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Everything posted by Vince

  1. Vince

    In My View By Phil Rising

    It's easy to say most riders should be riding as near amateurs but the practical side of that is very difficult. Just how many jobs will allow you time off to ride Speedway these days? Working hours have changed a great deal and even making home matches will need at least half a day off for the majority. While you might be able to book a proportion of those off to match the fixture list there are always a number of re-arranged fixtures because of rain offs etc. Then there will be a number of days off for injury for many and not many employers will be willing to work around the life of a Speedway rider. The expenses are considerably more than riding MX at club level when you consider I could (and used to) practice and or race every weekend of the year without ever needing to travel for much more than an hour from home. Doing the 6 1/2 hours each way to Armadale for a rain off costs a lot of money when you get a few pence a mile. MX for the majority is a weekend hobby that you choose where and when to ride on a bike that doesn't have to be at it's best if you've not had time that week. Speedway is a commitment to be where and when the team needs you to be with properly prepared equipment. Comparing it to the old days and saying they were amateur is more than a bit misleading. Was talking to an ex rider only the other day and one who made it very nearly to the top of the tree. He is currently 60 so over 40 years ago when he started he could make more money riding as a junior in the second half than he could working for the week as an apprentice. There can't be many NL riders capable of matching that after expenses now let alone kids looking for a second half. Jimmy Squibb who was a decent but never great rider was another who I spent hours talking to about the sport. He used to expect to earn at least 4 times what a lorry driver did annually ( lorry driver because transport was his business) and had spells where he was doing well and earning a lot more. Speedway gave him the financial security to start a decent sized haulage business, a rider at the same sort of level today would be breaking even with the odd year showing a small profit but not enough to live on off season. Shouldn't that be Googled?
  2. Because of my job I very rarely get to watch live Speedway. However when I do and when I watch the sport on the TV I think the racing is as good if not better than any I have seen in the best part of 50 years since I first saw Speedway. There are good, poor and the odd great meeting same as there always were, same as there are with any sport. I've always liked individual Speedway and think the GP's in general are incredible, for sure there are times the tracks or weather don't allow the riders to show their skills and that is frustrating but overall the standard of riding is amazing. The BSPA might do some daft things but in the main they are the people who are investing their money to keep the sport going and much of the criticism is from people who refuse to see the practical side of their suggestions. Simple example is the seemingly obvious suggestion to prepare tracks for good, entertaining racing. However the evidence is that if the home side is beaten by two points in a great match the crowds will drop but if they keep winning by 20 points the crowds will improve. The real bane of this sport is the rose tinted glasses brigade now having a place to constantly talk it down in my opinion.
  3. Personally I think it's far more important for the sport in this country to get as many team spots as possible filled by brits. Especially if they are relatively local they are more likely to bring along new fans. Cheaper in the long run too!
  4. As far as the age/ experience thing goes I don't think you can compare British lads to Polish or any of the Scandinavian countries or even Australia as they just don't get the time on the bike that most of those youngsters do. For most British lads they are lucky to get 10 minutes actual riding time a week during the season and less in the winter. Realistically British lads with 5 years Speedway under their belt could be compared to second year riders of other nationalities. Having said that if after 2 or 3 years of practice/ amateur meetings you aren't at NL level then I would say it's very unlikely you will ever make that grade. The sport should be associating itself much more closely with other motorcycle sports, especially MX where some schoolboy meetings will have more riders at a single local event than there are youth Speedway riders in this country. Speedway should be contributing prizes and having riders at these events letting the youngsters know that a Speedway career is much more likely for the majority than a MX one. Grasstrack is full of kids who want to be Speedway riders but it's not often I've seen a promoter or riders there encouraging the kids. As for what constitutes success I would say any kid getting to NL level is a success for the sport. If 1 in 3 go on to make it to Championship level and 1 in 5 of them to Premier then clearly the more you get to NL league the more chance of getting riders to World standard.
  5. I'd have said that increased torque lower down the rev range makes the bike spin more easily and therefore less lifting in corners. To my way of thinking it's the lack of flywheel weight in the chase for revs that cause the lifting and makes the bikes less predictable. You can bet that for the big meetings they both had the fastest engines they could get their hands on from the likes of Lattenheimer. I do think that there is a problem with the modern short stroke engine but I don't think the skill level is any lower than it was, if anything it's higher.
  6. Vince

    Reality Time For Speedway.

