Legend Briggs’ bike ends up in Ipswich

SPEEDWAY: Former England, Australian and USA team manager and Peterborough promoter James Easter has ridden away with the bike of his dreams.

Yet the Ipswich-based owner of Travel Plus, a holiday company that majors on speedway tours, is planning to auction the bike for charity.

Four-time world champion Barry Briggs used a Yamaha WR250R to travel round to every British track this year to raise money for paralysed former riders.

He raised over �68,000 with �10,000 of this coming from the sale of ‘Ride Share Certificates’ where, in return for a �100 donation, Briggs’ machine was the prize.

Easter was the winner, which is rather ironic as Foxhall Stadium, Ipswich was the only stadium that refused Briggs permission to visit.

Instead Briggs met up with speedway followers at Orwell Motor Cycles in Ranelagh Road.

“Briggo called me last week, and I’ll still trying to come to terms with it,” said Easter.

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“Frankly I do not deserve the prize. The bike is now a collectors’ piece and should be enjoyed by someone who has the time and love of biking to make the most of it.

“So I intend auctioning/selling the bike and re-donating the money back to Briggo to enhance his extremely worthwhile charity.”

Twelve former riders, who are confined to wheelchairs by racing accidents, will each receive just over �5,000 with the balance going to Sport Relief.

The riders include Ipswich-based John Simmons and Lawrence Hare plus Krzysztof Cegielski, Neil Hewitt, Per Jonsson, Pip Lamb, Graham Miles, Paul Mitchell, Joe Owen, Garry Stead, Steve Weatherley and Alan Wilkinson.

Briggs’ costs during the tour were covered by sales of his book ‘Wembley and Beyond’ which is on sale via his website www.briggo.net.

After a well earned Christmas break, Briggs is heading back to his New Zealand homeland.

Still a big follower of speedway, Easter has given the thumbs up to Ipswich Witches’ move into the Premier League and their team for 2011.

He said: “Signing Lasse Bjerre is real master stroke. The young Dane is better at this stage than his Grand Prix brother Kenneth was at the same age.

“Lasse will rapidly become a top performer at this level, the only downside will be his growing European commitments.

“It is a very good side assembled by Chris Louis, and in my opinion will be hard to beat anywhere.

“Taylor Poole is Mick Poole’s son and we go back a lot of years. I intend keeping a paternal eye on his progress.

“The side is well balanced and strong where it needs to be and I would forecast a 100% home record with say 40% away victories.”

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