HERE’S our latest soundbytes and fixtures from around the tracks up and down the country.
THE BITE-SIZED BULLETIN
PIC OF THE WEEK…
Scunthorpe’s Rising Star Jordan Palin was understandably in a celebratory mood after his 16+2 score in the Scorpions’ 54-36 Championship win against Edinburgh on Sunday at the Eddie Wright Raceway.
Photo Credit: IAN RISPIN
“The competition this year will be a close affair, with only six teams in the league and four places in the Play Offs, so we need to be putting the pressure on everywhere we go. Performances like this one are a classic example of that. Our away form will be vital when it comes down to the crunch but if we continue like this it gives me great confidence for future efforts.”
Aces boss Mark Lemon was delighted with what he saw from his side in an emphatic away win at King’s Lynn last week to cement their position amongst the early pace-setters.
NEXT HOME: Wolverhampton, Mon July 12
NEXT AWAY: Sheffield, Thur July 1
“Overall, we are not in a good position at all. We need to win at King’s Lynn on Monday and start winning meetings but that might not be enough. We owe it to everyone, our loyal fans, sponsors and to ourselves to get back to winning ways on Monday and winning our home meetings as well.”
Witches boss Ritchie Hawkins couldn’t hide his frustration after another setback at home with Monday’s defeat to Wolverhampton.
NEXT HOME: Belle Vue, Thur July 8
NEXT AWAY: King’s Lynn, Mon July 5
“Cam gets on well with all of our guys and he loves the King’s Lynn track too. It’s another good signing for the club and I hope the fans can see that we mean business as we look to push on.”
Cameron Heeps is the latest new signing for the much-changed Stars, and is set to make his debut for Peter Schroeck’s side in Thursday’s local derby clash with Peterborough.
NEXT HOME: Peterborough, Thu July 1
NEXT AWAY: Sheffield, Thur July 15
“It was a solid performance all the way through though against a good Sheffield outfit. I thought it would be a lot tighter but the team spirit here is unbelievable at the moment and we just need to keep taking it one meeting at a time.”
Panthers boss Rob Lyon is keeping his feet on the ground after his team completed a perfect June schedule of five wins out of five to return to the top of the Premiership table.
NEXT HOME: Sheffield, Mon July 12
NEXT AWAY: King’s Lynn, Thur July 1
“We didn’t really get going from the off which was frustrating, but we fought hard and what can we say, they’re strong around here. We thought we had a chance here though with the track being similar to ours, but it just wasn’t to be.”
Tigers star Adam Ellis was paid for double figures at Peterborough on Monday, but the Owlerton side struggled as a team to make an impact against the solid Panthers outfit.
NEXT HOME: Belle Vue, Thur July 1
NEXT AWAY: Wolverhampton, Mon July 5
“The face coverings are a small price to pay for what we hope will be one meeting only and we are looking forward to what should be a tremendous meeting. Hopefully July 19 will be freedom day which is the correct label for it and we can start to put to one side all these restrictions.”
Relief for Wolves promoter Chris Van Straaten who has been given the green light to open at Monmore next week in front of an increased attendance compared to their early home fixtures.
NEXT HOME: Sheffield, Mon July 5
NEXT AWAY: Belle Vue, Mon July 12
“We are delighted to welcome Kasper to the side, and we firmly believe that the sky is the limit for him in his speedway career. He’s a level-headed lad who wants to crack on and he is also a very positive influence on his team-mates and we welcome that with open arms here at Berwick.”
Bandits boss Gary Flint expects big things from new signing Kasper Andersen, who is set to make his debut this weekend after last Saturday’s clash with Glasgow was rained off.
NEXT HOME: Newcastle, Sat July 3
NEXT AWAY: Scunthorpe, Fri July 2
“Work has been continuing behind the scenes and as a club we feel we’re as ready as we can be at this moment in time. We had Dixie Dean (track curator) down on Sunday and he spent all day working on the track. Everyone knows we encountered a few problems on opening night but it looks and feels a lot different after all the hard work he’s put in and from here on in it should only improve week-by-week.”
Brummies co-promoter David Mason has confirmed the club will return to racing on July 7 after they put their season on hold due to significant crowd restrictions at Perry Barr.
