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  1. Hawk127

    Why speedway is failing

    Perhaps if tracks put on meetings that included different classes of bike so that youngsters could look at coming in at an entry level of say 80cc or 125cc. Apart from those in the know many potential riders know nothing about the graduated levels which might be more affordable to start off and if the existing tracks marketed the entire range to encourage youngsters it might just be enough to trigger a younger following. As it is most see the sport ( I use the sport word loosely) 500cc machines costing a fortune on top of everything else you need to get started which in the early stages is funded by families and relatives. Make it cheaper for youngster to try it out and go back to encouraging grass track bikes or short track bikes to participate. Make the entertainment an event not just a meeting. A few clubs run some of the meetings with a range of classes but the majority of the main tracks/speedway promoters do themselves no favours by sticking to a boring 15 heat format with riders who dictate the track, grading etc. Why not start an event with some different classes building up to the main event making if you must, the league meeting as the final nights entertainment. And don’t mention about the weather and potential call offs if conditions change, so what, set the bikes up to race in prevailing conditions. Speedway really needs to up its game or simply close down, the current format is old hat, slow presentation, gardening, riders that rarely go straight back to a start if the ref calls them back but instead pit gates open and both riders and mechanics who fart about which could in effect give a rider an unfair advantage. Speedway needs to change but seems incapable of helping itself.
  2. Hawk127

    Why speedway is failing

    A selective response to an overview which in my view has accurately described the sad state that speedway finds itself in and has little chance of recovery without a major sea change. Let’s face Speedway has lost its way, promoters, club owners, managers and local sponsors are delusional and what you had way back in the 70’s and beyond was entertainment with the elite of world riders gracing U K tracks plying their trade and offering entertainment with up and coming talent given the chance either through second halves or via a reserve spot to take on the great and good of the sport. The training and honing your track craft is lost on the current crop of gate and go merchants. One thing that is indisputable is that the sport in this country is in serious decline and we may well lose, for a variety of reasons, the likes of Eastbourne, Swindon, Peterborough, Newcastle, Poole, Birmingham and who knows which other tracks that are under the threat of housing development etc. and/or are for financial reasons borderline cases to continue in 2022. I like many regret the sad state that speedway finds itself in and having been to meetings since 1968 it has had its peaks and troughs but it is a simple format which can entertain except that the riders are not committed to the clubs and the promoters are held to ransom by the riders whose interest ceases at the bank account. That is fine but most riders treat the supporter/customer with such contempt they do not deserve the following. Most of the riders in the upper echelons are so far removed from reality and that state of speedway in the U.K. that they need to get real.
  3. Hawk127

    Why speedway is failing

    Mikebv sums it up nicely. Anyone who really thinks that you have a local team is in the main deluded. You have individual riders who are self employed and financially need to look after to number so will ride for anybody anywhere as long as they are earning. Individuals who rarely team ride or look out for their partner in a heat. So you have individuals who conveniently link themselves to a club name for their own benefit. No loyalty no local input, rarely out and about locally promoting their’ club and dictating when they ride, the type of track and not forgetting the weather has to be perfect. If a cat or dog pisses on a track, let’s abandon the meeting. People wonder why no one wants to be a major sponsor and TV uses the sport as a filler. Wholesale changes needed but it will never happen. It has lost its way and can never be compared to the set ups in other countries. It has fallen on its sword.
  4. Amongst the general public, speedway in the U.K. ranks somewhere between lawn mower racing and conkers so understandable. It really is not on many people’s radar and those presenting news programmes have little or no knowledge of any sports apart from football, rugby, tennis, cricket and formula 1. Possibly horse racing but only the major meetings. Speedway is a niche sport not even well supported by motor bike enthusiasts and it is run by lunatics who have been let out of the asylum for too long.
  5. Not seen it hence the question so not confused at all, just curious but no longer. I have seen the American car racing and it ranks alongside paint drying and counting nails in B & Q. Thanks for the reply.
  6. Noticed that the above programme is on Freesports. Has anyone seen it? I guess it is road bikes but probably does not help the general using Speedway in the title when most would expect the conventional form of racing.
  7. Sad indictment that the good name of Ipswich witches has reached its nadir thanks to inept performances by too many. Let everyone hope that the proud name regroups for next season and invites riders who want to do well for Ipswich first and foremost. It is a shame that the team is fodder for every other team in this league. A clear out Is needed and I would also make changes at the top. Hawkins needs to go along with at least five of the current line up. Fresh start and new hope cannot be achieved without wholesale changes. This alongside a change in presentation and something more that 15 heats of four laps interspersed with gardening and tractor speed trials no longer cuts it. CL sits on the top table so do something about the sad state that the sport is in and do something about re-establishing Ipswich as a force to be reckoned with and not a laughing stock who are currently taking the p of every fan who has loyally supported the club.
  8. Totally agree. Any rider who drives around the country to gain track time and experience deserves praise for putting himself on the line even for little return. I wish a few more experienced riders would make the effort. I just hope that he does not lose heart.
  9. Hawk127

