DANNY KING COLUMN: Stand-in ref was great... Kyle Newman and Justin Sedgmen will shine... Where are all the monkeys?
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
It’s not often sportsmen or women praise the referee.
Poor old refs, they always get stick.
And in speedway it’s no different. We all get on but as sure as eggs are eggs refs and riders have their... Let’s say, disagreements!
But, I want to applaud a referee... Ipswich’s Mark Styles.
Mark stood in last week for our meeting with Newcastle after the original referee Barbara Horley was taken ill just before the start of the meeting.
In fact we were about to go out for heat one when the call came through to go back to the pits as the ref was not well.
Oh, this was a bit unusual. What was going to happen?
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Up stepped the usual ‘incident recorder’ Mark Styles, to volunteer his services... And fair play to him, he did a top job.
I must admit I was a bit worried about someone who had never refereed before perhaps flicking the tapes up after about 1.2 seconds!! But Mark didn’t do that. Well done mate, good job.
Also, glad to know Barbara has recovered okay and indeed was able to speak to Mark after the meeting.
As regards the Newcastle meeting, well we won by 14 but we weren’t so sure we rode that well.
That just about sums up how we feel about our home form these days. If we are not winning convincingly, we are disappointed.
It’s a high standard we have set ourselves and quite right too.
Edinburgh will offer us a tough test tomorrow. I know I’m like a record player, but I’ll say it again... We are capable of winning wherever we go.
I know some people have spoken about the track at Foxhall being a bit grippy, which can make it tricky, especially in the early stages.
But that’s the way Ipswich has always been prepared and I like it that way for sure.
It’s up to us as riders to get used to it and make it our big home advantage.
Kyle Newman and Justin Sedgmen haven’t quite got going as a pairing just yet.
But they will, mark my words. Both are top riders and great guys to have in the pits too. In fact our team spirit is the best I have known it since I came back to Ipswich.
You must remember Kyle has started his season late and Justin had two very big crashes a few weeks ago and I know, it can take a little while just getting that confidence back.
Both will though and I watched Kyle ride at Leicester on Saturday night - I thought he looked very good.
As regards Leicester on Saturday night. Well, me and Kim Nilsson got a 5-1 in the final race to snatch a draw for the Lions.
It’s funny, but when you get a 5-1 of your own in the final race to draw, it feels like a win. The other way round, it feels like a defeat, despite the fact you have drawn!
I’m very lucky that again this season I’m riding for two clubs with great sets of fans. At Ipswich the back straight ‘massif’, as well as the rest of the Foxhall fans are superb. At Leicester it’s the same.
The Lions fans are terrific and it was nice to send them home with a smile on their faces on Saturday night... Even though we should have won!
I know a lot of fans are a bit worried about the doubling-up rule in so much as so many riders now ride for two clubs.
At Ipswich, all seven of us ride for another club.
It’s not great, obviously, but as a professional speedway rider, earning more money is what it is all about.
Speedway is a very dangerous sport and is an expensive hobby. Earning enough money to take the risks is part of it.
As regards why there are so many doubling-up riders, well that is really down to the powers that be.
The sport in Britain doesn’t see to worried about bringing the ‘big boys’ back to race. I would love to race the likes of Nicki Pedersen and Greg Hancock on a regular basis. I want to race the best.
But it’s not happening right now which is a shame.
I went to the East Midlands Safari Park on Sunday.
That was great fun and the kids loved it.
We drove our car through the Park and there were tigers, lions, giraffes, all sorts wandering about. The only thing I didn’t see much of were monkeys!
Don’t know why.
Just as well though, I’ve heard monkeys can be a bit of a nuisance to say the least at some parks! Still, we had a great day.
It will be a tough test against those Monarchs.
Sam Masters is a good No.1 a hard, but fair rider.
It was good to see Connor Mountain having a good meeting last week. He’s a good gater and I have every faith in him.
He is probably getting plenty of help and advice, all genuinely meant, but sometimes that can be too much.
He just needs to ride his bike and enjoy himself.
The points will come.
See you Thursday night then. It should be a cracker. Don’t forget to ask for autographs, we will always oblige.
Up the Witches, see you soon.
AS TOLD TO MIKE BACON