Tuesday April 08, 2008
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.


MARK Loram, Britain's last world champion in 2000, is hoping to be at Lakeside to meet up with the cream of the UK's youngsters on April 25.

The Purfleet raceway, home of Elite League Lakeside Hammers (one of Loram's former clubs), host the British Under-21 Final - and Loram is now part of the coaching set-up at that level.

He's easing himself into the structure alongside former Wolves man Graham Jones and Isle of Wight chief David Croucher as he's had to have more treatment on the leg injury he sustained just over a year ago.

"I'm not discounting riding again, but I can't even think of that at the moment," said Loram. "And it's nice that the BSPA have offered me an opportunity to stay involved.

"I won't be hands-on at the moment because of my operation, but I'd like to get into a position where I can get on a bike and ride with the youngsters.

"And I need to get out and get to know them more because my knowledge of them all is pretty limited at the moment."

Elite League duo Steve Boxall (Belle Vue) and Lewis Bridger (Eastbourne) are included in the seven seeds for Lakeside along with Stoke’s Ben Barker, Rye House sensation Tai Woffinden, Birmingham’s Adam Roynon, William Lawson of Edinburgh and Redcar’s Josh Auty - the other qualifiers will be known shortly.

Meanwhile, a new date for the Elite League Best Pairs will be known soon after the unfortunate cancellation at King's Lynn due to rain on April 5 - and as soon as it is know the BSPA will issue a full press statement.

BRITISH UNDER-21 FINAL: Arena-Essex, Friday April 25 - 7.30
BRITISH FINAL: Swindon, Thursday May 29 - 7.30
PREMIER LEAGUE PAIRS: Somerset, Friday June 27 - 7.30
PREMIER LEAGUE FOURS: Workington, Saturday July 26 - 7pm
ELITE LEAGUE RIDERS' CHAMPIONSHIP: Birmingham, Wednesday August 20 - 7.30
PREMIER LEAGUE RIDERS' CHAMPIONSHIP: Sheffield, Sunday September 21 - 3.30 or


BELLE VUE promoter Chris Morton is backing his team to start winning at home more comfortably – when the middle order and reserves start to find their feet.

Morton said: "There was a significant performance from Lukasz Jankowski last week, and he is getting to grips with our track and the Elite League.

"Our top three, Jason Crump, Joe Screen and Charlie Gjedde, have maintained a high standard at home and as long as they maintain that form we just need a couple of the other guys to start hitting better form."

COVENTRY manager Peter Oakes felt the champions had displayed plenty of character to overcome Ipswich at home having trailed at the half-way stage and lost reserve Andreas Messing in his first ride.

Oakes said: "I think we looked like the real Coventry, the riders showed the ability to fight and battle for the points - and it proves they have the character, because if they hadn't we would have succumbed in that meeting.

"It will have done a lot for people's confidence, when you think our top two finished up with ten points between them and yet we had a comfortable win in the end. Ipswich are a good team but it was terrific to see so many good points for us, and Stan (Burza) had by far his best meeting at Elite League level."

EASTBOURNE are hoping to have No.1 Scott Nicholls back in the side for their weekend clash with Wolverhampton following treatment on two broken bones in his hand.

Nicholls suffered the injury during the Eagles' impressive win at his former club Coventry, and skipper Lee Richardson feels that result is a clear sign of what the club can achieve this season.

Richardson said: "Everyone is doing their job, but there is more to come. If we can all up it a little bit further, and there's no reason why we can't, then we have got a team capable of winning everywhere."

IPSWICH manager Pete Simmons felt the damage had been done at home after the Witches went out of the Knockout Cup in the first round at Wolverhampton on Monday.

Simmons said: "We did not bring enough of a lead with us to defend, and the Wolverhampton team were very fired up. Piotr Swiderski was excellent again, but we did not have enough support to hold on.

"We have a week off now, and I need to lift the team in time for next Monday's vital Elite League match at home to Swindon."

LAKESIDE boss Jon Cook has underlined the importance of his team performing throughout whole meetings if they are to avoid letting further points slip.

