HERE’S our latest soundbytes and fixtures from around the tracks up and down the country.
THE BITE-SIZED BULLETIN
PIC OF THE WEEK…
Talented teenager Dan Thompson headlined for Leicester with a 13-point haul from reserve in Saturday’s 51-39 home Championship win against Redcar.
Picture: STEVE DIXON
“We remain focused on the spectator experience and therefore, by rearranging the two fixtures it means that we can run the meetings at a later date with unrestricted crowds – something that we all want to see.”
Aces CEO Adrian Smith explains on the club website the decision to delay two home matches in June and re-stage them in September when – hopefully – restrictions have been significantly reduced.
NEXT HOME: Wolverhampton, Mon July 12
NEXT AWAY: King’s Lynn, Thur June 24
“It is a place we know that we are going to go well and generally we perform there. The mood in camp was good and we fought hard. We won a lot of races and they got the better of us on the day. It was much-improved as I’m as happy as you can be after a defeat.”
Witches boss Ritchie Hawkins was in relatively upbeat mood after a narrow loss at Peterborough on Monday – but knows his side need to put victories on the board sooner rather than later.
NEXT HOME: Wolverhampton, Mon June 28
NEXT AWAY: Sheffield, Thur June 24
“My plan for this season isn’t working and I need to take a few weeks out from racing to try and put things right. I want to make it clear I still love the sport and I’m not walking away from it, I just need to go away and hit the reset button and try and get going again.”
Stars man Ty Proctor explains why he’s quitting the team leaving the Adrian Flux Arena side needing to make a fourth change from their original line-up for 2021.
NEXT HOME: Belle Vue, Thur June 24
NEXT AWAY: Sheffield, Thur July 15
“Top of the league is a nice feeling but it doesn’t really mean a great deal as other teams have lots of matches to catch up. But we’re there to be chased now, and we need to keep that momentum going. So far, we have to be really happy with the way it’s going.”
Panthers boss Rob Lyon isn’t getting carried away after a fourth straight win for his side on Monday took them to the top of the Premiership table.
NEXT HOME: Sheffield, Mon June 28
NEXT AWAY: King’s Lynn, Thur July 1
“I’m sure the restaurant has been much-missed, and we expect quite a demand for seats in there on Thursday. I know it’s a complicated process at the moment, but if you are booking in the restaurant please do also let the club know that you won’t be on the third and fourth turns. It’s absolutely vital that we maintain control of numbers at this time.”
Tigers co-owner Damien Bates with news of a welcome return towards normality at Owlerton on Thursday with the re-opening of the stadium restaurant!
NEXT HOME: Ipswich, Thur June 24
NEXT AWAY: Peterborough, Mon June 28
“I’m very excited and I don’t think I could’ve landed myself a better spot. Not only with the experience of the riders but the experience with the management with Chris and Peter (Adams – team manager) too. I think I can only bounce off what advice they’ve got to give me.”
Youngster Leon Flint is delighted to have been handed the Rising Star position with the Monmore club after the recent retirement of Tom Bacon.
NEXT HOME: Sheffield, Mon July 5
NEXT AWAY: Ipswich, Mon June 28
“Coty is Berwick through and through and once foreign travel becomes more manageable and things are more stable we have every hope to pick up 2022 where we left off in 2019 with Coty, but family comes first every time and as a club we respect that as top priority.”
Bandits manager Gary Flint stresses Coty Garcia still has a future with the Bandits after the club replaced him with Kasper Andersen due to the Argentinean being stuck in his own country’s lockdown and caring for his unwell father.
NEXT HOME: Glasgow, Sat June 26
NEXT AWAY: Scunthorpe, Fri July 2
“We are desperately trying to make it work and we are determined to keep this club afloat, a club with such a rich heritage and a focal point of the city, carrying the Birmingham name. A lot of people fought over many years to bring the sport back to Birmingham and we don’t want to be the ones who oversee its demise.”
Co-owner Peter Mason insists there is a determination to get the Brummies back on track this summer after a troubled start to the season resulted in them suspending operations whilst operating under strict restrictions.
NEXT HOME: Redcar, Wed July 7
NEXT AWAY: Redcar, Fri July 9
“The picture is very clear for us, we have been given an attendance that allows us to keep our heads above water. If the fans back the club and come out and get behind our teams on track, this will happen and we can move forwards with confidence.
But having experienced what is happening at Birmingham first-hand, it’s a day-by-day situation for most clubs including ourselves.”
