HERE’S our latest soundbytes and fixtures from around the tracks up and down the country.
THE BITE-SIZED BULLETIN
PIC OF THE WEEK…
After a difficult start to the season Craig Cook has been back in the points in recent weeks – this includes scoring a 15-point maximum for Ipswich in last week’s 48-42 Premiership win against Belle Vue.
Photo Credit: JEFF HIGGOTT
“It was a major blow for us losing Charles so early on in the meeting, and to his credit he was prepared to race on, but it was quite apparent that would have been unwise. It was quite a brutal blow when he hit the fence, so we had to cover his remaining riders with IRR, and again the boys rose to the occasion and everyone chipped in.”
Aces boss Mark Lemon felt his side had reacted well in adversity in order to still secure a league point despite Charles Wright’s first-ride crash at Ipswich last week.
NEXT HOME: Wolverhampton, Thur July 15
NEXT AWAY: Peterborough, Mon July 19
“It was nip and tuck all meeting and it was another close one. It would be nice not to have last-heat deciders every week to get a win! The boys came out after the interval after speaking about having four heats to keep our season alive, and they came firing out with two 5-1s. That put us in a great position to get the win.”
Witches boss Ritchie Hawkins says last week’s much-needed home win over Belle Vue was a little too close for comfort as his side kept their play-off hopes alive.
NEXT HOME: King’s Lynn, Thur July 29
NEXT AWAY: Wolverhampton, Mon July 19
“As a manager in speedway you can only work with the tools you are given and some of the riders just haven’t been good enough. Whoever they turn to for the managerial role going forward I’d like to wish them well and hope they can get a tune out of this team.”
The end of the road for Stars boss Peter Schroeck came after last week’s home defeat to Ipswich, although he still intends to visit the Adrian Flux Arena with his association with Stars assets Erik Riss and Sam Hagon.
NEXT HOME: Belle Vue, Thur July 22
NEXT AWAY: Sheffield, Thur July 15
“The rest of the lads have been great with me and it’s been brilliant to go out in Heat 2 with Ulrich, he’s been amazing.”
Panthers youngster Jordan Palin has praise for Danish star Ulrich Ostergaard, whose start to the season has been so successful that he will move all the way from reserve to No.1 when their season resumes after a mini-break at home to Belle Vue on Monday.
NEXT HOME: Belle Vue, Mon July 19
NEXT AWAY: Sheffield, Thur July 22
“I’m stoked to get this opportunity and I’m going to grab it with both hands. I can’t thank Sheffield enough for the chance. I feel at times I should have already been in this league but things happen for a reason and I’m glad to join the Tigers.”
Australian racer Josh Pickering is excited to get his Premiership opportunity with the Tigers having been signed last week as a replacement for Justin Sedgmen.
NEXT HOME: King’s Lynn, Thur July 15
NEXT AWAY: King’s Lynn, Mon Aug 2
“I’m feeling really good about things right now. I’m feeling good on the bike, I put it where I want to put it on the track and I’m scoring the points which is great.”
Wolves star Nick Morris is enjoying success on both a personal and individual basis during his second season with the Monmore club as they remain firmly in the league title fight.
NEXT HOME: Ipswich, Mon July 19
NEXT AWAY: Belle Vue, Thur July 15
“Tonight was one to forget but learn from too as we know we’re a far better side than the one who lost pretty badly. We know what we can do, and we know from Friday night what a class act our new Bandit, Kasper Andersen is, so we move forward, and I can guarantee upwards as well.”
The Bandits were left stunned by the margin of Saturday’s 32-58 home defeat at the hands of Edinburgh, but boss Gary Flint is calling on his side to refocus when they get back into action later this month.
NEXT HOME: Glasgow (KOC), Sat July 31
NEXT AWAY: Newcastle, Sun Aug 1
“All our focus is on a big night on Wednesday and the return of speedway to Perry Barr. It’s vital that the people of Birmingham show their support, we want a good atmosphere and a nice home win.”