    Speedway to reinvent itself?

    I think that the IOW appeals to the non speedway purist who wants to be entertained over a period of time with a variety of two wheeled action and other distractions. Speedway as many know it and has operated for years cannot survive as you have too few teams and fewer riders who have actually honed their craft and know how to set up a machine for the range of track conditions that the prevailing U.K. weather requires. The sport needs an open policy that allows tracks to remain open and offer entertainment on days/nights that suit. Ignore Europe and with the tracks that are left run fortnightly on Friday, Saturday and Sunday between April and October and most of all go out to provide an evenings entertainment not 15 races with gardening interspersed with tractor time trials and many examples of restarts with the mechanical clowns trying to rectify what they failed to do before the first attempt to run the race. If a race needs to be restarted, the riders need to get back to the start not fart about making adjustments giving an unfair advantage. The sport is old hat and it fails to attract new followers and fails to try something new. It is dictated by riders who expect the unattainable in terms of track conditions and weather capped with promoters/club owners who think what they offer needs no change. These two need to ask themselves why the numbers on the terraces are falling. Sadly they have no interest in the punter or the potential entertainment value that a professionally run sport could offer. The current crop of riders (with few exceptions) and promoters apart from two or three really deserve each other and can be proud that their actions are central to the decline of speedway in this country and fully responsible for where it sits today.
  10. Hawk127

    RIP British Speedway

    I really do not think that it matters whether Buster has recently had rider experience. In years gone by riders honed their craft and knew how to control the machine in a variety of track conditions and could work the track. Today you seem to have machines where riders are simply passengers and many are a far cry from the experience that prevailed in the 60’s through to the 80’s. Riders have the right not to take to the track but if a rider is prepared to give it a go to see if it is rideable then why not allow the trial to go ahead. Referees are unlikely to have the same experience as a rider and frankly should allow some benefit of the doubt to the riders. How often do you hear from the top riders criticism of referees who make a call but have little or no knowledge of the bikes/riders and the track conditions. No rider wants to deliberately injure a colleague or competitor but speedway is a risk sport and those that compete know the consequences of their actions. Buster, love him or hate him, knows how to prepare a track and would not go out of his way to raise the risk of injury by preparing a duff track and riders should know the bikes and arrange them set ups to suit the conditions so it is a case of give and take. Unfortunately riders today want perfect conditions and neither the sport, the weather or the tracks will rarely offer this as an option and those who are looking for the ideal world should sell their machines and look for another job and stop letting down the punters who turn out to see racing. Any right minded businessman would not invest in the current set up and if the figures stack up re bangers and stock cars where I believe most competitors pay to compete in a meeting, then why the hell run a speedway team. Get back to part timers etc and those who think they are so good enough, ply your trade in Poland or elsewhere and you will then soon receive a wake up call to your worth.
  11. Hawk127