Cook said: "The loss of AJ (Andreas Jonsson) at Belle Vue was an important factor not only in that meeting but also in the other two matches last week. We should have won both at Belle Vue and at Peterborough but we let things slip towards the end of those matches.

"Similarly we allowed Swindon to run us fairly close on Friday even though we had built up a 14 point lead after just six heats. We need to keep the momentum going all the way through the 15 heats."

PETERBOROUGH manager Trevor Swales says there is still plenty of room for improvement after his team salvaged a draw with a late rally at home to Lakeside - although the Hammers still secured the overall group win in the Craven Shield.

Swales said: "There is no way a team like Lakeside should be running us this close around here. I have made no secret of the fact that we need to win all our home meetings and win them well, so obviously a draw disappoints me but I am a lot happier than I would have been had we lost.

"If you ask me to sum up the past week, it has been bad, bad, bad and not quite so bad - and it is clear we have to improve."

POOLE manager Neil Middleditch hailed the display of reserve Freddie Eriksson, who piled up 17 (paid 18) in the Pirates' narrow defeat at Belle Vue, despite being reduced to one engine midway through the meeting.

Middleditch said: "Freddie's performance was unbelievable, fantastic, and he's just on a high at the moment. When he stopped in his fifth ride he had blown his engine up. It was the only engine he has been riding on this year.

"Fortunately his spare was fairly good for Belle Vue because he won his last two races on it. But now he only has one engine for the Elite League and that is not enough at this level, so hopefully something can be worked out."

SWINDON boss Alun Rossiter took more positives from an away defeat as the Robins held Lakeside to a five-point margin at Purfleet.

Rossiter said: "I'm not disappointed - I'm actually relatively pleased, especially with the manner of our fightback. It's what this team is all about.

"People can say it's still a loss, and I suppose a loss is a loss whether it's by two points or 20, but the manner in which we went about things, especially when the going got tough, was superb. We could have given up and come away with a right hiding, but we didn't and we've got a lot to be proud of."

WOLVERHAMPTON skipper Freddie Lindgren was delighted to see his side make progress in the Knockout Cup with victory over Ipswich on Monday.

He said: “I can’t remember going through to the next round in recent seasons so this is a big boost for us all.

“It was a solid all-round performance from the team and it gives us great encouragement. People have to remember Ipswich are a very good team.”


BERWICK star Michal Makovsky provided a home winner for the club's individual meeting staged in honour of Karl Friar, a young Bandits' fan who died in 1996, shortly before the sport returned to Shielfield Park.

Promoter Peter Waite said: "This was again a truly fitting way in which to celebrate Karl’s memory and I'm sure he would have been delighted at Michal's great win."

BIRMINGHAM boss Graham Drury is weighing up his options after seeing several key team members injured recently.

Kyle Legault (broken thigh), Phil Morris (broken ribs and punctured lung) and James Birkinshaw (bad bruising of ribs) are all on the sidelines – and Jason Lyons will ride through the pain barrier with an arm injury.

Said Drury: “I’ve never known anything like it and all our thoughts are with the injured boys. I now have to look at what we may be able to do with the team.”

EDINBURGH believe they have qualification from their Premier Trophy group virtually secured after running Workington close at Derwent Park over the weekend.

Co-promoter John Campbell said: "We're almost there. Workington would need to beat Glasgow by a huge margin and we would need a high score when we visit Glasgow on April 27, but it's my belief it is beyond Workington."

GLASGOW'S Ross Brady has received good news after another injury scare when he crashed in the first race at Edinburgh last Friday.

There were fears that Brady had fractured his collarbone again after missing the opening weeks of the season with the same injury, but he would in fact have been fit to take his place against Redcar on Sunday had that meeting not been snowed off.

ISLE OF WIGHT boss Dave Croucher felt his side had missed the chance for a first away win of the season at Newport, even allowing for the wrist injury suffered by Krzysztof Stojanowski at Somerset two days earlier.