Brummies boss Laurence Rogers is looking forward to his side finally getting back into home track action this week after their season was put on hold for a month due to Covid restrictions.
NEXT HOME: Scunthorpe, Wed July 14
NEXT AWAY: Leicester, Sat July 31
The Eagles have put tickets on sale for their eagerly awaited 90th Anniversary meeting on Sunday September 26. Gates for the event will open at midday for access to a special fan zone which will include static displays, speedway and Eagles memorabilia, bike displays, along with rider photo and autograph zones. The main event, the Championship of Sussex individual, gets underway at 2pm.
NEXT HOME: Leicester, Sun July 18
NEXT AWAY: Kent (KOC), Tues July 20
“I don’t think anyone expected that, including ourselves, to win by that much around their own track. I’m so happy, so glad we won and it’s on to the next one now.”
Monarchs second-string Nathan Greaves summed up the mood in the cock-a-hoop Edinburgh camp after home and away wins over Berwick to firmly establish themselves in the top four as the halfway stage approaches.
NEXT HOME: Newcastle, Fri July 16
NEXT AWAY: Glasgow, Sun July 25
“It gives you some confidence when you start the season well – you believe yourself and believe your bikes. It’s so far so good – everything has been working perfectly for me. I ride for two really good teams in the UK and it makes me hungry. We’re top of the table and we want to stay there.”
Tigers star Ulrich Ostergaard is enjoying his best run of form in several years, and racked up another four wins in last week’s win over Newcastle which maintained their place at the top of the Championship table.
NEXT HOME: Edinburgh, Sun July 25
NEXT AWAY: Plymouth, Tues July 20
Kings star Cameron Heeps is finally set for his home debut after injury as the club play catch-up on their Central Park fixtures after a number of long away trips so far in their first Championship campaign.
NEXT HOME: Redcar, Tues July 13
NEXT AWAY: Redcar, Fri July 30
“It feels really good to be back at Leicester as I really enjoyed my season there in 2018. I think we have a great team, and with the riders being mates too it just makes it even better. As regards winning the league, I’ve not seen many of the other teams – but I think we will take some stopping!”
New Lions No.1 Hans Andersen is setting his sights on helping the club mount a successful defence of the Championship title, with a big home win over Scunthorpe recorded on his debut.
NEXT HOME: Poole, Sat July 24
NEXT AWAY: Eastbourne, Sun July 18
“Overall, this score didn’t do our lads justice in the effort they put in, and they deserved a better return, but where many would have expected us to get hammered out of sight, tonight has proved we’re a stronger prospect than people expect, and that makes us dangerous.”
New Diamonds boss Steve Pate took some encouragement from his team’s efforts to pick up 35 points against the powerful Glasgow side at Ashfield last Friday.
NEXT HOME: Redcar, Sun July 25
NEXT AWAY: Edinburgh, Fri July 16
Gladiators fans are finally set to get the opportunity to watch headline signing Jason Crump in action at the Coliseum, after injury ruled him out of their opening home fixtures following his debut at Scunthorpe.
NEXT HOME: Poole, Tues July 13
NEXT AWAY: Poole (KOC), Wed July 21
“I know Ondřej is as frustrated as we are with all the issues that have been encountered in trying to get him into the UK because of the ongoing travel restrictions, as he has been looking forward to joining us. We are doing all we can from both ends to try and resolve it.”
The Pirates’ bid to bring in Ondrej Smetana is currently being delayed by red tape, with promoter Danny Ford desperate to find a solution.
NEXT HOME: Plymouth (KOC), Wed July 21
NEXT AWAY: Plymouth, Tues July 13
“It was nice to get back on track with a win, I think we made hard work of it at times, but it was a battling performance in the end and our heat leaders came through for us.”
Bears boss Jade Mudgway was pleased with a 48-42 win over Birmingham as his side got back to winning ways after a home defeat one week earlier – although injury problems are mounting with Jordan Jenkins now sidelined by a broken wrist.
