Danny King column: Rory nicks my No.1 spot! And maybe it's time to freshen up the British Final
© Copyright Steve Waller
Danny King discusses the Witches being back on track, a new British Final format and why he’s such a bad patient!
Well, after what seems like an eternity, the Witches are all (well nearly all of us) back on track tomorrow night for our clash with Sheffield at Foxhall Stadium.
It seems ages since we rode as a team at home and although we will be missing Michael Hartel, who is riding in the Speedway Cup of Nations for Germany, six of us, plus guest James Sargeant will be there.
I mentioned last week about the lack of fixtures in the Championship and that seemed to get quite a reaction and debate from many of you also not impressed. I’m not surprised.
But anyhow, now we are back in action and hopefully there will be a great crowd, with the weather looking good according to my little weather app!
Nico Covatti is in the side again after his rib injury and it was good to see him pick up some decent points for Newcastle over the weekend, as he guested for them at Berwick and then at Newcastle.
My arm injury is getting there, although it’s far from 100%. The arm is still not fully strengthened, but it’s safe enough to race and quite honestly the only way, as I said last week, for it to improve, is to keep putting in through its paces.
The new June averages see me lose the No.1 race jacket at Ipswich, to Rory Schlein!
Well, I can’t be having that! Then again, Rory has been superb for us so far this season and we will still be together in heat 13 and maybe the last heat as well.
I like to think me and him are one of the strongest pairings in the Championship. We certainly get on very well and I’ll let him keep the No.1 for a month or so!!
Sheffield are tomorrow night’s visitors and we had some right ding-dongs with them at the end of last season.
We all remember the disappointment of the play-off final when we just couldn’t get the points back after losing at Owlerton in the first leg.
But we got our revenge in the KO Cup semi-final, with a thumping home win as we made our way to the final against Peterborough.
Sheffield haven’t made the greatest start to the season, but they are very capable and we can’t afford anything less than the three points.
They will fancy their chances, make no doubt about that.
But we have a good record against them at Foxhall.
It’s the British Final on Monday.
And how I would love to win the title back.
It was nearly two years now I won it, back in 2016. What a night that was.
It was the best night ever of my speedway career, by a mile. I’d had a poor start to the season really, but suddenly it started to click just before the Final.
I won the final, then had a good British GP and a good World Cup for Team GB.
But winning that British Final was everything.
Just look at the names on the trophy. From Barry Briggs to Ivan Mauger, Chris and John Louis to Simon Wigg, Tai Woffinden to Scott Nicholls, and so many more.
To have got my name engraved on there as well is something special.
It still gives me goose bumps thinking about it.
When I’m a bit fed up or injured, as I am at the moment, I relive that last race. Going over the line, celebrating with my mechanic and friends.
It was special.
But I don’t want it to be a one-off. No way. I want another title and although I’m not going to Belle Vue in the greatest of spirits, with my arm still far from right, I’m in good enough shape to make progress, hopefully to the final... Then you never know.
The British Final is of course now decided by a one-off grand final.
That’s how I won it.
It used to be over 20 heats with 16 riders. But I wonder if it should be set for a change.
Maybe the time has come to have three British final rounds, like they do in Denmark.
That way, even if you have an engine failure or fall in a race, you are still in the mix. A three-round series would also get good crowds I’m sure, with the final round still at Belle Vue.
Just a thought.
I’ve been a right pain in the King household of late.
Well, perhaps not that bad, but I’m no good when I’m injured. At least last week was half-term so Clara was about too. But I’m a seriously rubbish patient.
Hopefully tomorrow night will be the start of a good run of meetings for me and the Witches.
I did notice the Witches only have two more meetings this month after tomorrow. But then a busy July and August.
Plenty still to race for, but first we simply must beat these Tigers from Sheffield.
Look forward to seeing you at Foxhall.
AS TOLD TO MIKE BACON