on their fixture backlog.
Comets team manager Tony Jackson said: “After last week’s shock home defeat by a Rusty Harrison-inspired Glasgow we know that we need to pick up points on Saturday evening when we host Rye House and Scunthorpe in the first of what will be three-successive Saturdays of double-headers at Derwent Park.
“This first double-header is sandwiched in between visits to Plymouth on Friday evening and to Scunthorpe on Sunday afternoon, which will both be tough fixtures. We know that we cannot afford any more slip-ups at home after last weekend and we need to get more away points on the board too. Matches in hand are all very well, but you need to get something out of them if you want to break into the top six.
“Joe Jacobs made an encouraging home debut last weekend and, assuming everything is okay with Simon Lambert’s injured left hand after his track return this weekend, we should be able to welcome him back into the side.”
SGP NEWS - 26 August, 2014
Story by BSPA Press Office
Nicki Pedersen dislocated his shoulder in two places when he crashed in the International Individual Ekstraliga Championship in Tarnow on August 23.
The controversial Dane was taken to hospital where he had the bone re-set and was being transferred to his homeland to undergo physiotherapy.
Initial reports suggested he would require 14 days on the sidelines which would have kept him out of the SGP of Poland the following Saturday (August 30).
But the tough 37-year-old, who was third in the World Championship and 17 points behind leader Greg Hancock going into the Polish meeting, had yet to rule himself out as Speedway World went to print.
Pedersen suffered the injury when he caught Czestochowa rider Rune Holta’s back wheel and was violently thrown from his bike.
UK NEWS - 26 August, 2014
Story by BSPA Press Office
SOMERSET moved seven points clear at the top of the Premier League table with a 50-43 win at Peterborough on Sunday.
Captain Olly Allen scored a 15-point maximum for the Rebels and reserve Todd Kurtz added 14+2 as the visitors pulled back from an early ten-point deficit and secured maximum points from the meeting with a Heat 15 5-1 from Allen and Nick Morris.
Rebels boss Garry May said: “It is always difficult to go into a match when you have a rider out injured, especially when it is someone like Brady (Kurtz) who has been riding really well.
“But the boys really stepped up to the plate today, none more so than Todd, who was just superb, as was Olly who really led from the front, even though he was still feeling the after-effects from the heavy fall he took in our match against Ipswich on Friday night.”
Peterborough manager Carl Johnson said: “It is a meeting we wanted to win and a second successive home defeat is obviously a big disappointment.
“We put ourselves in a great position early in the meeting, but let it slip. The tactical ride changed the meeting and our gating from then on was not good enough.”
Glasgow edged out Newcastle 46-43 in a close contest at Ashfield with the Tigers moving to within six points of the Diamonds in the race for sixth place, with five matches in hand.
The home side’s top-scorers Theo Pijper and Kevin Wolbert packed in behind Newcastle’s Stuart Robson in the decisive final race after the visitors had lost Lewis Rose and Simon Nielsen during the meeting after crashes.
Glasgow reserve Kasper Lykke scored 8+2 and said: “The track was absolutely awesome - it suited me so well. I started to use the outside a bit more than I used to.
“I'm just a little bit annoyed that I was so close to getting a few more points but that's just part of it.”
Newcastle boss George English said: “It was tight throughout, but losing two key men by the eighth race really stretched us although our lads really raced well afterwards to make a comeback and almost sneak the win, but Robbo's fine Heat 15 win at least got us one point which is better than nothing.
“Now we have to get the Tigers back on Monday when they come to us at Byker in the return match at 6.30pm.”
Rye House turned the tables on Berwick as just a day after a heavy defeat at Shielfield Park, the Rockets raced to a 58-37 win back at Hoddesdon.
Edward Kennett (17) and Steve Boxall (15+1) were high-scorers for the home side, with the Bandits restricted to just two heat wins.
Rye boss John Sampford said: “It was a powerful performance against very strong opposition. 13 out of 15 heat wins says a lot.
“Edward and Steve were in dominant form, and Jason Garrity would have joined them with more than the paid 11 he finished with but for an exclusion for bringing down Kevin Doolan; we argued that there wasn’t contact between the two in that one.”