NEXT HOME: Redcar, Wed July 7
NEXT AWAY: Redcar, Fri July 9
“We remain confident that we have a team capable of winning the league and the cup competitions this year. With the play-off format that we see in so many sports now, it’s not always how you start, it’s how you finish.”
Eagles boss Trevor Geer is adamant his team’s on-track fortunes will soon improve, with the Arlington side yet to find their true form so far in 2021 but with time to recover for a top-four challenge.
NEXT HOME: Glasgow, Sun July 4
NEXT AWAY: Redcar, Fri July 2
“It’s a shame Sam comes down while on his tactical ride, that ruins our chance of at least a point, and from there I’m not sure we were even scrambling to try and get that point – just to try and keep the deficit down. I’m sure this is just a blip for us though.”
Monarchs boss John Campbell wasn’t pressing the panic button after the one remaining unbeaten record in the Championship was ended when they lost at Scunthorpe on Sunday.
NEXT HOME: Berwick, Fri July 9
NEXT AWAY: Berwick, Sat July 10
“After a strong debut season with us in 2019, Connor was in our original starting line-up for the 2020 season, which was cancelled and then became the 2021 season. It was then only due to the pandemic and the challenges of getting back to the UK from Australia, that Connor never started the season with us, which he was devastated about.”
Tigers boss Cami Brown explains the decision to bring back Rising Star Connor Bailey after he returned to the UK, at the expense of his initial replacement Jack Smith.
NEXT HOME: Plymouth, Fri July 2
NEXT AWAY: Eastbourne, Sun July 4
“We will be taking Jake with us as No.8 and intend to give him an outing as we give him the chance to improve and become a full team member. He has the talent and just needs the experience.”
Although the Kings’ trip to Redcar was rained off last week, promoter Len Silver has emphasised youngster Jake Mulford is a big part of the club’s plans going forward and could gain further senior outings in the weeks ahead.
NEXT HOME: Eastbourne (KOC), Tues July 6
NEXT AWAY: Poole, Wed June 30
“It was a good win and a good team performance. In most meetings recently we’ve had one or two hiccups but it was good see everyone scoring some decent points and getting the win.”
Lions star Ryan Douglas was a heavy scorer in Saturday’s 63-27 demolition of Newcastle which broke the club record margin of victory in a 15-heat meeting.
NEXT HOME: Kent, Sat July 3
NEXT AWAY: Eastbourne, Sun July 11
“This wasn’t good in any way, shape or form tonight, and Leicester just took control and took us apart systematically and far too effectively.”
Diamonds boss Nigel Hinchliffe admitted there had been little in the way of positives to take from a heavy defeat at Leicester on Saturday, with subsequent home and away matches with Plymouth called off.
NEXT HOME: Scunthorpe, Sun July 4
NEXT AWAY: Berwick, Sat July 3
The Gladiators have been held up by the weather over recent days with home and away clashes against Newcastle called off – although the delay does at least give No.1 Jason Crump additional time to fully recover from the rib damage which has meant he is yet to make his Gladiators debut.
NEXT HOME: Poole, Tues July 13
NEXT AWAY: Glasgow, Fri July 2
“We have a strong top three and the other lads are beginning to get amongst the points so the signs are good. But to be brutally honest, and I had this conversation with Middlo (Neil Middleditch) on Tuesday night, I look at us as being something of a slow burner, but we will be picking up momentum the more fixtures, especially home meetings, we get under our belts.”
Pirates star Rory Schlein expects them to gain in strength as the summer goes on with a hectic schedule ahead after the hoped-for easing of restrictions.
NEXT HOME: Kent, Wed June 30
NEXT AWAY: Plymouth, Tues July 13
“The Bears have been going well, I’m especially impressed with Jordan Jenkins, he’s been our trump card at the moment so hopefully he can push on and keep putting in the good scores. Everyone’s been doing their job and we are a team of racers and I think it shows on track.”
Bears star Jake Allen says the youngest member of the team at the Media Prima Arena deserves great credit for his performances so far this season.
NEXT HOME: Eastbourne, Fri July 2
NEXT AWAY: Birmingham, Wed July 7
“I had about three hours’ sleep last night. We landed in Stansted at around 7.30am this morning. I make sure I didn’t sleep on the way here, because that would have just made it harder in focusing on the meeting. Once we got here, my grandad was here ready with my bikes.”
