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Humphrey Appleby

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Humphrey Appleby last won the day on October 4

Humphrey Appleby had the most liked content!

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  1. Humphrey Appleby

    Grand Prix changes

    You could compromise by splitting the GP points between the qualifying heats and the knockout part. Maximum 15 points for qualifying, then award 15-10-5-0 for the Final which would pretty much ensure the winner got the most points except in some strange circumstances.
  2. Humphrey Appleby

    Grand Prix changes

    For wherever reason, Qatar apparently picked upon handball as a way to win something at the Olympics - a bit like Britain did with track cycling and skeleton. Speedway isn't an Olympic sport, not a mass participatory sport, and sadly winning something in it wouldn't even get noticed by most of the world.
  3. Humphrey Appleby

    Grand Prix changes

    Their remit was to ensure cash kept coming into the FIM to cover the prize money with a bit leftover, and to make a profit for themselves. That strategy relied on persuading enough promoters and tourist agencies to pay them for the privilege of holding a GP, whilst ensuring the sport got on television to attract sponsors. Perhaps in the early days there was some optimism that enough interest could be generated to take the SGP to bigger venues and new countries, but for various reasons the original incarnation of BSI seems to have out of capitalisation, whilst IMG(UK) made some poor investments in other areas and ended-up having to cut their cloth. I don't think the marketing of the SGP has been brilliant down the years, although I do think speedway is a hard sell to both television and sponsors nowadays. Too niche, too geographically restricted, and a difficult fan demographic.
  4. Humphrey Appleby

    Grand Prix changes

    A glorified best pairs competition is not really a World Cup though, is it? Would FIFA turn the Football World Cup into a Wembley Doubles tournament on the above basis? I think the SON format is far more a money saving exercise and to disguise the increasing lack of interest in hosting and participating it.
  5. Humphrey Appleby

    Grand Prix changes

    Most of those riders were riding when the GP was held in similar stadiums to what it is now.
  6. Humphrey Appleby

    Grand Prix changes

    Not really. The Gulf countries are trying to diversify their oil-dependent economies by attracting tourists, wealthy tax exiles, and sponsors who might invest in other sectors, but they're after the high-spending types and/or those with something invest. Speedway's audience sadly doesn't tick any of those boxes, is small and even worse is confined to a handful of countries rather than being global. I'd be amazed if hosting a speedway GP hasn't been investigated in some of these countries, but the rulers of these places aren't completely stupid.
  7. Humphrey Appleby

    Help bring back Oxford

    In the car park most likely.
  8. Humphrey Appleby

    Grand Prix changes

    What's the minimum number of points needed to qualify for the Semi-Finals? Probably something like 7, and then another 2 for reaching the Final, so that's 9. The maximum points a rider reaching the Final can score is 15 + 3, so 18. So award points in the Final - 1st = 30, 2nd = 20, 3rd = 10 and 4th = 0 - and add them to the heat and semi-final points. That way the top 3 will always score the most points...
  9. Humphrey Appleby

    0-0 ?

    In many motor sports, being within 10% of the track record is considered to be an acceptable speed. The 3 minute time limit is just there to ensure that a race can't last indefinitely, such as if a rider is pushing around. You could however, equally achieve the same effect by excluding riders if they are no longer under power, or if they fail to finish within a certain percentage of time after the winner (assuming there is a winner!).
  10. Humphrey Appleby

    0-0 ?

    Depends how you interpret 'racing' but in its strictest application you'd probably say taking the most optimal racing line at usual race speeds. I remember the Rick Miller case and it was over-zealous nonsense from the referee in the circumstances, but probably correct to the letter of the regulations. He was far from the only rider excluded for pulling wheelies whilst 'leading' though.
  11. Humphrey Appleby

    0-0 ?

    Quite aside from 'not making a bona-fide attempt to race', a heat has a time limit of 3 minutes. So the last rider could have an engine failure and not have time to push home, although not sure whether that would be actually classified as an exclusion or 'retired'. The last rider might also miss the two minute warning or touch the tapes with no reserve replacement available. In fact, all four riders in a race could conceivably be excluded this way. Another way would be for the last rider to fall themselves whilst 'genuinely making an attempt to race' and thereby be excluded as the primary cause of the stoppage.
  12. Humphrey Appleby


    Fans don't really come into it for the organisers. It's about finding enough venues willing to front up fees whilst taking the financial risk on the events, and ensuring there's sufficient television coverage to keep (potential) sponsors happy. And where there aren't enough willing victims to stage a GP, then a cheap venue is needed to keep the costs down even if that's in the middle of field...
  13. Humphrey Appleby

    Speedway Grand Prix

    Yes, Frisian canal vaulting was also never the same afterwards...
  14. Humphrey Appleby

    Andrew Edwards and Troy Pratt Interviews - Issue 93

    We communicated for quite a few years in the run up to his books being published, not least because I had some information he was interested in. He was perfectly fine until one day out of the blue I got an abrupt and rude message basically cutting off communication (although a year or so later made a conciliatory approach). I've no idea what I did, but it's pretty clear he did this to plenty of people so I don't lose sleep about it. Undoubtedly a great promoter, great thinker and good writer too, and knowing what I know now, someone probably someone who carried a significant amount of worry. But I don't buy into the hagiography.
  15. Humphrey Appleby

    Andrew Edwards and Troy Pratt Interviews - Issue 93

    Whilst John Berry was a very good promoter and clearly a great thinker about the sport, he was absolutely the wrong sort of person to be running the BSPA. He fell out with people at the drop of a hat and didn't talk to them for years, didn't tolerate fools glady and could be incredibly caustic. All very well when you're running your own show, but absolutely not the patient diplomatic qualities needed for dealing with different interests and building consensus. I suspect he'd have quickly got frustrated with the job and fallen out with everyone. Plus we've really only heard his perspective about those events down the years. His books and various articles were undoubtedly amongst the better reads in the speedway vernacular, but I'm sure there's another side to the story which largely seems to have gone untold, although it was hinted about in the Ian Thomas autobiography which was also a surprisingly good read.

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