Berwick promoter John Anderson said: “It may have been a sizeable defeat for us, but at least there were plenty of moments where we were competitive and looked like we were trying to get some good points which wasn't really the case at Edinburgh on Friday.
“We would have liked to have taken a league point or two, but we're still in the hunt for a good end of season Championship play-off place and we can still climb a place or more before the cut off date.”
In the National League, Mildenhall hit back to top form with a 64-29 home win over Stoke – with Connor Coles scoring the 500th maximum in club history by being unbeaten in his four programmed rides.
That soon became 501 as captain Danny Halsey went through the card from five outings, whilst reserve Connor Mountain clocked up 13+4 after colleague Sam Woods had been withdrawn following a crash.
Mildenhall chairman Kevin Jolly said: “This is why I have been so frustrated recently with the lads, this is what they are capable of, and if Cradley had been here today with us on this form I am positive we would have beaten them.
“Stoke are a good side but for once we were fast out of the starting blocks, we hit them hard and early, and they were worrying about Tactical rides whilst we just went about the business of racking up a big score.”
Meanwhile Kent strengthened their play-off position with a 56-32 win at Buxton, who could take consolation from Ryan Blacklock’s successful return from injury with three race wins.
Buxton manager Jayne Moss said: “We just ran out of steam. Kent had strength in depth but we tailed off towards the end - it was, however, good to see Ryan back to his best. He’s been practicing this week and you could tell.”
COVENTRY and Leicester are scheduled to complete home and away Bank Holiday Monday fixtures in the Elite League with the Bees looking to move into the play-off places.
The Brandon opener is at 2pm and the sides then meet at the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium at 7.30pm, with Coventry having already taken seven points from Lakeside this weekend.
Bees boss Gary Havelock said: “It’s another big day for us, and it’s nice that again we are due to be at full strength for both meetings. Like I’ve been saying all season, when the boys all click together they can beat anyone on any track.”
Leicester manager Norrie Allan said: “We gained our first away point of the season at Coventry back in April and I genuinely think that there is every reason to believe that we can at least equal that performance this time around.”
Meanwhile Peter Kildemand is back from injury for Swindon as the Robins also look to move back into the play-off places, with a home match against fourth-placed Lakeside.
Swindon boss Alun Rossiter said: “This is a massive meeting for both sides, Lakeside need to win after their home defeat by Coventry on Saturday and we need to keep things ticking over at home.
“I’m naturally delighted to have Peter back in the side and it’s a timely boost for us. Hopefully we can claim all three points.”
In the Premier League, Newcastle and Glasgow are both chasing a play-off place as they meet for the second time in two days.
The Diamonds are sixth in the table but only have three fixtures remaining, whilst the Tigers are six points behind with five matches in hand and won at Workington on Friday.
Meanwhile Kent take on Arena-Essex in a special challenge at Central Park with the visiting Hammers including a first speedway appearance in three years for Mark Baseby, elder brother of Kings rider Aaron.
Wolverhampton’s Elite League match against Eastbourne has been postponed and re-arranged for September 8, whilst Scunthorpe will now face Redcar in the Premier League this Wednesday, August 27.
UK NEWS - 25 August, 2014
Story by BSPA Press Office
COVENTRY’S reserves were to the fore as the Bees closed in on the Elite League play-off places with a 55-35 win over Lakeside at Brandon.
The Bees covered well for their absent riders and were strong in the second half of the meeting after the scores had been level after eight races.
Fast Track reserve James Sarjeant enjoyed the best night of his career with 13 points from six rides, whilst colleague Jason Garrity added 10+4. Richard Lawson won his first four outings for the Hammers before missing out in Heat 15.
Coventry boss Gary Havelock said: “I’m absolutely proud of every single one of our riders, because on paper this could have been a really tricky meeting.
“It was one those evenings where you pray you have a good reserve – and we had two of them!”
King’s Lynn re-built their lead at the top of the table back to six points with a 39-24 win over Eastbourne at the Norfolk Arena in a meeting curtailed after ten races due to heavy rain.
