PIC OF THE WEEK…Leicester Lions kept their 2021 Championship play-off hopes alive with a 50-40 win against Plymouth Gladiators on Saturday night at the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena. Picture: STEVE DIXON
THE BITE-SIZED BULLETIN
HERE’S our latest soundbytes and fixtures from around the tracks up and down the country.
“We should have won at home, but we can’t take anything away from Wolverhampton. A few of our boys struggled this afternoon, but everyone has their bad days and we all understand the implications of those bad days. We are more than capable of winning the Premiership but really need to knuckle down now and get to the root of our problems before the play-offs come around.”
Aces star Charles Wright knows the team must step up their home form especially as the business end of the season approaches, with no points gained from a Bank Holiday double defeat to Wolverhampton.
NEXT HOME: Sheffield, Mon Sept 6
NEXT AWAY: Sheffield, Thur Sept 2
“We have lost far too many meetings at home this year, as I have said before, so we have one more chance to provide our home fans with a positive result and some entertainment. Then we go to Peterborough, a place we all love going to, and we always love going there. We will enjoy racing there and we will look forward to that one.”
Witches boss Ritchie Hawkins is hoping to end a below-par season on a high with positive results in the upcoming local derby clashes with Peterborough.
NEXT HOME: Peterborough, Thur Sept 2
NEXT AWAY: Peterborough, Mon Sept 6
“I knew I had to go big, I had tried to line him up a lap earlier and going into the last corner I was hopeful he would go a bit closer to the inside, but he was on my line for all four laps. He just crossed the line before me so it was disappointing, but we are definitely moving in the right direction.”
Stars favourite Thomas Jorgensen gave it his all in his chase of Wolverhampton’s Sam Masters last Thursday, with the Norfolk side ending the night with a creditable 45-45 draw against the league leaders.
NEXT HOME: Sheffield, Thur Sept 9
NEXT AWAY: Wolverhampton, Mon Sept 6
“To win on the road is great anyway, and with the run we’re having it’s nice for the fans to come and support us knowing the team is going to give 100 per cent and potentially come away with something.”
Panthers boss Rob Lyon says his side’s away form has been a particular source of enjoyment this season – with five wins and a draw from seven matches on the road so far meaning they still have a chance of topping the table ahead of the play-offs.
NEXT HOME: Ipswich, Mon Sept 6
NEXT AWAY: Ipswich, Thur Sept 2
“We were desperate for that. It was a really dominant team display. For one reason or another we’ve never really had all the boys firing together on one night and I’ve always felt we were solid in every department which has finally made a difference.”
Tigers boss Simon Stead felt his side had made a big breakthrough in their 52-38 win over Ipswich which took them closer to confirming a place in the Premiership play-offs.
NEXT HOME: Belle Vue, Thur Sept 2
NEXT AWAY: Belle Vue, Mon Sept 6
“It definitely couldn’t have gone any better way, having two meetings in one day and coming away with two wins, we can’t complain. We’ve been doing awesome at home this year so far, but we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves and we’ve just got to keep our foot on the gas.
American star Luke Becker piled up 14+1 at Monmore Green on Monday as Wolves recorded a second win in one day over Belle Vue, to move a big step closer to finishing the regular season top of the table.
NEXT HOME: King’s Lynn, Mon Sept 6
NEXT AWAY: TBC, Play-Off Semi-Final
“I’m quite happy with my efforts, I would have liked some points in Heat 15 but overall it’s been a great day! Two away points is better than none but today we proved that we can mix it with the best teams of the league.”
In-form Kasper Andersen racked up a bumper 14-point haul as the Bandits gave a terrific performance in a 45-45 draw at Redcar, coming agonisingly close to a shock away victory.
NEXT HOME: Kent, Sat Sept 4
“I’m starting to score a few points now and the confidence is coming back. Winning races is always tough but when you do it’s amazing what it can do.”
The Brummies’ Rising Star reserve Jack Thomas is enjoying a good run of form with impressive performances in their Bank Holiday away matches at Poole and Kent, along with the recent home win over Berwick.
NEXT HOME: Poole, Wed Sept 1
NEXT AWAY: Edinburgh, Fri Sept 3
“I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been at Armadale a couple of times, my visit early this year was my second. My Heat 1 was all right that night when I led Sam Masters till the last bend. After the race he told me what I’d done wrong, so it will be good for me to ride with him!”
Anders Rowe has a new challenge in the Championship having quickly joined up with the Monarchs following his release from Redcar.
NEXT HOME: Birmingham, Fri Sept 3
NEXT AWAY: Leicester, Sat Sept 11
“I think you only have to have one look around the stadium to see how far Glasgow have come. What they’ve done in a short amount of time has been very good. The club have looked after me really well and I’m more than excited to begin this journey with them.”
British Under-21 Champion Tom Brennan is happy with his move to Ashfield having been picked up by the Tigers following the sad withdrawal of Eastbourne from the Championship.
NEXT HOME: Scunthorpe, Sun Sept 5
NEXT AWAY: Poole, Fri Sept 3
“The Championship has been good for me and I’m really enjoying it here at Kent -let’s go for the play-offs!”
Recent signing Troy Batchelor was in bullish mood after the Kings recorded another home win over Birmingham to keep alive their hopes of breaking into the top six during September.
