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Everything posted by Vince

  1. Vince

    Swindon Stadium

    I thought for a newly laid section of track it held up brilliantly, at least as good as many tracks we see which have been 'settled' for years.
  2. Vince

    Swindon Stadium

    I imagine this topic will shortly be full of people admitting they were wrong and that the track changes made have worked out OK!
  3. Dave Aldana who was something of a legend due to being one of the stars of On Any Sunday (if you've not seen it get a copy if you've any interest in motorcycles other than Speedway. Very dated now but still the best motorcycle film ever made) an AMA Champion and also known over here for his Road Racing as part of the Transatlantic series has ridden flat track in the UK several times. Last appearance was at the MCN show at Peterborough last May and he did do the meeting at Oxford that you refer to I believe as well as at least one other. Really nice guy remembered for his skeleton leathers and still, in his mid 60's, a very decent rider. We've had other American Flat Track stars ride at DTRA meetings as well including another former Champion Chris Carr, Johnny Lewis and James Rispoli. 3 years ago we had former World Superbike Champion, Moto GP rider and current MotoGP commentator Colin Edwards racing my Yamaha at Peterborough as well. American Flat track is changing but like Speedway has a long way to go to be anything like as popular as it was decades ago. The changes are well received by some but much criticised by others as is the way with these things. The company doing the promotion did revive Nascar to a large extent so hopefully will have the same success in the long term. Anybody interested can watch the American Championship events live on https://www.fanschoice.tv/ and keep up with results via https://www.americanflattrack.com/ Keep an eye out for young Oliver Brindley who is a British lad working hard to make it at the highest level of the sport after learning the basics here. He rides in the singles class and so far has been right up there with the best of them this season. Unlucky to fall on the last corner while leading his semi final at Daytona he started on the back row for the final and worked his way up to 9th having been the fastest qualifier and winning his heat. he followed that up with a good fourth at the second round and now stands equal 5th in the Championship.
  4. Vince

    Darcy in Twitter rant

    I remember in the 60's if there weren't at least 5 passes in every heat, the meeting ran past 8.45 or one of the superstars shot off home without buying everybody a beer they used to refund double your entrance fee.....probably.
  5. I would say the exact opposite as 15 other riders also get 10 goes a season! In the one-off finals a single bad gate or a breakdown could see off some of the potential winners, that isn't the case now.
  6. Vince

    Keith Flint RIP

    All around motorcycle fan always seemed like a decent guy. Will be missed by quite a few teams and riders I think
  7. I think Both Barry and Martin have been around Speedway long enough to know how it works. I'd agree that they would probably end up powerless if they tried to change anything that might upset the old guard though.
  8. I would imagine anybody with an interest in keeping the sport alive.
  9. Vince

    Just One Race (or maybe two!)

    I was 11, Briggo was local to us and I'd met him a few times so as far as I was concerned Persson was the devil himself and a no hoper who knocked off the vice messiah (Mauger was the only true Messiah in my eyes) and robbed him of a certain title! In retrospect I will allow that it was a racing incident although Persson was mostly at fault and given that he finished 2nd in the meeting (if my memory is to be relied upon) was a long way from a no hoper and actually a very good but hard rider. Wembley was such a poor track to decide a World Championship that such passes were necessary I think. A Wembley final was a fantastic occasion though and we used to have two coaches go from our small village. Nowadays the village has doubled in size but you couldn't fill a mini bus with Speedway fans. Briggo had every chance of winning another title that night, he could usually pull it out at the big meetings but we'll never know.
  10. Vince

    Just One Race (or maybe two!)