Lewis Rose was another Fast Track reserve to shine as he top-scored for the Stars on 8+2, whilst Bjarne Pedersen led the way for the Eagles with eight.
Somerset’s 59-31 win over Ipswich kept them top of the Premier League – but the victory came at a cost with two of their top riders suffering crashes.
Skipper Olly Allen escaped largely unscathed from a crash with Gino Manzares in Heat 7, but Brady Kurtz faces a spell on the sidelines with a broken arm after coming to grief in the final race.
Rebels boss Garry May said: “Unfortunately those crashes took the shine off what was a great team performance. Thankfully while Olly is a bit battered and bruised he should be ok for our match on Sunday at Peterborough.
“The news about Brady isn't quite as good as he has suffered a break to his arm, first indications being that he could be out for 4-5 weeks, but we'll have a clearer picture on that in the next day or so.”
Edinburgh remain just three points behind the Rebels after easing to a 57-32 win over Berwick at Armadale with Sam Masters unbeaten.
The Monarchs had to go into two races with only one rider after Aaron Fox was withdrawn due to feeling dizzy, but they had already taken control with three 5-1s in the first five races.
Monarchs boss Alex Harkess said: “We thought Bandits would improve on their last visit, and they did a bit, but it was another excellent display by the team.”
Berwick manager John Anderson said: “We again had rare moments of success at a track that has once again pulled the carpet from under our wheels but as is becoming monotonous we were just not good enough for enough of the time at this place. No excuses.”
Plymouth moved above Peterborough and into the top ten with a 52-38 win over the Panthers at the St Boniface Arena.
It was the Devils’ fifth straight home victory, headed up by Ben Barker with 11+3 and in-form Kyle Newman on 10, whilst reserve Nicki Barrett was the Panthers’ top-scorer on 12+1 from seven rides.
Plymouth boss Lee Trigger said: “It was another good all-round team performance. We made a good start to take an early advantage and it was pleasing that we had the three match points wrapped up by Heat 14. It meant that, for a change, it was nice to be able to relax in the final heat.”
Panthers manager Carl Johnson said: “It was a cracking meeting and the scoreline doesn’t really reflect how it went. Plymouth is always a difficult place to go and we'll dust ourselves down ready for three huge home meetings in the coming days.”
Injury-hit Sheffield put up a brave display at Redcar but eventually went down to a 37-53 defeat as the Bears took revenge for their narrow loss at Owlerton on Thursday, with Aaron Summers top-scoring on 12+1.
Tigers boss Joe Screen said: “Josh (Bates) did well coming back from his injury but Simon (Stead) was still feeling ill which is why he didn't go out in Heat 15.
"We are still up against it at the moment, and although we gave it our best shot we just didn't quite have enough in the end.”
And Glasgow notched their first away win of the season in style as they romped to a 54-40 victory at Workington to climb to eighth in the table, with ex-Comet Rusty Harrison making a hugely successful return to Derwent Park with a 17-point score.
EASTBOURNE are now chasing the Elite League play-off places as they go back into action at Arlington against Wolverhampton.
The Eagles have dropped behind Swindon albeit with three matches in hand, and boss Trevor Geer admits the presence of World Champion Tai Woffinden adds to a meeting which his side require three points from after dropping one to Coventry last week.
Geer said: “It still wrankles. The sad thing is that we couldn’t put it right immediately because our match at Belle Vue was rained off on Monday.
“Woffinden in full flight is something to behold and our boys will have to be very sharp on Saturday to prevent him running through the card.”
Wolves bring in Scott Nicholls, Gino Manzares and Rohan Tungate to cover for absent trio Piotr Pawlicki, Jacob Thorssell and Lasse Bjerre.
Woffinden said: “Eastbourne is always a tough place to go, the home guys have the place dialled in, but we’ll go there and give it our best shot. It’s all about ending the season as well as we can and hopefully the guys who are helping us out can have a good night.”
