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Everything posted by Vince

  1. Loads of pre war motorcycle engines had 4 valve heads. Neil Street told me that prior to leaving home to come to the UK he knew little about engines but during the weeks on board ship he continually stripped and rebuilt his speedway bike to fully grasp how it all worked. Certainly he was a highly skilled engineer if self taught and understood every nuance of a Speedway engine. In the early part of this century he had absolutely no doubt that he could manufacture an engine that would be both faster and more reliable than either the GM or Jawa and having spent many hours talking engines with him I never doubted it. He saw no point in doing it because he said any ideas he had would just be pinched by others and he would get nothing out of it, he never told me how he would go about it though . Max Richards had a Wal Phillips laydown JAP over his place a couple of years ago, can't remember what year it was but either 40's or early 50's I think. I have a photo somewhere I'll look out. For what it's worth I'm pretty sure that Jack Parker, Peter Craven and Co would have been able to ride a modern bike at the highest level and am equally sure that Tai Woffinden, Greg Hancock etc would have been top riders on a Douglas, Rudge, JAP or 2v Jawa. I do think many people massively underestimate the skills needed by modern riders.
  2. How long before somebody says that Hancock let him through in the first race because they have the same sponsor?
  3. I'd bet Scott Nicholls would say that Tai Woffinden is a better rider than he was at his peak. Of the names mentioned that I have seen ride I can only think of Peter Collins and Michael Lee having any claim to be better (never saw Peter craven or those who came before him so can't offer a sensible opinion). Peter Collins had fantastic skills and was very exciting to watch, like Tai his gating was inconsistent but I would say Tai is a little better. He could pass anywhere on the track, generally on the outside but where I think Tai shades it is in his ability to produce the big ride when the pressure is really on. Michael Lee had a huge natural talent to ride a bike fast, quite probably more natural talent than Tai. However with his work ethic at the time of his peak he would not have stood a chance in todays Speedway where a fitness regime is such an important part of being truly world class. I apologise if I've taken this thread off at a tangent and made it about Tai Woffinden.
  4. No not now, so because it is more difficult to win over a series of events rather than just about qualify then win one meeting there are a smaller number of realistic title contenders. However given that any one of those 15 or 16 riders can realistically win a GP that also means that if it were a one off final any one of them would have been capable of winning it. I don't remember a one off final in the years I've been following Speedway (about 50) that had that many realistically potential winners. 3 of those riders have the same sponsor but are in no way a team where the season starts with 2 helping the other you continually saying it doesn't make it any less nonsense. Towards the very final rounds it is possible that one might make it a little easier for the other if it were about winning a championship. However no more so than some of the other lads, who are part of the same National or domestic teams, or any others who are good friends. Certainly it was no secret that on one-off World Final night bungs and favours would be used to help secure an extra point or two. In fact I know of a rider who took part in a 50's final knowing he had no hope of winning telling me that he went there with the sole aim of making as much money as possible.
  5. I would say that genuine title contenders for 2019 are Woffinden, Zmarzlik, Lindgren, Janowski and Hancock possibly Dudek. Any one of the 15 regulars and as proved in the past some of the wildcards could win a GP. That means that at any round there are at least 15 riders who could have won an old style World Championship where one exceptional night was good enough. That's a very strong field better than any of the one off World Finals I attended. I don't know what you were watching as I thought the series was very good this year with only a couple of not so good meetings and the tension around the title there until the final meeting. The racing at most of the Gp's was miles better than any final I ever saw at Wembley too.
  6. My son once beat Tai fair and square, unfortunately because of the GP system he isn't recognised as the worlds greatest rider at this time. I can assure you that is the reason and it is nothing to do with him thinking he was billy big balls way too early and not working hard enough to even get out of the NL.....and not having the talent Tai has in his little finger.....bloody GP's he would have been world champion in the 70's
  7. The one thing I know for certain is that when I first went to Speedway as a young kid in either 1967 or 68 there was no shortage of people to tell you how much better it was in the old days or how much better the riders and bikes were! I have no problem with opinions but surely they should be based on some knowledge and when I see modern day riders disparaged as all they have to do is hold the throttle wide open and hang on it does bite. The bikes have changed and so have the tracks but a modern bike drives as hard on a slick track as an old one did in deep dirt. Anybody who thinks decent modern riders don't use fantastic throttle control to go fast doesn't pay enough attention to what is going on.
  8. Ah! Another top class meeting remembered for the entertaining racing.
  9. I look forward to your demonstration of just how easy it is. A bit of dirt on the track!! It was a mess.
  10. After watching that video just remember he would only have been an average rider in the days when every race was fantastic and the riders so much more skilled on engines that lasted 10 seasons before servicing and were all exactly equal because nobody tuned them, also winning one meeting was so much harder than scoring the most points over a series . He's lucky to be around when Speedway is such an easy sport to win.
  11. The GP finds the best, most consistent rider over the course of a season on a variety of tracks and in varying conditions, I can't see a better way of producing a true World Champion. Some of the old World Finals were great and dramatic but everybody forgets those that were crap.
  12. No point because they will kill their speed and he'll ride around them, seems he is the only one can stay quite so tight and still carry speed down the straight.
  13. I couldn't disagree more. Even if the cut back was his only first turn move he has lots of versions of it. He can go in deeper than just about anybody else and still make the turn back, his best skill for me though is when off an outside gate and he cuts back early but still manages to get drive down the straight, I have never seen anybody else do that near as well. However he can also make decent gates and from gate 1 can control the other riders without any dives to the fence, just moving enough to take their run away. Also from gate 1 he can stay tight and still lead down the back straight against the worlds best riders. As I say in 50 years he is the best rider I have ever seen through turns one and two on the first lap. There is no way that he would have been an average rider in any era. It's a bit like when everybody used to say that Maugers only skill was gating, it might have been the way he won many of his races but he could do everything else as good as the best too.
  14. Who do you think is missing from the current series that could win a Championship. On the other hand under the old system you could have a potential winner out of the World Championship in the first round. I went to some of the Wembley finals and while they were great occasions there was a deal of luck involved with gate positions let alone mechanical problems or injuries and don't ever forget it was possible to buy points off those who had a bad night toward the end of the meeting.. Great events but not the best way to find the worlds best rider that year in my opinion. One other thing to remember was that Wembley World finals didn't produce much in the way of great racing, certainly in these days of instant comment they would be slaughtered as race meetings.
  15. You could equally argue that past British Champions only had to put 5 decent rides together on one night. The weather and track could have suited their riding style perfectly and they became World Champion. Likewise a single fall or breakdown break down by a rival could take them out of contention. In the GP series this year Tai will probably have to have around 50 good rides on different size tracks with different surfaces over several months to become Champion. Personally I think that takes a lot of the luck out of winning. The skills required today might be a bit different but I firmly believe that todays riders are at least as talented as their forebears and the top riders of any generation could have been there at any time. No way to know for sure whether Peter Craven or Tommy Price could have won a World Championship now but I suspect they could and I equally believe Tai could have ridden in their style and been at the very top in their era. I keep reading that todays riders don't have so much skill but I think it's complete nonsense, todays bikes are different but if you think all they do is pin the throttle and hang on you are very wrong. I'd put Tai right up there with the best of British riders and on results he is clearly the best. Not only that as I've said elsewhere I think he is the best first turn rider I have ever seen of any nationality in the 50 years I've been following the sport.
  16. Vince