NEXT HOME: Scunthorpe, Tues Sept 7
NEXT AWAY: Redcar, Fri Sept 3
“We’re not the finished article, we’ve got some work to do on that front, but I’m confident when we all click we’ll be a top team. Glasgow are strong and they’ll come here determined to get a result so I’m really looking forward to a big night of speedway.”
Lions boss Stewart Dickson says his side will be fired up for their biggest weekend of the season when they face two of their play-off rivals including the visit of Glasgow to the Paul Chapman & Sons Arena in a repeat of the 2019 Grand Final.
NEXT HOME: Glasgow, Sat Sept 4
NEXT AWAY: Scunthorpe, Fri Sept 3
“I would like to wholeheartedly thank everyone connected to the club for their help and support, as without these people, my short spell at Newcastle would have been an even harder experience. As it currently stands, I’m setting the wheels in motion to see what will come of Newcastle Speedway in 2022, but at this moment in time all I can guarantee is the three remaining home fixtures.”
Club owner Rob Grant is set to walk away from the Diamonds at the end of the season – but is keen to see the club survive under a new promotion next year.
NEXT HOME: Edinburgh, Sun Sept 12
NEXT AWAY: Plymouth, Tues Aug 31
“I’m delighted that Richard is joining us for the remainder of the season. He is an exciting rider and will bring even more experience to the team. He has already guested for us on a few occasions so knows our set-up well.”
The Gladiators have made a late-season move for heat-leader Richard Lawson who became available after Eastbourne’s withdrawal, with promoter Mark Phillips believing it will lead to a strong end to the campaign.
NEXT HOME: Newcastle, Tues Aug 31
NEXT AWAY: Poole, Wed Sept 8
“Whilst we were able to get things sorted for the last twelve heats we will not be resting on our laurels, and we will be working overtime again to ensure that we can provide an improved surface for our crucial clash with Glasgow this coming Friday.”
Pirates promoter Danny Ford stresses further track work is planned at Wimborne Road after staff worked wonders on Sunday to repair a hole on the south bend which delayed the home fixture against Birmingham.
NEXT HOME: Glasgow, Fri Sept 3
NEXT AWAY: Birmingham, Wed Sept 1
“I think we were slightly unlucky as we had a couple of tapes exclusions which cost us overall. We also have a couple of new signings who will need time to settle in at home, but it is what it is and when they settle in, we will have a solid side. I would have liked a full maximum, but it is always nice to hit a maximum!”
Bears star Michael Palm Toft was unbeaten in Sunday’s 45-45 draw with Berwick which continued a long list of exciting meetings at the Media Prima Arena in 2021.
NEXT HOME: Kent, Fri Sept 3
NEXT AWAY: Birmingham, Wed Sept 8
“Redcar are a good team, as we are, and they pushed us close at our place. There’s no disgrace in losing here and coming out of the meeting with a point. Before the meeting, I’d have settled for a point, but as things turned out on the night, we could have taken and probably deserved more, but that’s speedway.”
Scorpions boss Dave Peet felt his side had been out of luck when they went down 47-42 at Redcar, although they still gained an important point towards their play-off challenge.
NEXT HOME: Leicester, Fri Sept 3
NEXT AWAY: Glasgow, Sun Sept 5
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE UPCOMING FIXTURES…
NEXT HOME: Kent, Fri Sept 10
NEXT AWAY: Kent, Tues Oct 12
NEXT HOME: Mildenhall, Fri Sept 3
NEXT AWAY: Kent, Tues Sept 21
NEXT HOME: Kent, Sat Sept 4
NEXT AWAY: Mildenhall, Sun Sept 26
NEXT HOME: Belle Vue, Tues Sept 21
NEXT AWAY: Berwick, Sat Sept 4
NEXT HOME: Kent, Sat Oct 9
NEXT AWAY: Mildenhall, Sun Sept 12
NEXT HOME: Leicester, Sun Sept 12
NEXT AWAY: Belle Vue, Fri Sept 3
TUESDAY AUGUST 31:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Plymouth v Newcastle 7pm
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 1:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Birmingham v Poole 7.30
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 2:
PREMIERSHIP: Ipswich v Peterborough 7.30, Sheffield v Belle Vue 7.30
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 3:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Edinburgh v Birmingham 7.30, Poole v Glasgow 7.30, Redcar v Kent 7.30, Scunthorpe v Leicester 7.30
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Belle Vue v Mildenhall 7.30
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 4:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Berwick v Kent 6.30, Leicester v Glasgow 7.30
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Berwick v Kent (follows Championship match)
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 5:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Glasgow v Scunthorpe 6pm
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 6:
PREMIERSHIP: Belle Vue v Sheffield 7.30, Peterborough v Ipswich 7.30, Wolverhampton v King’s Lynn 7.30
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 7:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Kent v Scunthorpe 6.30
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 8:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Birmingham v Redcar 7.30, Poole v Plymouth 7.30
THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 9:
PREMIERSHIP: King’s Lynn v Sheffield 7.30
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 10:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Glasgow v Plymouth 7.30, Redcar v Leicester 7.30, Scunthorpe v Poole 7.30
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Armadale v Kent 7.30
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 11:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Berwick v Glasgow 7pm, Leicester v Edinburgh 7.30
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 12:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Newcastle v Edinburgh 6.30
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: Mildenhall v Leicester 3pm
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 13:
PREMIERSHIP: Belle Vue v King’s Lynn 7.30, Wolverhampton v Peterborough 7.30
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 14:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Kent v Leicester 6.30