BRITISH SPEEDWAY WEEKLY MEDIA BULLETIN

Tuesday April 28, 2009
WELCOME to the latest edition of the weekly BSPA bulletins keeping you in touch with news, views and fixtures from the tracks up and down the country.

NEW KIDS ON THE TRACK FOR GB WORLD CUP SQUAD!

NEW Great Britain boss Rob Lyon is turning to the youngsters ahead of this summer’s Speedway World Cup…

Lyon, who took over the reins from Jim Lynch during the winter, has included several Under-21 stars including Tai Woffinden, who made his Great Britain debut in last year’s World Cup.

And newly crowned British Under-21 champion Lewis Bridger is included after a storming start to the season both personally and for his Elite League club Eastbourne.
Bridger romped to victory in front of a bumper crowd at Lakeside to lift the prestigious title and is now a serious challenger for a place in the GB World Cup starting line-up.

Lyon has also confirmed the appointment of Scott Nicholls as skipper of the side – despite the rider himself sitting out British racing to cut down on his demanding schedule.

Said Lyon: “When I took the job I said we were looking at a long-term plan and that’s why we’ve turned to the younger lads.

“When you look down the squad I think people can see we have a bright future as a nation.”

Lyon will reduce the squad closer to the July tournament and each meeting features five riders in a team.

Ben Barker is likely to be ruled out through injury after suffering a broken leg in a World Under-21 qualifier in Germany recently.

Meanwhile the new Great Britain team clothing will be launched at the British Final, the second event in the Super 7even series, at Poole on May 20.

SQUAD:
Oliver Allen
Ben Barker
Lewis Bridger
Chris Harris
Edward Kennett
Danny King
Scott Nicholls (c)
Lee Richardson
Joe Screen
Simon Stead
Tai Woffinden
James Wright

SUPER 7EVEN SERIES 2009
BRITISH UNDER 21 FINAL: Lakeside – LEWIS BRIDGER.
BRITISH FINAL: Poole, Wednesday May 20.
PREMIER LEAGUE PAIRS: Somerset, Friday June 26.
PREMIER LEAGUE FOURS: Workington, Saturday July 25.
ELITE LEAGUE PAIRS: Eastbourne, Saturday August 8.
PREMIER LEAGUE RIDERS' CHAMPIONSHIP: Sheffield, Sunday September 27.
ELITE LEAGUE RIDERS' CHAMPIONSHIP: Coventry, Friday October 2

SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE LATEST…

BELLE VUE youngster Billy Forsberg's return to action lasted for just five laps before he suffered whiplash to his throat ligaments in a crash on Monday night.

Forsberg was forced to pull out of the Aces' win over Poole, but the big plus for the home side was Steve Boxall's double-figure return.

Aces boss Chris Morton said: "I knew this would be tough, even though Poole have had a poor run, and it was. Every one chipped in with vital points apart from Billy who really needs a change of luck."

COVENTRY are contemplating their options for the coming weeks during which time they will be without Ben Barker - who is already plotting a speedway return from a broken leg.

Bees co-boss Peter Oakes said: "There are options, but the biggest problem is that we don't want to take one which will then prevent us from bringing Ben back in when he's fit.

"At the moment we don't know how long it will be, he's talking about being back within two and a half weeks, but that's before he's in hospital so a lot will depend on what the surgeon decides."

EASTBOURNE star Lewis Bridger enjoyed the best night of his career so far as he was crowned British Under-21 Champion at Lakeside last Friday.

Bridger said: "It’s great to achieve such a big thing so early in the season. It’s nice to be able to add that to my portfolio.

"It’s great especially as all the limelight was on Tai (Woffinden). He was rated over me but I have started the season so well. To go undefeated in the under-21s is a great feeling to have and shows I am on the right track. I concentrated 110% and I made it happen."

IPSWICH moved off the foot of the Elite League table with a hard-fought 51-41 win over Poole.

The Witches recovered from conceding a 5-1 in the opening race to take maximum points from the meeting, and are now building up to a tough test against Wolverhampton on Thursday.

Team boss Pete Simmons said: "This meeting was about a victory by more than six points, the manner in which we achieved that was unimportant at this stage, although I was happy to see one or two starting to look more confident out on track. The foot of the table is never a nice place to be and it is important that we move on from here."

LAKESIDE boss Jon Cook has hinted that Tomasz Jedrzejak could be in line to replace the injured Jonas Kylmakorpi - but the return of the Pole, a successful stand-in last season, is not guaranteed.

Cook said: "I know that if he gets here, Tomasz will give us his full commitment, but the problem is his diary was scheduled without any bookings to race in England. I would say his chances of joining us are 50-50 at best.

"We are going to look at all our options, including the possibility that Jonas could be back in a couple of weeks, provided he is going to be fit."

PETERBOROUGH showed their strength at home with an emphatic Monday night win over Coventry - and also feel that the return of Henning Bager, in place of Ales Dryml, will make them more of a force on the road.

Promoter Mick Bratley said: "Whilst Ales' home form has been good, his away form tells a completely different story and to be successful we need to have a team that can pick up points on our travels. We feel that Henning can provide this.