Eagles co-promoter Lee Kilby spells out to Eastbourne-speedway.com that running a business in what are still Covid-affected times is far from straightforward.
NEXT HOME: Glasgow, Sun July 4
NEXT AWAY: Glasgow, Fri June 25
Former Monarchs rider David McAllan will take on the role of Academy Instructor after the club’s new mini-track at Armadale Stadium was opened last Saturday. The first Academy session takes place on Saturday June 26.
NEXT HOME: Scunthorpe, Fri June 25
NEXT AWAY: Scunthorpe, Sun June 27
The Tigers came away from a league match pointless for the first time this season when they lost 51-39 at Scunthorpe on Sunday having conceded 5-1s in the last three races.
NEXT HOME: Eastbourne, Fri June 25
NEXT AWAY: Berwick, Sat June 26
“Frankly, in the longer term, I am not phased by these incidents because we will be best served by using our own young talent. I am certain of that and I know we will have your support going forward.”
Kings boss Len Silver is unconcerned by the rider search for a replacement for Tom Bacon currently hitting a blank – with the injured Cameron Heeps due back in action this week.
NEXT HOME: Eastbourne (KOC), Tues July 6
NEXT AWAY: Redcar, Fri June 25
“I know we’re okay at home, but we need points on the road and we have a problem in that department which we need to address. At the moment we’re asking our heat-leaders to win every race, which I know they want to do, but I can’t remember the last time I didn’t go to them demanding a win.”
Lions boss Stewart Dickson admits they have issues in the second-string department following defeat at Newcastle, after which Ty Proctor announced his decision to quit the club.
NEXT HOME: Newcastle, Sat June 26
NEXT AWAY: Eastbourne, Sun July 11
“I always believed this team could do that, but it needed a top man in the lead position to bring the best from the rest. I also believe this is the start of our upturn in fortune, so we’re going for much better results from now on.”
Diamonds boss Nigel Hincliffe was delighted to see his side defeat reigning champions Leicester at Brough Park, with Steve Worrall making an important contribution as guest at No.1.
NEXT HOME: Plymouth, Sun June 27
NEXT AWAY: Leicester, Sat June 26
The Gladiators have confirmed on Plymouth-speedway.com that Luke Ruddick has signed for the club and will step into their vacant No.7 Rising Star berth, with Henry Atkins on the sidelines due to long-term injury.
NEXT HOME: Poole (KOC), Tues June 22
NEXT AWAY: Newcastle, Sun June 27
“I am really happy to be at Poole, we have a great bunch of lads and although we have not yet had too much track time together, I feel that we all know each other very well through the group messaging chats. If we can put that camaraderie to good effect on the track then it will be a great season for the team.”
Pirates skipper Danny King is looking forward to being much busier through the rest of the summer and building momentum with his new club.
NEXT HOME: Kent, Wed June 30
NEXT AWAY: Plymouth (KOC), Tues June 22
“Leicester is a hard place to come so I don’t believe this is a massive setback for the team, but I think we do miss having Jordan Stewart in the 1-7. I’m already looking forward to the Kent meeting on Friday, they have some good riders but I believe we can win the meeting if we ride well.”
Bears youngster Jordan Jenkins tells redcar-speedway.com he has switched his focus to the next home meeting this week after his own solid performance in last week’s defeat at Leicester.
NEXT HOME: Kent, Fri June 25
NEXT AWAY: Birmingham, Wed July 7
“We assessed the situation and Josh Auty was the one of our top five who was struggling the most this season. Of course, it was a tough call to make, because Josh has been part of the Scunthorpe side for so long and played such a big part in the history of the club, but we just felt we had to go for it with Adam – it was too good an opportunity to miss.”
Scorpions boss Dave Peet admits there were mixed emotions as the club took the big decision to replace No.1 Josh Auty with Adam Ellis, who makes his debut at Edinburgh on Friday.
NEXT HOME: Edinburgh, Sun June 27
NEXT AWAY: Edinburgh, Fri June 25
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE SOUNDBYTES…
“I know the Armadale riders well especially the Millar brothers, we have a good chat and I get on with them. Losing the Gems was disappointing, we didn’t have a clue it was going to happen. I liked riding for my hometown club but you can’t always have everything you want.”
Teenager Archie Freeman is looking forward to his new challenge having joined the Devils following the withdrawal of Newcastle Gems from the NDL.
NEXT HOME: Leicester, Fri July 2
NEXT AWAY: Eastbourne, Sat July 31
“Harry was absolutely outstanding. Seven rides is a lot to put on a rider but he never hesitated once when we asked him, which is the perfect attitude. I’m certain he will sleep tonight! And the rest of the boys all did their bit and played their part.”