Croucher said: "When you look at it objectively, we should have won and whilst we had some bike problems, I'm not going to use that as an excuse. It's still very early in the season though, and these Premier Trophy matches are the vehicle to be used to sort out, and hopefully cure, any such problems."

KING'S LYNN star Rusty Harrison believes his move to the Norfolk Arena, which came late in the winter after Trevor Harding's injury, has given him a new lease of life in the sport.

Harrison said: "I've never ridden in a team quite like it. It's the best I've ever known and it would be a real shame if I have to leave here at the end of the season. It's not just an Aussie thing, everyone is keen to have a go and help you out."

MILDENHALL'S young Dane Casper Wortmann is described as making steady progress after an operation on internal injuries on Monday following an horrific crash in the Fen Tigers' match with Birmingham.

Wortmann will be closely monitored by doctors and surgeons over the coming days, but he has been communicating, and he has been visited by family, sponsors, club officials and fellow countryman Hans Andersen.

NEWCASTLE boss George English accepts his team need to win their last three Premier Trophy matches if they are to reach the semi-finals - and Czech star George Stancl is currently out with a broken collarbone.

English said: "We have three Trophy matches to race and will have to win them all if we are to pip Sheffield. We go to Stoke and Sheffield, and still have to tackle Scunthorpe at home after we settle on a new date."

NEWPORT captain Tony Atkin will be out of action for up to six weeks after suffering a clean break to his ankle in the Wasps' first win of the season against the Isle of Wight on Sunday.

Promoter Tim Stone said: "Tony is already itching to get back, and although the doctors have told him six weeks he wants to return sooner than that. He's bitterly disappointed that he can't lead the team at Berwick on Saturday, which is a track he really enjoys."

READING manager Malcolm Holloway has explained the reasons for the Racers' switch in riding order, with Chris Mills and Tomas Suchanek exchanging places in the line-up.

Holloway said: "I had to do something after last Monday’s defeat at home to Somerset, and I have thought long and hard about this. We don’t want to lose at Smallmead again this season and by moving the top four around it will give the team more protection in certain crucial races."

REDCAR promoter Glyn Taylor is planning to make use of new technology in a bid to beat the elements - after already suffering three postponements so far this season.

Taylor said: "I've designed a jet drier to dry out the track after it’s rained, and I’m going to build it up. A friend of mine in Australia has one and it's very effective. It's used on a tarmac drag strip and it heats the surface so much that, even if it rains afterwards, the water just evaporates as soon as it hits the surface."

RYE HOUSE star Tai Woffinden made an impressive return from injury with a five-ride paid maximum in the Rockets' win over Birmingham.

Woffinden said: "I really enjoyed tonight - to come back from ten days away with a maximum felt really good. It was good to get my partnership with Tommy (Allen) back together, I think it was three 5-1s and a 4-2 we got tonight."

SCUNTHORPE star Carl Wilkinson was pleased for the Scorpions to get off the mark with their first win of the season in an impressive home performance against his former club Newcastle.

Wilkinson said: "It's been a great team effort from everybody. I've had my best night since the start of the season, and it's been the confidence booster we needed. Hopefully we can carry it on next week and come back with some away points as well."

SHEFFIELD are set to be boosted by the return of reserve Lee Smethills after a fortnight out through injury.

He said: “It’s been frustrating, missing meetings, but the foot injury caused me a lot of pain.

“It feels better now and I’m looking forward to getting back and helping the team, I’ve enjoyed my time at Sheffield so far.”

SOMERSET are in the driving seat to qualify from their Premier Trophy group, but the Rebels are aware that Reading will be out for revenge when they visit the Oak Tree Arena in a key fixture on Friday.

Promoter Mike Golding said: "We cannot afford any slip-ups against Reading. We have done the hard work winning away at Smallmead, but we have yet to complete the job.

Friday's match should be a real cracker, and I would encourage all Rebels fans to come along to support the team towards a place in the semi-finals."

STOKE have announced that the experienced John Woolridge has re-joined the club as a co-promoter after previously holding a similar position at Wolverhampton.