"It is always disappointing to have to release a rider, but this does send out a clear message to riders signing for this club, in that we will not tolerate consistently poor or lack-lustre performances, especially on our travels."

POOLE collected their first away point of the season thanks to a last-heat 5-1 at Belle Vue, reducing the margin of defeat to just two points on the night.

Manager Neil Middleditch said: "It was one of those matches which could have swung our way. We had our chances but let them slip from our grasp.

"It was nice to see Bjarne Pedersen return to his best form, and we can take a lot from that. Chris Holder and Joe Screen were winning races and scoring points, but they didn't receive any real support and that’s where we lost the match. However, we managed to get our first point so you might say we are feeling a little happier with life."

SWINDON were thankful to skipper Leigh Adams and Simon Stead for a last-heat 5-1 at Coventry which completed the Robins' first away win of the season - after they had been pulled back from an early ten point lead.

Manager Alun Rossiter said: "We had the meeting wrapped up by Heat 10 and then they came back at us. We always seem to throw it away here and we almost did it again.

"We had to decide whether to settle for the draw in Heat 15, or go for it. We chose to go for it and send Steady off gate four which had been winning all night and it worked. It's a fantastic result."

WOLVERHAMPTON boss Peter Adams is keeping his feet firmly on the ground – despite a flying start to the Elite League season.

The Parrys International Wolves have won four of their five meetings so far and went top of the table after their win at Poole.

Said Adams “It’s been a good start and we have to be encouraged but I’ve been in this sport long enough to know anything can happen in forthcoming months!”

PREMIER LEAGUE LATEST…

BERWICK skipper Paul Clews scored an impressive 15-points at Edinburgh as he and Josef Franc dominated the Bandits' scoring in a 53-43 defeat.

Clews said: "A couple of years ago when I rode for Newcastle, I guested for Monarchs at Armadale and suddenly everything clicked and I sussed out how to ride the place. My bike set-up at the time was good and I've kept that same set-up ever since."

BIRMINGHAM boss Graham Drury insists several riders are racing for their future with the club.

He said: “I put this team together because several riders were capable of increasing their starting average.

“That hasn’t been the case so far and some of the riders know they are under pressure. It’s up to them.”

EDINBURGH skipper Matthew Wethers overcame illness to score an important eleven points in the injury-hit Monarchs' Premier Trophy win over Berwick.

Wethers said: "It was a tough match being without Andrew and Thomas but everyone upped their game and chipped in with points. I'd been sick all week but you have got to do your bit for the team which is why I completed the meeting."

GLASGOW have signed Lee Smart on loan from Birmingham on an initial 28-day arrangement as a replacement for broken-leg victim Anders Andersen.

Co-promoter Alan Dick said: "Lee fits the bill very well as he is very hungry to succeed and our talks lasted only a matter of minutes, which shows that he is most keen to take this opportunity with both hands."

KING'S LYNN boss Rob Lyon says the early form of the Stars is giving them hope of emulating the achievements of their all-conquering 2005 line-up.

Lyon said: "I thought it would be hard to ever top our treble-winning team, but so far this team is doing just that. We are awesome the whole way through, and my aim for this Wednesdays meeting is to step up another gear and get the best out of Christian (Henry) and Jan (Graversen).

NEWCASTLE team boss Richard Juul declared himself delighted that his team turned round a six point deficit to secure a thrilling last heat home victory over Edinburgh.

Juul said: "We have lost leads this season that we shouldn’t have done, so it was good to see the lads fight back and take a narrow but deserved victory. Hopefully this will give us the confidence to move forward and get our season moving in the right direction."

NEWPORT star Brent Werner put in his best display of the season with an eleven-point score against former club Birmingham in the Wasps' 50-40 home win.

Co-promoter Nick Mallett said: "Brent was on board a brand new engine and he flew, going wider than usual and his first and second bends were brilliant. We hope this is the making of Brent as we know he can bang in showings like this each week."

REDCAR boss Brian Havelock says his team need to up their game in away fixtures if they are to secure qualification from their Premier Trophy group.

Havelock said: "This is a good team and they are capable of winning anything - I’m just a little bit disappointed that we’ve led three away matches and got beaten in all of them. That means we have to look at stamina, ask if the lads aren’t quite fit enough."

RYE HOUSE manager John Sampford is optimistic ahead of the Rockets' forthcoming Knockout Cup tie against Birmingham - with the first leg at Perry Barr on Wednesday.

Sampford said: "We’ve done well against Birmingham already this season, but it’s the next 30 heats that count in the Cup tie. We’ve got to go to Perry Barr and do it all over again, but qualification is the name of the game, and we’re quietly confident over the two legs."

SCUNTHORPE'S Premier Trophy hopes are all-but over after a disappointing weekend which included a home defeat against King's Lynn and then a loss at Stoke where they conceded 5-1s in the first three races.

Manager Kenny Smith said: "All the riders are aware that after three heats 15-3 is just not acceptable. We gave ourselves a mountain to climb and in the end those three races have ended our chances in this competition. To say we aren’t happy would be an understatement."