    One problem is that treating Speedway like a hobby is incredibly difficult for the majority of riders. just how many jobs fit in with a Speedway career? Most work in some capacity at least in the off season. Riding on weekday evenings when you throw in the travelling and short notice for re-arranged fixtures makes being employed in another job very difficult. £200 for half a days work isn't exactly true either. That's half a day being at a meeting, there is still the time spent on the bikes to get them ready and the travelling time never mind the costs involved. If you leave out the best paid I bet that the fans on the terraces wouldn't be impressed by the hourly rate. Very few sports would actually survive on gate receipts, most run on outside revenue from TV and or sponsorship. I don't have the answers but if riders can't survive they'll have to retire and the fans are as reliant on them as vice versa.
  7. Can't see how it would make much difference to the majority to be honest. Whoever did it would be slated by some and praised by others but the decision is already made.
  8. Vince

    Time To Crack Down On The Aussies?

    I think that the first thing to do is change the asset system so that signing any foreign rider and giving him a good run to learn his trade is never easier/ cheaper than doing the same for a young Brit. Don't allow any foreign rider to have an average less than that which he would be assessed at. Add 3 points to any riders average who doesn't agree to prioritise British fixtures. Apply average discounts for British riders who stay with the same team year on year to encourage continuity. Allow a further discount for riders who ride at the track nearest to their home town. These don't have to be big discounts but something that after 3 or 4 years of continuity with local riders can make a significant difference to team building. Difficult situation with the Aussies as for every whinger there is another like Doolan who has been a great addition to British Speedway.
  9. Can't imagine the Holder and Batchelor situation was dealt with as it was without the agreement of at least the majority of the PL promoters. I think Chapman is one of the better people that have held the post over the past couple of decades having seen some of the others in action.
  10. To be fair that isn't proper flat track but lads on unsuitable bikes having a go at racing. The regular flat track series is quite a lot faster though will never be as quick as Speedway bikes as they are not as specialised and also run on road legal tyres. It's a similar sport to Speedway only in so far as it's two wheels on a Speedway track, the way it's ridden is very different, very much more like early Speedway from what I have seen on video of those days. Race from 3 years ago at Kings Lynn and it's getting faster every year without a doubt. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xllaEoiKiNQ
  11. National Football League and Major League Baseball are surely SCB equivalents not the National Football League owners association for example which wouldn't have members who weren't owners by it's very nature.
  12. How can the head of an association named for and entirely made up of Speedway Promoters not be involved with a team? I can understand the argument for having an independent head of the SCB but impossible in the BSPA.
  13. Vince

    Men V Boys

    Personally I think far more of the difference is down to rose tinted glasses than any real difference in riding ability and todays riders in my opinion are willing to ride closer to the edge rather than settle for points. The style has changed with tracks and bikes but a modern bike on a slick track finds plenty of grip and riders who have throttle control are still the ones who win. It's just not as obvious as it used to be when they rolled right off, now it's more about very small adjustments. There's no lack of skill in comparison to the 60's when I started watching, if anything I would say that the average level is quite a lot higher. It's still a really tough sport that is ridden by lads who know how to take a knock and carry on. I used to work for Jimmy Squibb who rode from the 50's through to the 80's and in comparison to todays equivalent standard of rider he did very much better financially out of the sport. I'm sure most modern riders would welcome the opportunity to work as well but it's not so easy to work a job around Speedway these days. Do agree about the right foot being off the footrest though, just seems stupid to me, then again I can't ride a bike fast enough to need to do it!!
  14. I think whoever 'leads' the BSPA will struggle to make any significant difference to the way the sport is run. Understandably there are too many unwilling to upset the status quo and risk losing (even more of?) their money to take a punt on things that are unproven to make any real financial difference. That includes by far the vast majority of the things suggested on here. As far as Kings Lynn track goes they have put some different material on very recently that held moisture noticeably better than on my previous visits. Judging the track on the SWC qualifier is unrealistic given there was such a large difference in the standard of riders that good racing with passing would have been unlikely at most tracks. I've given my opinion on the return to 2V, uprights etc many times and they haven't changed. Whatever engines were in use by now they would be revving just as hard courtesy of light flywheels with a short stroke and make little or no difference to the cost or racing. If, and it's a big if, changing the engines is the answer then a rev limiter that would allow big flywheels and longer stroke engines to return would be my preference for allowing engines to deal with difficult and or deep tracks as well as increasing reliability.
  15. Round 5 of the DTRA National Flat track Championship is being held on Friday 7th July. The event will be live streamed and details will be on the Dirt Track Riders Association page on Facebook at 6pm. Classes running on Friday will be Pro, Restricted, Vintage, Thunderbikes and the final round of the Hooligan class. Kings Lynn generally throws up some good racing dependant on the weather and track conditions. Might be worth a look between SWC races
  16. Vince