Woolridge said: "I'd like to thank Wolverhampton for allowing this to happen. I have a lot of time for Dave Tattum and hopefully I will be able to offer support and assistance with a number of things behind the scenes. I have always had a soft spot for this club."

WORKINGTON overcame both Edinburgh and the elements to record a weekend win in the Premier Trophy, winning 48-43 following a half-hour delay due to hail.

Manager Ian Thomas said: "Under the circumstances it was a good meeting with some entertaining racing and I was pleased to get the win."


SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Peterborough v Eastbourne 7.30
PREMIER TROPHY: Isle of Wight v Somerset 7.30

SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Poole v Lakeside 7.30
PREMIER LEAGUE: Birmingham v Scunthorpe 7.45
CONFERENCE CHALLENGE: Boston v Redcar 7.30

SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Swindon v Lakeside 7.30
PREMIER LEAGUE: Redcar v Edinburgh 7.30
PREMIER LEAGUE KOC: Sheffield v Scunthorpe 7.45

SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Coventry v Belle Vue 8pm, Lakeside v Poole 8pm
PREMIER LEAGUE: Edinburgh v Newcastle 7.30
PREMIER LEAGUE KOC: Scunthorpe v Sheffield 7.30
PREMIER TROPHY: King's Lynn v Birmingham 7.30, Somerset v Reading 7.30
BRITISH U21 QUALIFIER: Plymouth 7.30

SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Eastbourne v Wolverhampton 7.30
PREMIER LEAGUE: Berwick v Newport 7pm, Rye House v Isle of Wight 7pm, Redcar v Sheffield 6pm, Workington v King's Lynn 7pm
PREMIER TROPHY: Stoke v Newcastle 7.30
CONFERENCE LEAGUE: Redcar v Buxton 7.30
BRITISH U21 QUALIFIER: Weymouth 7.15

PREMIER LEAGUE: Glasgow v King's Lynn 4pm, Newcastle v Workington 5.30, Newport v Birmingham 3pm
PREMIER TROPHY: Mildenhall v Rye House 4.30

SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Ipswich v Swindon 7.30, Wolverhampton v Eastbourne 7.30
CRAVEN SHIELD: Belle Vue v Coventry 7.30
PREMIER TROPHY: Reading v Isle of Wight 7.30

PREMIER TROPHY: Isle of Wight v Reading 7.30

SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Poole v Coventry 7.30
PREMIER LEAGUE: Birmingham v Somerset 7.45, King's Lynn v Edinburgh 7.30

SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Peterborough v Belle Vue 7.30, Swindon v Ipswich 7.30
PREMIER TROPHY: Redcar v Scunthorpe 7.30

SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Coventry v Poole 8pm, Lakeside v Peterborough 8pm
PREMIER LEAGUE: Somerset v Birmingham 7.30
PREMIER TROPHY: Scunthorpe v Stoke 7.30
DEVON/DORSET TROPHY: Plymouth v Weymouth 7.30

SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Eastbourne v Belle Vue 7.30
PREMIER LEAGUE: Berwick v Sheffield 7pm
PREMIER TROPHY: Rye House v King's Lynn 7pm, Stoke v Scunthorpe 7.30, Workington v Glasgow 7pm
DEVON/DORSET TROPHY: Weymouth v Plymouth 7.15

PREMIER LEAGUE: Mildenhall v Isle of Wight 4.30, Newport v Redcar 3pm
PREMIER LEAGUE KOC: Glasgow v Birmingham 4pm
CONFERENCE LEAGUE: Boston v Rye House 7.30

SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Belle Vue v Swindon 7.30, Peterborough v Ipswich 7.30, Wolverhampton v Lakeside 7.30
PREMIER LEAGUE: Reading v Workington 7.30

PREMIER LEAGUE: Isle of Wight v Workington 7.30

SKY SPORTS ELITE LEAGUE: Poole v Eastbourne 7.30
PREMIER LEAGUE: King's Lynn v Newcastle 7.30
PREMIER LEAGUE KOC: Birmingham v Glasgow 7.45

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