Co-boss Graham Goodwin had high praise for Colts reserve star Harry McGurk after his paid-16 haul at Armadale on Saturday helped the side secure a valuable league point.
NEXT HOME: Kent, Fri July 2
NEXT AWAY: Eastbourne, Sat July 17
The Bandits have been left inactive after the withdrawal of Newcastle from the NDL left them without a fixture last Saturday, and they now prepare to make the trip to Mildenhall early next month.
NEXT HOME: Mildenhall, Sat July 24
NEXT AWAY: Mildenhall, Sun July 4
“Eastbourne are a big club and I have always heard good things about them. I will be around them, watching what they do and asking questions. I am really looking forward to the experience. I want to progress, get faster on the bike, and keep learning.”
Seagulls newcomer Joe Alcock hopes to take advantage of the experience within the club’s senior side in order to progress his own career after joining as a replacement for Chad Wirtzfeld.
NEXT HOME: Leicester, Sun July 11
NEXT AWAY: Armadale, Sat Aug 28
“We have concluded arrangements to bring Kelsey Dugard into the team to replace Jamie Couzins. Jamie has found the going very tough and Kelsey has performed very well in his meetings so far this term.”
Promoter Len Silver explains a team change for the Royals, although Dugard’s debut was delayed when last weekend’s match at Eastbourne was rained off.
NEXT HOME: Mildenhall, Mon Aug 30
NEXT AWAY: Belle Vue, Fri July 2
“It was a brilliant meeting for myself. I was very consistent with my gating tonight and I felt like I had a lot of speed out on track. I had to make a few passes but I’m very confident in my equipment and I have ridden here long enough to figure out the lines by now.”
Cubs No.1 Dan Thompson scored his first-ever 15-point maximum in last Wednesday’s 45-45 draw against Mildenhall, winning crucial Heats 13 and 15 against the Fen Tigers’ big-hitters.
NEXT HOME: Belle Vue, Sat Sept 11
NEXT AWAY: Armadale, Fri July 2
“It was unfortunate that Luke Muff was injured on debut but young Sam Hagon covered his rides and was very impressive indeed. He rode like a seasoned professional rather than a league debutant and looks an excellent prospect.”
Fen Tigers boss Malcom Vasey praised the performance of Sam Hagon in his first appearance for the club as they collected two useful league points from a draw at Leicester.
NEXT HOME: Berwick, Sun July 4
NEXT AWAY: Berwick, Sat July 24
TUESDAY JUNE 22:
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP 1st leg: Plymouth v Poole 7pm
THURSDAY JUNE 24:
PREMIERSHIP: King’s Lynn v Belle Vue 7.30, Sheffield v Ipswich 7.30
FRIDAY JUNE 25:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Edinburgh v Scunthorpe 7.30, Glasgow v Eastbourne 7.30, Redcar v Kent 7.30
SATURDAY JUNE 26:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Berwick v Glasgow 7pm, Leicester v Newcastle 7pm
SUNDAY JUNE 27:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Newcastle v Plymouth 4pm, Scunthorpe v Edinburgh 3pm
BRITISH YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP Round 3: Scunthorpe (500cc/250cc) (follows Champ fixture)
MONDAY JUNE 28:
PREMIERSHIP: Ipswich v Wolverhampton 7.30, Peterborough v Sheffield 7.30
TUESDAY JUNE 29:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Plymouth v Newcastle 7pm
WEDNESDAY JUNE 30:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Poole v Kent 7.30
THURSDAY JULY 1:
PREMIERSHIP: King’s Lynn v Peterborough 7.30, Sheffield v Belle Vue 7.30
FRIDAY JULY 2:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Glasgow v Plymouth 7.30, Redcar v Eastbourne 7.30, Scunthorpe v Berwick 7.30
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Armadale v Leicester 7.30, Belle Vue v Kent 7.30
SATURDAY JULY 3:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Berwick v Newcastle 7pm, Leicester v Kent 7pm
SUNDAY JULY 4:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Eastbourne v Glasgow 3pm, Newcastle v Scunthorpe 4pm
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Mildenhall v Berwick 3pm
MONDAY JULY 5:
PREMIERSHIP: King’s Lynn v Ipswich 7.30, Wolverhampton v Sheffield 7.30
TUESDAY JULY 6:
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP 2nd leg: Kent v Eastbourne 6.30