Lakeside face Coventry at Purfleet with the two sides meeting for the second time in 24 hours and the Bees expected to return to full strength, whilst the Hammers wait on news from Lewis Bridger and Adam Ellis after they missed last night’s 20-point defeat at Brandon due to illness and injury respectively.
Coventry boss Gary Havelock said: “It’s always going to be tough going to Lakeside I’d be happy to come away with a point, anything else is a bonus, and on Monday there are two eminently winnable matches.
“Confidence is growing in the team every week, and everyone believes we can do something this season.”
Poole are looking to cut the gap at the top of the table to King’s Lynn when they travel to injury-hit Leicester.
The Pirates make changes themselves with Craig Cook and Matt Williamson coming in for Vaclav Milik and Benji Compton, whilst the Lions have several concerns to contend with.
Manager Norrie Allan said: “Our recent run of good form at home will be severely tested on Saturday. Their top three riders are the youngest trio in the Elite League and are guaranteed to score heavily for Poole.
“Admittedly they are without Vaclav Milik but as he has never ridden the Leicester track I believe that the team are stronger with the inclusion of Craig Cook as his replacement. He knows our track having ridden it so many times before.”
Poole chief Matt Ford said: “It's a shame that we won't have Vaclav as he has been something of a revelation at every new track he has visited this season, but hopefully in Cookie I have found a guest that will be able to step in to the breach and do a good job for us.
“Our good run of form has been encouraging and whilst not taking anything for granted this is a good opportunity to extend our unbeaten form, but we must remember none of our top lads are over-familiar with the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium track.”
A busy night at Shielfield Park sees Berwick stage a double-header starting at 6.30, with the Bandits taking on first Rye House and then Newcastle.
Co-promoter Ryan Anderson said: “We are on course to qualify for the end-of-term play-offs for the league title.
“However, to do so it is necessary to complete all our home matches by mid-September, and all the rained-out meetings now mean there are more outstanding matches than Saturdays to stage them on!”
The Bandits list their regular squad, as do the Diamonds for the second fixture, but Rye House have injury problems and bring in Ritchie Hawkins and Mason Campton for Luke Bowen and Jason Garrity (racing for Coventry) whilst rider-replacement operates for Anders Mellgren.
In the National League, second placed Kent visit Stoke who are currently sixth, and seven points outside the play-off places.
LIAM Carr’s season is over after he suffered serious knee ligament damage in his crash at Sheffield on Thursday.
Buxton skipper Carr was making a guest appearance for the Tigers, and although initial fears of a broken leg proved unfounded he will still require an operation, which will taken place either in Sheffield or Newcastle.
Buxton promoter Jayne Moss said: “We wish Liam well and it’s a big blow for him and us as he and Tony (Atkin) have been our mainstays this season.”
WORLD Champion Tai Woffinden has suffered a broken bone in the back of his hand after a horror crash at Eastbourne.
The Wolverhampton star crashed heavily in his side’s defeat at Arlington on Saturday and initial fears were of serious injury.
But Wolves boss Peter Adams said: “It may not be as bad as first feared. We are very hopeful it's nothing more than the hand injury and bad bruising.
“It was a bad crash and we were initially told he may have suffered a broken arm but that's not the case. He could well need an operation but we should know more later on Sunday.”
GREAT Britain international Danny King is to join Lakeside next week as a replacement for Danish youngster Mikkel Bech.
King has been without an Elite League team place since the closure of Birmingham but will now come in for the Hammers subject to approval, with Bech suffering injury and unavailability concerns.
Promoter Jon Cook said: “My thanks go to Mikkel for a superb debut year wrecked at the finish by niggling injury and clashes with U21 and Danish meetings, a couple of which moved after he had joined us. His commitment when on track was unquestionable and it's only availability, or lack of it, that means we have to make this change.
“Danny's an all out racer and we've agreed this is a great trial period for us to look at each other and see if it's a good fit.
“He'll be given the track for a day to get used to his new home and with him now being a BSPA asset following the closure of Birmingham we will now have first option on him for the 2015 season as far as Elite racing is concerned.”
COVENTRY made major progress towards the Elite League play-offs with a 56-39 away win at Lakeside – to make it seven points in two nights against the Hammers.