NEXT HOME: British U21 Final, Fri July 16
NEXT AWAY: Kent, Tues July 13
“I think the whole team has a good understanding at the moment and we all ride well together. It’s good fun to come here on a Friday night. It doesn’t feel like work. When everyone is relaxed, you get good results.”
Scorpions star Tero Aarnio scored his first maximum at the Eddie Wright Raceway in over a decade as they made it seven successive home league wins by hitting 63 points against Kent last Friday.
NEXT HOME: Poole, Fri July 30
NEXT AWAY: Birmingham, Wed July 14
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE SOUNDBYTES…
NATIONAL Development League action re-commences this weekend after a brief break in action for the seven competing clubs.
Berwick still lead the way in the table although the Bullets have to wait until July 24 before resuming their campaign at home to Mildenhall.
The Fen Tigers finally launch their home league season this Sunday (July 18) when they face Kent at West Row, and on the same day Eastbourne take on Leicester immediately following the Championship clash between the clubs.
Belle Vue’s next meeting is a home clash with Eastbourne on Friday July 23, whilst Armadale return to action when they travel to Arlington on Saturday July 31.
Our soundbytes service will return next week as the clubs react to this Sunday’s action and look ahead to their forthcoming meetings.
NEXT HOME: Eastbourne, Sat Aug 28
NEXT AWAY: Eastbourne, Sat July 31
NEXT HOME: Eastbourne, Fri July 23
NEXT AWAY: Mildenhall, Sun Aug 8
NEXT HOME: Mildenhall, Sat July 24
NEXT AWAY: Eastbourne, Sun Aug 15
NEXT HOME: Leicester, Sun July 18
NEXT AWAY: Belle Vue, Fri July 23
NEXT HOME: Berwick, Tues Sept 21
NEXT AWAY: Mildenhall, Sun July 18
NEXT HOME: Belle Vue, Sat Sept 11
NEXT AWAY: Eastbourne, Sun July 18
NEXT HOME: Kent, Sun July 18
NEXT AWAY: Berwick, Sat July 24
TUESDAY JULY 13:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Kent v Redcar 6.30, Plymouth v Poole 7pm
WEDNESDAY JULY 14:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Birmingham v Scunthorpe 7.30
THURSDAY JULY 15:
PREMIERSHIP: Belle Vue v Wolverhampton 7.30, Sheffield v King’s Lynn 7.30
FRIDAY JULY 16:
BRITISH UNDER-21 FINAL: Redcar 7.30
CHAMPIONSHIP: Edinburgh v Newcastle 7.30
SUNDAY JULY 18:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Eastbourne v Leicester 3pm
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Eastbourne v Leicester (follows Champ fixture), Mildenhall v Kent 3pm
MONDAY JULY 19:
PREMIERSHIP: Peterborough v Belle Vue 7.30, Wolverhampton v Ipswich 7.30
TUESDAY JULY 20:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Plymouth v Glasgow 7pm
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP 2nd leg: Kent v Eastbourne 6.30
WEDNESDAY JULY 21:
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP 2nd leg: Birmingham v Redcar 7.30, Poole v Plymouth 7.30
THURSDAY JULY 22:
PREMIERSHIP: King’s Lynn v Belle Vue 7.30, Sheffield v Peterborough 7.30
FRIDAY JULY 23:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Edinburgh v Glasgow 7.30, Redcar v Newcastle 7.30
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Belle Vue v Eastbourne 7.30
SATURDAY JULY 24:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Eastbourne v Scunthorpe 7.30, Leicester v Poole 7pm
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Berwick v Mildenhall 7pm
SUNDAY JULY 25:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Glasgow v Edinburgh 3pm, Newcastle v Redcar 4pm
MONDAY JULY 26:
PREMIERSHIP: Wolverhampton v Belle Vue 7.30
TUESDAY JULY 27:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Kent v Poole 6.30, Plymouth v Leicester 7pm