HERE’S our latest soundbytes and fixtures from around the tracks up and down the country.
THE BITE-SIZED BULLETIN
PIC OF THE WEEK…
Leicester further increased their lead at the top of the Championship table over the weekend with a hard-fought 48-41 home win against Plymouth and a thumping 62-28 victory at Newcastle. Sunday’s result on Tyneside was the Lions’ ninth successive win and the biggest away victory in the club’s history.
Photo Credit: STEVE DIXON
“We won the meeting by a significant amount and that’s the main thing for us, to keep winning especially at home. This track is a place that everyone loves racing and a lot of the time it is 50/50 who will win, but I think we’re getting pretty dialled in now, we’re gating and we’ve got some good speed.”
Slovenian star Matej Zagar kept up his great form at the NSS since rejoining the Aces with a 15-point maximum in Monday’s win over Wolverhampton.
NEXT HOME: Sheffield, Mon July 4
NEXT AWAY: Wolverhampton, Mon June 20
“I do think the standard of the league is very competitive. Nowadays you see a lot more away victories, it’s very close between the teams and it’s all down to who performs on the night, which is good for the sport. But for us I still don’t think we’re as good as we could be – but it was another improved performance, and I’m delighted with the way things are going.”
Another last-heat decider win for the Witches as they were successful at King’s Lynn last Thursday, with boss Ritchie Hawkins satisfied but still feeling there’s more to come.
NEXT HOME: Premiership Pairs Round 2, Thur June 16
NEXT AWAY: Peterborough, Mon June 20
“There’s a very long way to go, and we have a big few weeks ahead with matches such as Sheffield at home and Peterborough away, which is somewhere we need to try and get a result from. I think probably by this time next month we’ll know where we’re going to be, and obviously the aim is still to make the play-offs.”
Stars boss Alex Brady wasn’t getting too downhearted after last Thursday’s home defeat to Ipswich when injuries and illness conspired against his side against their local rivals.
NEXT HOME: Sheffield, Thur June 23
NEXT AWAY: Peterborough, Mon July 4
“We needed that result, I’m really happy with the boys, and it’s a big relief to get some points on the board, because it becomes a psychological issue after a period of time when you can’t get off the mark.
We’ve now got a bit of belief, a bit of confidence, and we need to go on a run now and climb that table.”
Relief was the over-riding emotion for Panthers boss Rob Lyon as the reigning champions took their first win in six league matches this season – doing it via the first-ever Super Heat after a 45-45 ‘draw’ with Sheffield.
NEXT HOME: Ipswich, Mon June 20
NEXT AWAY: Ipswich, Thur June 23
“It was disappointing that we sort of fell short in the latter heats. I can’t quite believe it to be honest because we’ve done so much throughout the meeting; they’ve had to use a tactical substitute but we’ve nullified that. The two 5-1s against [Heats 13 and 14] didn’t do us any favours at all and put us on the back foot.”
Ups and downs for Tigers boss Simon Stead, who saw his side win a last-heat decider against Wolverhampton last Thursday but then miss out at Peterborough on Monday as they were beaten in a Super Heat after being level at the conclusion of 15 races.
NEXT HOME: Ipswich, Mon June 27
NEXT AWAY: King’s Lynn, Thur June 23
“They’ll be a handful around here all season long and when you look at the scorechart, we actually won the second half of the meeting from Heat 8 onwards. We’re not downhearted at all, I thought we were very creditable here despite not taking any points.”
Wolves boss Peter Adams was keen to accentuate the positives after seeing his side miss out on away points for the first time this season when they went down 51-39 at Belle Vue on Monday.
NEXT HOME: Belle Vue, Mon June 20
NEXT AWAY: Peterborough, Mon July 11
“We need to make a change to steady the reserve berth. Jonas is a good friend and rival of Leon (Flint) stretching back to their 250cc days and is going well in Denmark and Poland in addition to the SGP2 series. Although the British tracks are new to him, I’m confident he will crack on and score well.”
Bandits boss Gary Flint explains the club’s introduction of newcomer Jonas Knudsen, who joins along with Nathan Stoneman whilst Ty Proctor and Kyle Bickley make way.
NEXT HOME: Scunthorpe, Sat June 25
NEXT AWAY: Poole, Wed June 29
“We knew we had it hard in the last few races with (Sam) Masters and (Josh) Pickering out several times and that was never going to be easy. Nevertheless I still thought with the way the lads were going for it that we could hold on.”
Boss Laurence Rogers saw his side suffer a fourth successive home defeat against Edinburgh last Wednesday, conceding 5-1s in each of the last three races after holding a narrow 37-35 lead after Heat 12.