    RIP British Speedway

    Perhaps riders at KL should have a spare bike set up as a ice speedway machine. Bruce Cribb manage several laps round IOW so why not use the set up on wet tracks? I then remembered that the riders don’t like getting their kevlars dirty. Oh well add riders to those who really are hell bent on bringing the sport to it knees. Don’t spout about rider safety, anyone with the skills as was the case in the 60’s70’s and 80’s could ride wet tracks and those tracks covered in sawdust. Tracks became more rideable with use but today’s wimps are on over powered machines with no real track craft and most would have failed as competitive riders had they had to compete in years gone by. No wonder the sport is in the state it is in.
  12. What is the future for the witches given a poor season, the rumoured sale of Peterborough and Kings Lynn and the possible demise of one or two other tracks. Hopefully the sport can survive but it looks grim for speedway. Has it reached its nadir?
  13. Hawk127

    RIP British Speedway

    No one with half a brain would invest in a speedway track run under the current structure. Sadly a few owners have dragged the sport down to a point where the only survival route is probably amateur riders racing on open licensed tracks and a maybe a mini league. The BSPL had the opportunity to do something different this year but decided on a tried and failed product formula. If the stories are true and you have the futures of Swindon, Birmingham, Newcastle, Eastbourne, Peterborough, Kings Lynn, Poole (track ownership) and possibly one or two more in doubt then sadly speedway in the U.K. will be a shadow of its former self and possibly resemble France in terms of league racing and Belgium/Netherlands in terms of individual events. The fans and supporters are not to blame, many turn out each week but are pissed on from a great height by club owners and the governing body is solely responsible for systematic failures including squandering t v revenues and pricing the sport beyond those who would have given it a go as well as looking down its own nose on those from grass track etc who may have given it a go. None of those in charge have the balls to come on this forum and be answerable to the supporters. Gentlemen and Ny Ladies, you are cowards and much more you have driven the sport to the point of dying out completely. Your failure to even acknowledge the punter whose hard earned cash you take each week is a disgrace and you should hang your heads in shame except that you have no morals. To the directors, board and whatever you call yourselves on the BSPL you are a disgrace to the sport.
  14. Hawk127

    Eastbourne 2020

    I hope the writing is not on the wall for Eastbourne or any team as the sport struggles now with fewer clubs and so the adage of a track near you to watch it live becomes less and less of a true marketing statement. I am sure many supporters would rather have a competitive team at a lower level which can wash its face cost wise through the season than have no team at all. Covid is not to blame for the state of speedway, it may be a minor factor in terms of cross border rider availability but the flaws in the finances of the clubs are down to the club owners where for some it is a hobby and not a business. Riders, owners and supporters need to accept that the money is not around for a sport like speedway and so it needs to operate at a level that is realistically affordable. The governing body also needs to get its head out of the sand and allow various operating models in order to keep tracks open such as open licences and allow other ‘IOW’ projects to run without threats to riders livelihoods. It is the self interest of a few promoters that are bringing the sport to its knees and with outside pressures such as the demand for house building etc. tracks become targets for development so the need to keep them operating cannot be understated yet the few on the top table seem plough a furrow that suits their patch rather than work for the collective good of all tracks. The BSPL had a chance to reinvent the sport this year and offer something different given all the likely issues with riders etc but instead they ran with an outdated boring business model, insisted on race nights when it really made no difference due to overseas travel restrictions and seemingly failed to understand why it might be necessary to carry out a SWOT analysis. Had they even thought about this then you would have a very different outcome and just maybe a few tracks could have opted to do something different rather than be coerced into doing something that benefits only a few operators. Let’s hope some sense prevails before we have nothing left.
  15. Hawk127

    Speedway to reinvent itself?

    I agree with most of what you say but the description used is not going to work. You have promoters (leaping Len Silver or Dave Lanning) no longer allowed to wind up the crowd, character riders who were the baddies no longer exist except NP and the rest is muted compared to the 70’s and 80’s. What it needs is some excitement put back into the sport. For example using six riders run the first part of a meeting as two rider two lap match races, then run pairs and finally draw names randomly for one on one match races but with handicaps so that if a number one rider is drawn against a number six they start off a handicap. It needs something that is fast furious and snappy, not the gardening diehards who if an infringement at the start, go back and basically fart about for five minutes before a restart. What happened to the back to the tapes without the pit gate being opened. The current situation is pathetic throwback and will hardly excite the potential audience who don’t want inordinate breaks between four laps of processional racing. It needs some umph not the flop that league racing more often than not offers.

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