    For me I think it would have been Eastbourne about 1977 and strangely it wasn't much of a race but the runaway winner was Gordon Kennett. The reason I remember it especially is it was the first time I'd ever seen a rider go four laps without shutting the throttle. I'd just got a Speedway bike and so was probably paying more attention than before and it really made me doubt my ability for the first time. Of course in later years I had no doubts about my ability, I became well aware I didn't have much of it! Other races I particularly remember are one with Christer Lofqvist passing Soren Sjosten (I think) third bend of the last lap after being a long way behind at Poole in the early 70's. Something Lofqvist was able to do often enough that it was widely assumed Mr Knott would put his hand in his pocket when it happened. Also Briggos crash at the Wembley World final when he lost his finger because the bike ended up a few feet from us. Hated Bernt Persson for years after but he turned out to be a really nice bloke.
  11. I can imagine the 2030 posts now "I remember when we had real men riding full size bikes and proper racing in 2019" Seriously I don't think reducing engine size will make much difference to the racing, if anything it would become more processional as they wouldn't be using throttle control to find grip. It would increase costs with smaller engines revving their nuts off.
  12. The track surface has changed a great deal the past few years at Kings Lynn, it used to be so grippy that plenty of decent riders really struggled to get turned. But those riders who could deal with it had lots of passing lines. It's a lot looser now and I think that is why the racing isn't as good. Whether the change is due to the track man, the shale available and/or the cost I have no idea but it's most definitely different.
  13. In MX and Flat track at least the transponders are all fitted on the top of the left fork leg between the yokes and everybody has to fit them in the same place. There are two wires about a foot apart in the ground and the transponder is recorded by them so instead of the front wheel it will be the top of the fork leg or for spectating purposes the handlebars are close enough. Can't see them being used for jump starts as that is another system and probably an expensive one.
  14. I just can't see how guest riders will ever stop new people coming through the door, unless of course they are told how terrible it is by an existing fan. It may well be a problem that costs the sport some existing fans but it's hard to see a way it can be resolved. Smaller teams will mean more riders sat on the sidelines waiting to race however they aren't going to wait forever they will retire from Speedway and race something else weekends. In fact the use of guest riders could be treated as a positive by explaining they are necessary because of how dangerous the sport is and how often teams are hit by injury. To me the racing is as good (and bad) as ever but the show has gone backwards if anything. They have tried to sanitise a sport that should be celebrating it's dirty, dangerous and aggressive side. People want to be entertained every minute of the evening now so something needs to be happening between races and while grading. Doesn't have to cost anything much, a local kids Trials club putting on some demos, the local cycle speedway club having some races on the back straight, local bands and so on. For those tracks that can use the centre green a cycle Speedway race between each heat is a natural fit I've always thought. I'm sure there are lots of other things people could suggest. But most importantly make the Speedway entertaining, everybody pretends to be horrified by crashes and punch ups but the sales of the crashes and cock ups videos are always much higher than any other and a punch up always sees a good crowd not only the following week but next time that team visits too. The sport is having all it's natural spectator appeal stifled.
  15. Vince

    Rev Limiters

    Tiger Cubs had a big end that would disintegrate within a few seconds as a secondary rev limiter though
  16. I think it should be one of the major promotional points along with the danger. Each to their own but in 50 ish years of going to Speedway I've never bothered with filling in a programme, then again I like individual meeting more than most team racing so I'm aware that I'm very much in the minority. If you want to keep the fans coming back following free entry I would suggest some good racing, a couple of spectacular crashes and a punch up between a couple of riders would be most effective. I'm with Rob Godfrey (for the first and very likely only time) on this one. I believe that although there were some great riders and racing in the past overall the quality of racing is higher now.
  17. Fair play for trying to come up with new ideas and transponders can only be a good thing in races. However of all motor sports Speedway is about being in front not necessarily about being fast so I don't think the qualifying is a good thing. If experience in other motorcycle sports is anything to go by there will be some surprises as to who the fastest one lap guys are in comparison to those who have been winning races.
  18. Vince

    Rev Limiters

    Why are you so convinced that a modern day two valve would be so much cheaper to maintain? The two extra valves, spring and seats aren't going to have a major impact on the cost and I just can't see the logic of your argument for 2v engines.
  19. Vince

    Rev Limiters

    I think it's a bit of a myth that the old engines were more reliable for starters. Even good Grass track riders would grind the valves and check the motors on a JAP every other meeting (some every meeting). I don't know about the Speedway boys but I remember the 2v Jawa was a big step up reliability wise. I used to strip my 2v more often than I did my sons 4v Jawa's although a lot of that was because I wasn't riding very often so had time to mess about. I have been told the most reliable engines between services were the 897 & especially the 898 4v Jawa's which I've been told would run all season at a good level with one rebuild. Even in the good old days riders like Briggs and Co would hire an engine from one of the top tuners for the big meetings for a fee plus a bonus if they did well and it could work out very expensive but worth it to the rider in terms of future income. The best riders always had the fastest engines and spent good money on having them tuned. Personally I think that getting back to long stroke engines with a rev limiter set to work at just below their normal ceiling would be a good start. Very simple to measure engine stroke and rev limiters so would be easy to police. Not sure it would reduce costs by a vast amount but would in my opinion give a bike that was safer to ride.
  20. Vince