It was the Bees’ fifth away win of the season but only the home side’s second defeat at Purfleet, and the sides are now level on 41 points but Coventry have five matches in hand.
They scored 5-1s in each of the first three races and were 21-points up after ten, despite a Lakeside 8-1 from Rory Schlein and Davey Watt in Heat 5.
Fast Track Reserve Jason Garrity scored 11 for the Bees with Chris Harris, Hans Andersen and Michael Jepsen Jensen all paid for double figures, whilst Kim Nilsson scored 14 for the Hammers.
Bees boss Gary Havelock said: “It was sensational, unbelievable, I could almost run out of superlatives. I was standing next to Mick (Horton) and he said ‘am I dreaming or is this really happening?’
“Much as I wanted to say on Friday night what I thought we could do here, I thought I’d just keep it to myself this time. I’m a big believer in fate, so I said I’d be happy with a point but I genuinely believed with a full team we could do it. Even when they got an 8-1 we hit them back straight away with 5-1, 5-1 and that broke them.”
Eastbourne are also on 41 points after a 55-35 win over Wolverhampton in a meeting marred by the crash involving Tai Woffinden (see separate story).
Joonas Kylmakorpi was in top form for the Eagles with 14 points from five rides, with Bjarne Pedersen, Cameron Woodward and guest Steve Worrall also in double figures, whilst Wolves stand-in Scott Nicholls picked up 10+1.
Eagles boss Trevor Geer said: “It does feel a bit like a hollow victory with Tai being injured. It has taken the shine off the win.”
Leicester and Poole fought out an exciting 45-45 draw at the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium with Lions No.1 Jason Doyle rescuing a point for the home side in the final stages.
Pirates skipper Darcy Ward had crashed out of Heat 15 but Maciej Janowski looked set to confirm victory for the visitors, only for Doyle – who scored 16 – to snatch the race win on the line.
Poole also have a concern over Przemyslaw Pawlicki, who crashed in his second ride and suffered a collarbone injury.
Leicester boss Norrie Allan said: “With so much uncertainty concerning the composure of the team I felt that we would do well to hold Poole. We lost Nicolai Klindt (broken scaphoid) and Krzysztof Buczkowski (broken shoulder blade), Mads Korneliussen (injury to a leg at Wolverhampton), and Simon Stead (tonsillitis) in the week and were unsure as to whether Josh Bates would be back in time for the match. So my team just consisted of Jason Doyle and Max Clegg on Friday!
“That said, it all came together and it was a terrific contest with Poole who were heading for a win in Heat 15 when Janowski held the lead right until the final metres on the run-in to the flag. It took a sublime four laps from Jason to overhaul Maceij right on the line to earn us a draw.”
In the Premier League, Berwick added six points to their total as they close in on a play-off place, with double-header victories over Rye House and Newcastle.
The Bandits defeated the Rockets 63-32 with Claus Vissing and David Bellego both scoring paid maximums, and another powerful display saw them then beat the Diamonds 52-31 in a match curtailed two races early due to the curfew.
Berwick promoter John Anderson said: “The guys were not happy after their drubbing at Edinburgh on Friday, but knew they were a far better side and had to prove it to the fans, and that’s precisely what they did in style.
“Newcastle rode well for their credit and made for some thrilling racing which we thank their lads for. We now have to build on this and hopefully make an impression at Rye House on Sunday evening.”
Rye House manager John Sampford said: “Tonight was all about trapping, and Berwick totally dominated us in that respect.
“Steve (Boxall) rode his guts out to try to stem the tide, although he twisted his right ankle again. He is confident that he will be OK for the return match, though, because the track will be much smoother and therefore less of a factor for him.”
In the National League Stoke defeated second-placed Kent 55-36 at Loomer Road with Jon Armstrong top-scoring on 13+1, whilst Simon Lambert picked up 13 for the Kings.
PETERBOROUGH team boss Carl Johnson has challenged his riders to sink the reigning Premier League champions Somerset today to ignite their own hopes of silverware.