NEXT HOME: Plymouth, Wed June 15
NEXT AWAY: Leicester Sat June 25
“I made a blinder in Heat 15 and was looking back every lap and Josh (Pickering) was in a different position every time so he had the hard job, but it was a great way to finish and good for the boys and the team to get the four points. We needed to get those points while Birmingham are struggling a bit, so we have done our jobs tonight.”
Monarchs skipper Sam Masters combined with Josh Pickering for two late 5-1s as the Armadale side gained a vital victory at Perry Barr to propel themselves firmly into the Championship play-off race.
NEXT HOME: Oxford, Fri June 24
NEXT AWAY: Scunthorpe, Sun July 3
“I think everyone has picked each other up. We had a bad one at Armadale a week past on Friday and the next day at home to Edinburgh I thought we reacted very well. Scunthorpe is a very difficult place to go to – we weren’t particularly good on Friday night but we more than made up for it today.”
Tigers boss Cami Brown was delighted with the reaction of his team to defeat at Scunthorpe last Friday as they turned the tables on the Scorpions with a 59-31 win just under 48 hours later.
NEXT HOME: Oxford, Fri June 17
NEXT AWAY: Plymouth, Tues June 28
“We’ve been going well really all season, we had a couple of blips away from home early on, but things are going well now. But like I’ve said before, it doesn’t really matter at the moment – it’s who’s on form at the end. Obviously it’s good to be in good position in the table, we want to finish top, but we also want to be in top form for the play-offs.”
Lions No.1 Nick Morris continues to score heavily for the league leaders, who gained a stunning win at Poole last Wednesday before defeating Plymouth at home and then running riot at Newcastle on Sunday to go 15 points clear at the top.
NEXT HOME: Birmingham, Sat June 25
NEXT AWAY: Glasgow, Fri June 24
The Diamonds suffered a second successive 28-62 home reverse, this time at the hands of Leicester on Sunday.
NEXT HOME: Poole, Sun June 26
NEXT AWAY: Plymouth, Tues June 21
“We believe Jack has a bright future in the sport, and at such a young age it would be silly to rush anything at this stage. We’re grateful to Aaron for stepping in, his experience and knowledge of the sport at this level can only boost the team as we prepare for an important run of fixtures.”
Cheetahs co-boss Peter Schroeck insists the club are still committed to Jack Thomas, who broke both wrists in a crash at King’s Lynn last week, leading to the signing of Aaron Summers who has agreed to come out of retirement as an injury replacement.
NEXT HOME: Glasgow, Wed June 22
NEXT AWAY: Glasgow, Fri June 17
“There are times in sport where you don’t always get the success that your efforts deserve but a marker can be laid down for the future and you can lose the battle but ultimately win the war.”
The Gladiators took plenty of encouragement after going down 48-41 on a Leicester track which has proved a home fortress this season, especially as they had raced to a 30-point win over the Lions at the Coliseum earlier in the campaign.
NEXT HOME: Newcastle, Tues June 21
NEXT AWAY: Birmingham, Wed June 15
“Sadly it didn’t go our way tonight and I apologise to the fans for that. We were trying everything all night but some things just didn’t happen, but I am sure that we will learn from this and we won’t be repeating this. We know what to do and what not to do and we are determined to put things right.”
Pirates star Richard Lawson dropped just one point from five rides but found himself in the unusual position of having to explain a Pirates home defeat, as a 23-match unbeaten run at Wimborne Road was shattered by Leicester last Wednesday.
NEXT HOME: Plymouth, Wed June 22
NEXT AWAY: Scunthorpe, Fri June 17
“Charles is a special rider, he dislocated his shoulder in Heat 6 but that shows the mettle of the man, he knew that his team needed him so he went out there and did the job. Charles would not have done that if he wasn’t as committed to the club as he is. I have complete admiration for him. Speedway riders are a different breed.”
Bears boss Jade Mudgway paid tribute on redcar-speedway.com after skipper Charles Wright went through the pain barrier to score a vital 12 points in last Friday’s narrow win over Oxford.
NEXT HOME: Newcastle, Fri June 24
NEXT AWAY: Birmingham, Wed June 22
“When we brought speedway back to Scunthorpe in 2005, Kev helped us out a hell of a lot at the track in those early days. He was instrumental in so many projects getting finished and we had a lot of fun together. I remember us riding speedway bikes around the track in the snow for starters! We were really upset to hear that he had passed away and I would like to pass on the condolences of everyone to his wife Sue and all of his family.”
Scorpions promoter Rob Godfrey paid tribute to former rider Kevin Armitage, who passed away recently at the age of 55. Armitage made 47 official appearances for the club in 1983-84.
NEXT HOME: Poole, Fri June 17
NEXT AWAY: Berwick, Sat June 25
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE SOUNDBYTES…
The Devils are back in action at home for the first time in six weeks this Friday when they host reigning champions Mildenhall.