Sleep is an optional extra for Scorpions youngster Jordan Palin, who scored paid-18 in the impressive win over Edinburgh, either side of a successful U19 trip to the Czech Republic and a career-best Premiership display for Peterborough!
NEXT HOME: Berwick, Fri July 2
NEXT AWAY: Newcastle, Sun July 4
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE SOUNDBYTES…
“I think I’ve ridden at Armadale four times, and although I had a crash there in the British Youth Championship, I’ve learnt from that. I had a few offers from other clubs, but this is the one I chose.”
New signing Archie Freeman will make his debut for the Devils when they host reigning champions Leicester this Friday.
NEXT HOME: Leicester, Fri July 2
NEXT AWAY: Eastbourne, Sat July 31
“We have a very competitive team that is now starting to show their potential. They never know when to quit and will always battle on.”
Colts co-boss Graham Goodwin has been delighted with the efforts of his side in the early weeks of the season, as they now cover for the injury absence of broken femur victim Sam McGurk.
NEXT HOME: Kent, Fri July 2
NEXT AWAY: Eastbourne, Sat July 17
The Bullets have named speedway returnee Luke Crang as their replacement for Leon Flint, who has now secured a Rising Star berth in the Premiership with Wolverhampton. Crang last raced in the NDL for Coventry in 2015.
NEXT HOME: Mildenhall, Sat July 24
NEXT AWAY: Mildenhall, Sun July 4
“The club are really proud of the way the Seagulls have started the campaign with a losing bonus point at Leicester and two points for a draw at Kent. It was a shame the home match against Kent was postponed.”
Co-promoter Lee Kilby says it’s very much a case of so far, so good for the Seagulls in their first season back in the NDL since winning the competition as the Eagles three years ago.
NEXT HOME: Leicester, Sun July 11
NEXT AWAY: Mildenhall, Sun July 18
“Both expressed willingness to step up and indeed were both very keen to perform the role – that they were so keen when we approached them about the vacant position is enormously to the credit of them both.”
Royals boss John Sampford explains how both Ryan Kinsley and Dan Gilkes put themselves forward to take over as skipper following Rob Ledwith’s retirement, with Kinsley’s additional experience seeing him get the nod.
NEXT HOME: Mildenhall, Mon Aug 30
NEXT AWAY: Belle Vue, Fri July 2
The Lion Cubs are ready to hit the road during the month of July with away trips to Armadale, Eastbourne and Belle Vue taking place during a break in home matches with four fixtures at the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena already completed.
NEXT HOME: Belle Vue, Sat Sept 11
NEXT AWAY: Armadale, Fri July 2
“Jordan (Jenkins) has been in exceptional form for Redcar in the Championship whilst Jason (Edwards) has also been scoring well in the Championship and picking up guest bookings. Along with Luke (Ruddick) they form a potent top three that I honestly wouldn’t swap for any other in the league.”
Fen Tigers boss Malcolm Vasey says he has exactly the top-order he wants as the club prepare to get their season fully into gear during the month of July.
NEXT HOME: Berwick, Sun July 4
NEXT AWAY: Berwick, Sat July 24
TUESDAY JUNE 29:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Plymouth v Newcastle OFF
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
WEDNESDAY JULY 7:
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP 2nd leg: Birmingham v Redcar 7.30
THURSDAY JULY 8:
PREMIERSHIP: Ipswich v Belle Vue 7.30
FRIDAY JULY 9:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Edinburgh v Berwick 7.30, Glasgow v Newcastle 7.30, Redcar v Birmingham 7.30, Scunthorpe v Kent 7.30
SATURDAY JULY 10:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Berwick v Edinburgh 7pm, Leicester v Scunthorpe 7pm
SUNDAY JULY 11:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Eastbourne v Leicester 3.30pm
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Eastbourne v Leicester (follows Champ fixture)
MONDAY JULY 12:
PREMIERSHIP: Belle Vue v Wolverhampton 7.30, Peterborough v Sheffield 7.30
TUESDAY JULY 13:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Kent v Redcar 6.30, Plymouth v Poole 7pm