SHEFFIELD skipper Ricky Ashworth could be on the verge of a place in the British Final at Poole on May 20.

Ashworth has been named as first reserve for the showpiece event but the unfortunate injury to Coventry’s Ben Barker means he’s next in line.

Sheffield co-boss David Hoggart said: “It would be a great opportunity for Ricky who is a very professional rider, but we must wait for official confirmation.”

SOMERSET general manager David Croucher says the club's appearance in a home televised Premier League opener against King's Lynn is a deserved reward for the work of the last decade at the Oak Tree Arena.

Croucher said: "Many of the people who still work at the speedway are those who worked on the original construction of the track. The night will belong to them, to the Hancock family who have changed from ploughing fields to ploughing money into their speedway club, and it's for all those supporters who have stood on the terraces year after year."

STOKE kept their encouraging recent run going by overcoming Scunthorpe at home despite being without Phil Morris due to concussion.

Promoter Dave Tattum said: "It's not been a bad week for us, taking ten points and giving us an outside chance of the semi-finals, and all we can keep doing is plugging away and working hard."

WORKINGTON boss Ian Thomas praised the professionalism of Tomas Topinka, who accepted a late guest booking and scored paid 13 for the Comets in their win against Edinburgh.

Thomas said: "What a good guest booking at very short notice. He was on the victory lap for King’s Lynn at Scunthorpe on Friday night when I spoke to the promoter, and he did an excellent job for us."

FIXTURE PICTURE…

TUESDAY APRIL 28:
PREMIER LEAGUE: Somerset v King's Lynn 7.30

WEDNESDAY APRIL 29:
PREMIER LEAGUE KO CUP: Birmingham v Rye House 7.30
PREMIER TROPHY: King's Lynn v Stoke 7.30

THURSDAY APRIL 30:
SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Ipswich v Wolverhampton 7.30, Swindon v Belle Vue 7.30
PREMIER TROPHY: Redcar v Edinburgh 7.30, Sheffield v Glasgow 7.45
NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP: Bournemouth v Newport 7.30

FRIDAY MAY 1:
SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Coventry v Peterborough 8pm, Lakeside v Wolverhampton 8pm
PREMIER TROPHY: Edinburgh v Redcar 7.30
CHALLENGE: Weymouth v Somerset Giants 7.15

SATURDAY MAY 2:
SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Eastbourne v Ipswich 7.30
PREMIER TROPHY: Berwick v Newcastle 7pm, Rye House v Somerset 7pm, Stoke v Workington 7.30
NATIONAL LEAGUE: King's Lynn v Plymouth 7.30, Scunthorpe v Mildenhall 3pm
BRITISH U15 CHAMPIONSHIP Round 1: Scunthorpe (follows NL fixture)

SUNDAY MAY 3:
PREMIER TROPHY: Birmingham v King's Lynn 6pm, Glasgow v Sheffield 4pm, Newcastle v Workington 6.30, Newport v Somerset 2.30
NATIONAL LEAGUE: Buxton v Plymouth 3pm

MONDAY MAY 4:
SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Ipswich v Peterborough 3.30, Poole v Belle Vue 3.30, Wolverhampton v Coventry 7.30
PREMIER LEAGUE: Rye House v Berwick 2pm, Workington v Stoke 7pm

TUESDAY MAY 5:
PREMIER LEAGUE: Scunthorpe v Sheffield 7.30

WEDNESDAY MAY 6:
PREMIER LEAGUE KO CUP: Berwick v Stoke 7.30
PREMIER TROPHY: King's Lynn v Birmingham 7.30

THURSDAY MAY 7:
SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Coventry v Lakeside 8pm, Peterborough v Belle Vue 7.30
PREMIER LEAGUE: Redcar v Stoke 7.30

FRIDAY MAY 8:
SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Lakeside v Eastbourne 8pm
PREMIER LEAGUE KO CUP: Edinburgh v Sheffield 7.30, Scunthorpe v Newcastle 7.30, Somerset v Glasgow 7.30
NATIONAL LEAGUE: Weymouth v Rye House 7.15
NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP: Plymouth v Isle of Wight 7.30

SATURDAY MAY 9:
PREMIER LEAGUE KO CUP: Rye House v Birmingham 7pm, Stoke v Berwick 7.30
PREMIER TROPHY: Workington v Sheffield 7pm
NATIONAL LEAGUE: King's Lynn v Weymouth 7.30

SUNDAY MAY 10:
PREMIER LEAGUE KO CUP: Glasgow v Somerset 4pm, Newcastle v Scunthorpe 6.30

MONDAY MAY 11:
SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Belle Vue v Peterborough 7.30, Eastbourne v Swindon 7.30, Wolverhampton v Ipswich 7.30

TUESDAY MAY 12
NATIONAL LEAGUE: Isle of Wight v King's Lynn 7.30

WEDNESDAY MAY 13:
SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Poole v Lakeside 7.30
PREMIER TROPHY: Birmingham v Stoke 7.45



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