Loram's backing for Louis

MARK Loram has confirmed his sympathy for the plight of Ipswich Witches promoter John Louis.The 2000 world speedway champion will be leading the Witches in the Elite League in 2007 and his enthusiasm is as high as ever.

By Elvin King

MARK Loram has confirmed his sympathy for the plight of Ipswich Witches promoter John Louis.

The 2000 world speedway champion will be leading the Witches in the Elite League in 2007 and his enthusiasm is as high as ever.

But he feels that Louis and his son - rider/manager Chris - are getting unfair criticism for their failure to complete a side for a season that starts in seven weeks.

“It is not their fault,” said Loram. “There are just not enough riders to go around who want to ride in England.

“There is nothing John or Chris can do.”

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Loram sees the Russian League proving a curse as far as English speedway is concerned.

“You can earn as much in half-a-dozen meetings in Russia as you can in a whole Elite League campaign,” said Loram.

“And if you ask riders involved in Russia to also fly over to England two or three times a week they are asking completely unrealistic points money.”

Loram is not tempted by the riches currently on offer behind the former iron curtain where it can take an 11-hour flight from London to reach tracks on the Chinese border.

“I am not going to knock them, but my feeling is that it will be like it was in Poland 15 years ago,” added Loram. “And I would not be too convinced by the medical facilities.”

Loram enjoyed a family holiday in Malaysia and has now stepped up his fitness programme utilising the facilities at the Banana Fitness suit at Stowmarket Leisure Centre.

“I scuba dived in Malaysia, and am now running on the roads and keeping fit in the gym,” said Loram.

“I am also playing five-a-side football every week at Whitton Sports Centre and have a skiing holiday next month.

“By the start of the season I should be A1 fitness-wise.”

Loram is confident Ipswich will track a competitive side and is keeping his fingers crossed that 21-year-old German Tobi Kroner stays in the side.

“He stays with me and uses my workshop, and Tobi has the determination to make it to the top,” said Loram.

“Robert Miskowiak and Kim Jansson saw their careers virtually stand still last year, so now is the time for them both to push forward.

“And I have ridden against Marcin Rempala in Poland, and he has what it takes to adapt to smaller tracks and make a big impact.”

Chris Louis has confirmed that the Witches are keeping tabs on Pole Karol Zabik, the world under-21 champion who wants to ride in England this year.

THE Witches are officially classed as big outsiders to win the Elite League speedway championship this season.

With two places still to fill in their side, the Foxhall Stadium-based club are quoted at 16-1 to win the championship for the first time since 1998. Belle Vue are the rank outsiders at 33-1 with William Hill, but every other club is quoted as more likely to take the title than the Witches.

Swindon are favourites at 3-1 with Peterborough 5-1, Reading 6-1, Coventry 7-1, Wolverhampton and Poole 8-1, Oxford and Eastbourne 10-1 and Arena-Essex 12-1.

WITCHES skipper Chris Louis will be at the MCN London Motorcycle Show on Friday from 11am until 1pm.

Former Ipswich rider and Grand Prix star Scott Nicholls will be at the British Speedway stand on Sunday.

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