    Rev Limiters

    All they would do is put two valve heads on very short stroke engines and with a bit of valve and porting work be very close to where we are now within days.
  21. A fair percentage of tracks just aren't available Friday night (still time off work to get there) Saturday or Sunday. I took amateur to mean they wouldn't be paid, certainly Mr Snackette seems to be making the argument they should be paying to ride.
  22. I think you should probably read what is in my posts rather than what you think I'm saying. I shall repeat without the completely unnecessary large bold lettering and keep it as simple as I can for you. I don't do not get paid to ride because I do not ride Speedway. As I have said repeatedly just like your son I travel all over England and pay to race (in my case flat track). In Flat Track there is very rarely any prize money, if there was at 57 I wouldn't get a sniff at it. What is good though is that I only race weekends so can take a decent job and work around my sport. My son did used to ride NL Speedway and as I have said elsewhere I financed him for 4 years and it took me the same amount of time afterwards to recover financially. We did all our own work on the bikes including my doing his engines so money wasn't going to tuners or on unnecessary go faster bits or bling. What hit hardest by a long way was the travelling costs and time away from work. My son riding Speedway cost far more than for the two of us to ride MX as we were doing previously or the two of us to do flat track as we do now. For most of that 4 years he was on NL base rate with Newport and the normal travelling allowance but it still cost a lot of money to ride for a team. I agree that Speedway in the UK is living beyond it's means at the moment. I do not agree that you can have team Speedway without paying the riders because nobody in their right mind would pay to race in Berwick on a Saturday, Newcastle on Monday and Somerset Friday when they could ride as an amateur at their local track on a weekend. There is also the small matter of finding work that allows you to meet that schedule then make re-scheduled rain offs at short notice. For far less money you have your choice of motorcycle sports that allow you to travel as far as you want to, race in conditions or on tracks that you like and never be forced to ride anywhere. That is what your son does and what I do, we chose when and where we compete. Now I don't know your personal experience of finding the finances to ride Speedway but even when I was a youngster I ran out of money before I ran out of even my small talent. I have proven that I have a grasp of the realities so instead of trying to belittle my opinion let us know exactly what experience and figures you have to back up your case. I still say that if you run Speedway as an amateur sport you will have exactly an extension of what you have now in amateur Speedway. That is riders competing mostly with their local clubs in various ability classes as individuals. If you have team racing it is generally those same riders split into groups and while fun for them it is nothing like league racing. In the main it won't matter because not many will pay to watch it and the tracks won't be able to meet the costs. The costs of league Speedway have to be reduced or the income increased but it can no way survive if it doesn't at least go some way to covering the riders expenses.
  23. THEY MAKE THAT CHOICE ONLY BECAUSE THEY CAN AFFORD TO AS THEY GET PAID FOR IT. IF THEY DON'T GET PAID TEAM SPEEDWAY WILL DIE BECAUSE IF THEY CHOOSE TO RIDE AS AMATUERS THE WILL DO SO LOCALLY AT WEEKENDS. TEAM RACING IS WHAT MAKES SPEEDWAY SPECIAL, BEING AVAILABLE TO RIDE ANY DAY ANYWHERE IS WHAT MAKES A SPEEDWAY RIDER SO BLOODY SPECIAL! DOES WRITING IN LARGE BOLD CAPITALS MAKE EITHER OF OUR POINTS MORE RELEVANT? I too travel the length and breadth of the country racing, however it is completely my decision when and where I ride just like it is your sons and I'm not riding several times some weeks. That is why we pay to race and in my case there is no prize money at all. I too do so because I love the sport I choose to participate in. However that is nothing to do with why Speedway riders need at least some payment as I explained in my last post. What the sport can afford is a different matter but almost nobody would be ale to afford to ride league Speedway unpaid.
  24. Like myself nobody tells your son when and where he can race. Nobody fines him if he doesn't fancy riding that day. Nobody will force him to ride in conditions he thinks are dangerous. Nobody expects him to travel the length and breadth of the country often at little notice in order to race in the middle of the working week. No other motorsport is a genuine team sport and therefore Speedway riders are a special case because there are expectations put on them that aren't put on other racers.
  25. Vince

    Rye House & Lydde

    What you saw at Stoke is no way comparable to what you get with the DTRA meetings from what I hear from those who rode. I think when other people run flat track meetings it takes them a few goes to adapt, it did at Rye House and could well do so at Stoke. I thought you meant another organisation for flat track but for amateur Speedway there are a few clubs running now and they seem to do OK for entries. Again I'm not convinced that another organising body is needed (you would have to battle for the right to call it Speedway for starters) although I'm sure that if there was track time available another club wouldn't hurt.

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