    Gerhard Engine

    I think that is very often true but equally with the way riders get bikes so upright by hanging off the inside so early these days I think it's it's sometimes needed to keep their balance as well.
  17. Dirt Quake is a unique event that has mostly inexperienced riders competing on unsuitable machinery so it is fair to say they are 'poodling'. The allure is lost on many of us who race flat track the rest of the season but it is hugely popular, far more so than the DTRA Championship which is what I would consider 'proper' racing. Each to their own I guess and at least it does get a lot of motorcyclists attending a Speedway track. The report you included is actually from Friday nights DTRA Championship event which is still available to be seen on the Dirt Track Riders Association page on Facebook. Doubtless it will appear on youtube eventually. Keep an eye open for the Pro class B final which has an old feller on #95 leading it while there is a very spectacular crash behind him with a bike and rider managing to fly the length of the straight.
  18. Vince

    Swindon Stadium

    Let's hope it's like Belle Vue which seemed just as unlikely to ever happen for a while
  19. I think it would be relatively easy to say that if you have represented another country at international level you can't ride in the British national championship. It does make a mockery of the title.
  20. Vince

    Footwear In The Pits

    Its the claim culture that is the issue. If he wants to walk around in flip flops it's not a problem. If he gets hurt as long as he can resist the urge to grab a couple of grand it's still not a problem. Not sure if I was a promoter I'd be willing to risk having to pay out that couple of grand rather than get him to wear something appropriate.
  21. Vince

    Gerhard Engine

    Isn't that the point when we are talking about the Gerhard engine? Better engineering supposedly makes it more reliable and comparable to mainstream engines.
  22. Vince

    Gerhard Engine

    Plenty of modern single cylinder engines rev over 13000rpm with no problems.
  23. Vince

    The Dane Drain

    Didn't really work for a certain Welsh lad who went on to be a Promoter
  24. Vince

    The Dane Drain

    I think that is part of it but also, like with all the foreign lads, only the best and most dedicated get here in the first place so we don't see all the lads who don't make the grade like we do with the British lads. They also get a lot of help and advice from their fellow countrymen which isn't so much the case with British lads, that's not always the older British riders fault though. I think the asset system in the country is almost designed to hold back British youngsters as well. It has always been easier to get rid of an underperforming Brit rather than let him find his feet compared to a foreign rider doing the same although that has changed a little for the better. Youngsters probably do go into the NL too early, mine did but it's the only way to get them riding regularly enough to improve. As said by others second half racing is cancelled at the drop of a hat. We once turned up to a team second half at Swindon which was cancelled because Mads wanted to test an engine. When I asked Mads about it he had no idea the youngsters had been cancelled which I had guessed because he is one of those riders who is great with the kids. It wasn't urgent for him to test at all, he had mentioned it so the promotion cancelled the kids as they aren't important! He also told us how in Denmark he used to be able to pay £8 to ride all day any day at his local track, there is nothing as important as seat time.
  25. Vince

    What Makes A Good Speedway Track?

    Personally I think it's far more to do with the shape and dirt than the size. Generally I like small tracks although you don't get the same sensation of speed. Think Wolverhampton is great because the surface is generally prepared at its best to suit the track. Mildenhall on a good day is an example of a small track that rides like a much bigger one. The new Belle Vue looks great on video but also looks like it needs a really good motor to do well.

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