The Panthers entertain the Rebels - who demonstrated their prowess at the East of England Showground by capturing Premier League Fours glory earlier this month – and Johnson has billed the acid test as a ‘must-win’ meeting.
He said: “We’ve got to win today and we’ve got to win both meetings on Tuesday. I’m looking for a hat-trick of home wins and ideally three points from each of them.
“If we can manage that we will be a hell of a lot closer to the play-off spots on Wednesday morning than we are now. But it will be far from easy. In my opinion Somerset are the best team in the Premier League although we can't afford to worry about them.”
The home side are at full strength whilst the Rebels will be without broken arm victim Brady Kurtz, although they are hoping skipper Olly Allen will be fit to ride after also suffering a crash on Friday.
Elsewhere, Rye House look to move off the foot of the table when they host third-placed Berwick at Hoddesdon in the second clash in 24 hours between the clubs, with the Bandits having been convincing winners on Saturday.
Rockets boss John Sampford said: “It’s all about re-grouping during the long drive south, and starting afresh again, so that we can show that we are a different proposition on a different track.”
Glasgow have moved up to eighth place in the table following their win at Workington on Friday, and the Tigers today host Newcastle at Ashfield, with Tero Aarnio making his home debut and Derek Sneddon guesting for Dimitri Berge at reserve.
In the National League, Mildenhall take on Stoke at West Row with the two sides separated by just four points either side of the play-off line.
The Fen Tigers welcome back Josh Bates from injury, and chairman Kevin Jolly said: “It is hard to emphasize just how much we have missed Josh’s scoring potential, his average no way reflects what he is capable of and Rider Replacement just hasn’t worked for us and to be fair has probably put just a bit too much pressure on our lower order.
“Even if Josh rides to his average it will be a massive boost for us and the team. We must put the last week behind us now and push forward, the play-offs are still there for us.”
Second-placed Kent, who have two matches remaining, travel to Buxton who must utilise the rider-replacement facility for the injured Liam Carr.
BRITISH youngster Kyle Bickley took a brilliant victory in Saturday’s FIM Youth Grass Track Gold Trophy in Germany.
Bickley, who competes in the British Youth Championship, scored 14 points in the qualifying races, one behind Adam Fencl and Jarno De Vries, but then defeated both along with Marcin Turowski in the A Final at Bad Hersfeld.
Fellow British rider Zach Wajtknecht was classified tenth after scoring eight points in the qualifiers.
WORLD Speedway Champion Tai Woffinden has admitted he is a lucky man after his horror crash at Eastbourne on Saturday.
And the Wolverhampton man will meet his own surgeon on Monday to establish whether he needs surgery on the broken bone in his left hand.
He's refusing to rule himself out of next weekend's Gorzow FIM Speedway Grand Prix at the Edward Jancarz Stadium in Poland - but has vowed to race only if he can control the bike and is no danger to himself and his opponents.
"I'm battered and bruised, I feel dreadful, the hand and wrist are badly swollen but I know I'm a lucky man after that crash," he said. Woffinden crashed out in Wolverhampton's 55-35 defeat at Eastbourne and will miss the return fixture on Monday night.
"I remember everything about it and I knew I was in trouble fairly early. I made the start, then I hit some unexpected drive from a rut and the bike was running away from me - I was hanging on by my fingertips but the throttle was wide open and I ended up piling into wooden fence panels at high speed and the fencing behind them.
"It all happened so quickly from the moment I was thrown out of control and there was nothing I could do.
"I took out three fence panels and the whole thing looked a mess. I thought I'd broken bones everywhere, the pain was horrendous so I was relieved when the x-rays came back with just the broken hand.
"So whilst I'm in agony doing this interview and need to rest - I can hardly move my left hand - I do appreciate I have got away with it to an extent.
"I will see my surgeon who did a great job on my collarbone and scaphoid last year - I went through the pain barrier to win the title then and I'm going to have to do it again. This time, however, the injury is worse.
"I want to be in Gorzow - but I will only ride if I'm 70% fit and no danger to myself and the other guys in the meeting.
"Finally I'd like to thank everyone for their good wishes over the last 24 hours."