NEXT HOME: Mildenhall, Fri June 17
NEXT AWAY: Leicester, Sat July 16
“It’s also a major confidence boost for us in terms of our remaining meetings. We’ve got a full 1-7, a young 1-7, with lots of potential and we’re really excited to see what they can do.”
Colts co-boss Graham Goodwin says the recent signing of Jake Mulford, bringing them back up to a full side after Jack Parkinson-Blackburn quit, offers the potential for an exciting second half of the season for the Manchester side.
NEXT HOME: Berwick, Fri June 24
NEXT AWAY: Mildenhall, Sun July 24
“They say that when you sit at the top of the table then you’re there to be shot at. I’m not sure anyone has told the 2022 Bullets that they are under increasing pressure. In fact all they are really worried about is that they are not racing every week – every night in some cases.”
Bullets coach Kevin Little says his side are enjoying the ride as they sit top of the NDL table, having built an impressive home record of five wins out of five.
NEXT HOME: Mildenhall, Sat June 18
NEXT AWAY: Belle Vue, Fri June 24
The Royals will return after a four-week gap when they race at Leicester on Saturday, although they will be without Joe Alcock after he was injured at Scunthorpe last month.
NEXT HOME: Berwick, Sun July 10
NEXT AWAY: Leicester, Sat June 18
“With the replacements Plymouth had to put in, we were expected to continue our good run at home, and we had good performances throughout the meeting. Tom (Spencer) had a bit of misfortune with his bike in his first race, but everybody got some good points and it was a nice comfortable win.”
Cubs boss Dave Howard was more than happy with his side’s display to beat Plymouth 57-32 at the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena and in the process consolidate second place in the league table.
NEXT HOME: Kent, Sat June 18
NEXT AWAY: Mildenhall, Sun June 26
West Row this Sunday plays host to a benefit meeting in honour for Danny Ayres, who passed away prior to the 2020 season. Monies raised will benefit his partner and their two young children, with a strong field assembled including Premiership regulars Danny King, Richard Lawson, Ben Barker and Jake Allen.
NEXT HOME: Danny’s Day, Sun June 19
NEXT AWAY: Armadale, Fri June 17
“There’s been a lot sitting around and waiting for paperwork to be finished but I’ve made sure to put the time to use. Tim’s (Sharples) been really helpful in developing my knowledge of how to look after and maintain my bikes – our conversations will allow me to get the best out of my equipment.”
Chargers newcomer Luke Killeen is finally ready to make his debut after a passport delay meant he wasn’t able to get going with the rest of the team at the start of the season.
NEXT HOME: Leicester, Wed July 20
NEXT AWAY: Plymouth, Tues June 14
“After losing their top two riders (Dan) Gilkes and (Henry) Atkins, the season for the Centurions is now all about developing future talent whilst giving as much extra track time as possible to (Alfie) Bowtell and (Ben) Morley as possible guest replacements, until Gilkes is back riding, and to Ben Trigger.”
The Centurions are realistic about their revised ambitions for 2022 after suffering a number of setbacks in recent weeks leaving them adrift of a play-off challenge.
NEXT HOME: Oxford, Tues June 14
NEXT AWAY: Armadale, Sat Aug 6
TUESDAY JUNE 14:
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Plymouth v Oxford 7pm
WEDNESDAY JUNE 15:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Birmingham v Plymouth 7.30
THURSDAY JUNE 16:
PREMIERSHIP PAIRS Round 2: Ipswich 7.30
FRIDAY JUNE 17:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Glasgow v Oxford 7.30, Scunthorpe v Poole 7.30
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Armadale v Mildenhall 7.30
SATURDAY JUNE 18:
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Berwick v Mildenhall 7pm, Leicester v Kent 7pm
SUNDAY JUNE 19:
DANNY’S DAY: Mildenhall 2pm
MONDAY JUNE 20:
PREMIERSHIP: Peterborough v Ipswich 7.30, Wolverhampton v Belle Vue 7.30
TUESDAY JUNE 21:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Plymouth v Newcastle 7pm
WEDNESDAY JUNE 22:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Birmingham v Redcar 7.30, Oxford v Glasgow 7.30, Poole v Plymouth 7.30
THURSDAY JUNE 23:
PREMIERSHIP: Ipswich v Peterborough 7.30, King’s Lynn v Sheffield 7.30
FRIDAY JUNE 24:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Edinburgh v Oxford 7.30, Glasgow v Leicester 7.30, Redcar v Newcastle 7.30
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Belle Vue v Berwick 7.30
SATURDAY JUNE 25:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Berwick v Scunthorpe 7pm, Leicester v Birmingham 7pm
SUNDAY JUNE 26:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Newcastle v Poole 4pm
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Mildenhall v Leicester 3pm
MONDAY JUNE 27:
PREMIERSHIP: Sheffield v Ipswich 7.30
TUESDAY JUNE 28:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Plymouth v Glasgow 7pm