    Robert Lambert

    I think he would benefit from another years experience before being in the gp's in 2020.
  17. Vince

    Speedway vs Moto GP

    I like bikes full stop and all racing has good and bad days. With sports other than Speedway I think that TV makes them look better because if the leader clears off they can usually find somebody racing even if it's for 15th place. I think the Speedway GP's are brilliant entertainment but like Moto GP equally, for me though the best racing is BSB where there is very little in the way of rider aids. I'd agree that the Speedway we see now can be better than I've ever seen in the past but a bad meeting can be dire. Generally Speedway, with the exception of the GP would be better served by highlights programs in my opinion. For many I think the popularity of Road Racing is about seeing bikes they or their mates have doing amazing things (OK they might not be the same but they look like it).
  18. You'll struggle to find any mention of the World Titles making him the best British rider in my post. Best British rider is what I said and what I meant, irrespective of World titles although you don't get them by being lucky in a GP series. Woffinden is a much better first turn rider, Doyle is very hard and usually comes out of it well when it is 50/50, Woffinden has the skill to come out of it well when behind whether that's his bad gate or the track. I rate Doyle very highly when it comes to determination and hard riding and like watching him ride but he's a little behind a couple of the other top guys when it comes to skill in my opinion.
  19. I've been watching Speedway since the mid 60's and Woffinden is the best British rider I have seen, might have been others who could be brilliant on their day but I've never seen one as consistently great. Not only that he is the best 1st turn rider I've ever seen of any nationality. I'd struggle to think of any riders who were FAR better and he still has plenty of time to catch those who are only just ahead of him in my opinion. As for the GP it started off badly but improved and ended up being far better than I expected. Woffinden did what only the very best can do and pulled the wins out of the hat when it really counted. Without bad luck he'll be a well deserved 3 times World Champion. He has also matured into a Champion kids can look up to, you only have to see his response to the disqualification at the last round to know that, he must have wanted to scream and shout but didn't.
  20. Schedule for this years British Dirt track Championship 7/8th April 2018 Kings Lynn 19/20th May Peterborough (MCN Show) 9/10th June Redcar 7/8th July Greenfield TT (Lincs) 11/12th August Amman Valley 15/16th September Greenfield oval. Two other events are on the 5/6th May at Lelystad, Holland there is Hells Race which I think will icorporate a round of the Hooligan Championship 18th August at Arena Essex is the Dirt Quake event. New for 2018 is a change of sponsor with Dunlop becoming a headline sponsor and supplying the control tyres. There will also be a different format at some rounds with the Pro and Intermediate classes being mixed for qualifying and then moving onto finals which should mix things up a bit. All the Championship events are being run over two days because of the large increase of participants across all adult classes.
  21. No way you can have a concrete starting pad, the dirt will disappear from either side leaving a big ridge to get over, especially on smaller tracks riders are often sideways at that point as well. I've long said I think you should get choice of gates (1&3 or 2&4) when x points behind rather than any sort of tactical scheme. Maybe the start line should be slightly slanted with gate 4 a foot or two further forward than gate one. As for the statistics on gate success I think you need to know who goes onto the back straight in the lead rather than race winners.
  22. I don't think the FIM know what Speedway is!
  23. Appalling decision by the Ref that gives every appearance of being corrupt but the whole start situation was made worse by a start marshall who must have wanted his 15 minutes of fame. He was such a pain in the arse that by that stage of the meeting everybody had learned to ignore him.
  24. Round 3 of the BMR Flat Track series at Rye House runs Saturday 25/8/18. Racing from midday, entrance for spectators is £5, burger bar is usually open and there has been some good racing at the first two rounds. Classes for pro/ expert, restricted/ intermediate, rookie/ novice, minibikes and vintage. If you come along say hi to the old fart riding No 95 in the pro class if you aren't too embarrassed to be seen with him after seeing him ride.
  25. Vince

    Plan to save the Sport

    It'll never work with 4 valve bikes, re-introduce the DT Douglas and the plan is perfection.

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