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    Rider replacement

    I think Ledwith deserves his chance like any other rider after such a long time away from the sport he could have been a total waste of time but he would appear still have it and be prepared to have a go .The league has lost Atkin and Armstrong over the last couple of years so the "Vet" balance IMO is about right , he may do a season another match or god forbid is a broken bone from retirement again .There are so many other issues with this sport that a few older riders in the NL is neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things.

    Hard Riders Of The Past Any Thoughts?

    Tom & Joe Owen ,Tom was a little too ruthless for my liking IMO it was to make up for a lack of skill against better riders where as Joe was just superb an artist on a bike what a cruel end to brilliant career.

    A favourite speedway era

    The 70's started going in 1972 it just seemed that the sport was buzzing had a lot of media attention then as well loads of articles in the Press each day and Ivan had won 4 W/Champs three of those on the "spin" !!!!!!

    The oldest active rider

    Makes Greg Hancock youngster ,who I suspect is in reality the oldest active rider in the true sense of the word and still very much at the top of the tree !
  5. IMO it has to start from the bottom up they are the future of the sport able to adapt and are not looking to be making a living at this stage in their careers.
  6. I don't see any instant cure to this problem but do feel that the tail has wagged the dog for many years and the main issue IMO is there must be constructive long term changes that benefit the sport as a whole and not the choosen few .It is quite obvious that we can't go back to a two valve strapped on the back of an old bagger,however there must be somewhere in the middle that is achievable . We are for ever hearing why changes can't be made ranging from cost to safety but I do think that on many occassions it is due to certain personal intrest's clouding the issue . IMO most riders start off racing a s/way bike for the fun ,thrill and not the money ,this come later once they find they have the ability to go places in the sport that's when the dynamics of the situation change.The demands of the sport are known to the riders from day one and they alone must decide whether the risk to life and limb are worth it ( I think that the rewards are dreadful compared to other m/sport)and realise that they will not make a fortune along the way . IMO if a person wants to become wealthy and retire by the time he is 40 yrs old s/way is not the way forward it has always only been IMO a paying short term hobby . IMO the Nl should have standard engines ( 2yr period to change over )I bet some of the machinery could be sold to Champ /league rider to reduce losses with aplan to bring the same idea to the Champ league in say 4yrs.This would IMO do two things cut costs and level the playing field which would make for better racing .The Prem /league would be a harder nut to crack because you have the odd GP rider but if they are the best in the world they should be able to adapt to a standard motor if one was used. I would leave the GP riders for the elite engines and tuners plus all the unnecessary/expensive bolt on's and I wonder how many of them except the likes of Hancock will leave the sport with a big bank balance! One final note it is only my own personal view but the GP's stopping most of w/end speedway in this country has damaged the attendances of the sport as a whole .

    Riders Who Never Made It?

    One thing that i always find slightly irritating is that riders are considered failures if they never make top league and people say was only a lower league heat leader ,that IMO is an achievement in it's self .There can be many reason why riders don't live up the their potential one thing that was often said was let's see what they are like after having a serious crash/injury ( not that anyone wished such a thing ) because that then brings home the true cost of being a s/way rider.

    Riders Who Never Made It?

    That was his best year at top level Bill Bridgett approached us for John to ride at Wolves that year because he had Jimmy Mac and George Hunter in the team and they would look after him ,his job was to gate and they would take care of thye opposition .John was at that time one of the fastest riders in British s/way (holding a number of track records) on engines tuned by brother Fred it worked treat we had a fab season . It was pobable the best season of his career and with hindsight we should then have gone full time Gulf league but my father wanted to watch him each week at Elle Port and he was his main sponsor ,he would not have been as generous had John moved up . Sponsorship and financial backing often have a major effect on riders careers for obvious reasons !

    Riders Who Never Made It?

    Having known John Jackson well his issue of making it to the very top was all in his head the fact that he found riding a s/way bike so easy had a negative affect when the going and opposition got tough .

    Riders Who Never Made It?

    Much is said about Phil Collins IMO he was the least committed of the Collins family ( make no mistake he was an excellent rider) but again I always got the impresssion it didn't matter to him as much as it needed to be a superstar as it were .It was a natural step for him to enter the sport just like the rest of his brothers but for me Peter and Neil just had the killer instict .Phil could have been world class he just was not that interested enough in the sport to do so and that is IMO the reason why he left the sport at his peak.

    Riders Who Never Made It?

    I remember Chris Turner at Elle Port and he was a decent h/leader rode at five from memory and put some good scores together ,I was shocked that he finished so young but without sounding cruel he did not have that killer instint . There was and remains IMO a huge physiological void between the two upper leagues , you have to be has hard as nails to survive in the top league as there is no where to hide .

    Stoke 2019

    A bit harsh I think Vasey did his best IMO under difficult conditions to say the least ,he had great passion for the sport and I hope he finds something else where . Has Tony Atkin finally retired from the sport as a rider he seemed to disappear half way through last season , if so I would like to wish him a happy retirement he has been a credit to the sport .

    AGM November 2018

    PHIL riders have juggled jobs and riding in the past as they realised that for many it was at best a paying hobbie ,I also think that they were less bothered about the latest bolt on's .I know the sport has moved on and costs have escalated beyound reason,riders need at least two bikes etc ,there is a need for this machinery to last more than a season which would surely make it more viable .

    Best Race Suit Ever?

    Ivan always seemed to hit the mark with his race suits he and Ole were always immaculately turned out Simmo was another they just looked dressed for work as it were IMO, Hancock's are always eye catching as well seem to stand out at the GP's .
  15. Many thanks to all for a great service which is much appreciated

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