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  1. falcace

    Heat details 1986 British Open Pairs

    Maybe. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder....and tbh, I am utterly biased in this discussion having grown up watching Mort at Hyde Road. His World Final record is shocking. No arguments on that front. But doesn't really fairly reflect where he was at. Not many riders have a CV like this... World Pairs winner (as top scorer) World Team Cup winner (as top scorer) Intercontinental winner BLRC winner British Final winner 9 times in BL top 10 averages (six times with a 10+ average) 2nd most capped England rider ever, over 100 Seven times World Finalist Like Mort, I don't think you could ever say that there was a year when Adams, Crump, Moran or Knudsen were the best in the world. But his CV is at least comparable and arguably better than those names. Certainly better than Ashby or Schwartz.
  2. falcace

    Heat details 1986 British Open Pairs

    Agree with that assessment. I think he falls into the "best rider never to....." camp because I think there are actually very few cases of riders who were World Champion material who never made it to the top step. Ward is the obvious one, older fans might say Tommy Jansson (though I'm not sure the compelling evidence was there) and for riders who did enjoy full careers you'd be hard pressed to find a better candidate than Leigh Adams for sheer world class longevity. Mort's in there with Phil Crump, Shawn Moran, Tommy Knudsen and the like...top, top riders, just never quite good enough to win it.
  3. falcace

    Heat details 1986 British Open Pairs

    All 20 heats of Norden are on YouTube and Mort has a cracking race with Mitch Shirra...which put him on 6 at the interval...so, in with a shout. But also earning those 6 points, 4 of them were from behind. No rider, no matter how good, could win a World Final earning two-thirds of their points from behind. I'd agree that he was never clearly in the world's best three across a year, but he was in the world's top riders for the thick end of a decade. There were certainly worse riders who climbed on a World Final podium...it would have been a fair reflection for Mort to have done that once.
  4. falcace

    Heat details 1986 British Open Pairs

    Would've been nice. But as brilliant as he could be, I don't think he was ever quite good enough to be World Champion, probably in the world's top 5 or so in 1980/81? A rostrum appearance would have been an achievement in keeping with his ability.
  5. falcace

    Heat details 1986 British Open Pairs

    Thanks very much. I realise it wasn't the biggest event, but I remember the field being strong, great racing and Chris Morton being absolute dynamite on the day, despite being (virtually) on his own. Gundersen only held him off by a tyre width in his first race. My dad and I left thinking he could win the World Title a week later in Poland. If only! Also remember Soldier Boy having a go at PC (very publicly of course) over looking the pits. Sadly, PC just seemed to have lost interest at that time.
  6. Has anyone got the results from the 1986 British Open Pairs at Sheffield, 24/08/86. Thanks in advance
  7. falcace

    For or against the GP series.?

    ps. sticking with John Davis...this is a cracking little documentary... In many ways, it inadvertently puts it in a nutshell. I don't think there were many riders around then who would have had the foresight and vision to bring something like this to fruition on TV and provide a brilliant showcase for him and his sponsors. On the other hand, it also shows that he was a notch below the likes of Carter and Morton (who have a belting race here).
  8. falcace

    For or against the GP series.?

    ...and Vaclav Verner won the Yorkshire TV Trophy ahead of Lee and Penhall....and Reg Wilson won the Jubilee Trophy ahead of Mauger and Autrey. Good night's work for those riders, but pretty meaningless in the grand scheme. I don't imagine Mauger and the rest lost too much sleep either. I don't want to come across as knocking Davis. As above, I think he got the maximum from himself. I don't think it as been mentioned...but at one time (and possibly still holds true?) he reached more British Finals than any other rider. Which is testament to his professionalism and longevity. But I don't think its plausible to suggest any World Final was poorer for his absence, that just doesn't paint an accurate picture. He was a good rider for a long time, but that's it. There's a good reasons why through Davis' career he remained a fringe rider for England and guys like Louis, Simmons, PC, Jessup, Lee, Morton, Carter and later on Wigg, Doncaster and Tatum were automatic picks for a few years each.
  9. falcace

    For or against the GP series.?

    Thanks for that. I must say, I don't dismiss Davis as a nobody. He was decent enough and actually, I'd have him down as someone who got the maximum from his ability. But when I see that list, its main thrust is that he could do well at Wimbledon. That doesn't mean he was an elite rider. The Master of Speedway is probably the best of that list. The 1977 WTC, well, that was a time when England's biggest opposition would be England B or England C. The Czech Golden Helmet is also a great one to win, but was he beating a keyed up Nielsen, Gundersen, Sanders, Knudsen, Moran, Morton, Wigg etc? Stancl doesn't quite cut it for elite.
  10. falcace

    For or against the GP series.?

    Surprised John Davis being mentioned as a top rider. I just never saw him that way at all. I'm sure I read somewhere Mavis himself suggesting he could have been world champion under a GP system, which is laughable. Stick him on a slick dust bowl and he could be competitive with his gating and good equipment, but talent wise, he was never in the world's elite. He couldn't hold his line effectively like a world class rider can. Most races in which he features on YouTube, he is getting overtaken by better riders. That he managed to reach the 88 World Final was more an indication of the loss of so many big names in a short space of time. As for Larry Ross, I'd concur with Waiheke1. He lost his edge from 83 when he was on the way down. But in 81 & 82, he did everything and more that could be expected of him. He filled the boots of PC well in 81 and was the key man in winning the title in 82, outperforming Mort and PC away from home as well as stepping up and delivering in umpteen last heat deciders, especially at Reading and Coventry to give the Aces title winning 40-38 wins. He brought the happiness
  11. falcace

    For or against the GP series.?

    Easy. That's my era you are talking about there! Seriously though, as much as I was into the sport then, I'd be kidding myself that the sport didn't fall behind badly in that period. Some of it bad luck, some of it external factors, but plenty of it through poor management and lack of foresight. The 80s started with a host of household names....PC, Mauger, Olsen, Lee, Carter, Penhall, World Finals in front of packed crowds at Wembley, Gothenburg, regular terrestrial tv coverage, national media interest and some iconic stadiums like Hyde Road and Plough Lane. By the late 80s/early 90s all of that was gone.
  12. falcace

    For or against the GP series.?

    Well, you can't please everyone all of the time. I've been to around 75% of Cardiff GPs. I've seen incredible racing there, poor racing there and mostly, some pretty passable decent stuff. But every single time I have found the atmosphere in and around the stadium to be fantastic. Of course, everyone's different, but the consistent 40k crowd suggest I am far from being alone in my experience.
  13. falcace

    For or against the GP series.?

    I agree with some of this. But I think it's telling to look at where the BLRC (or today's incarnation) is. It's a perfect example of what happens when a sport doesn't evolve and move forward. Today's Riders Championship is light years behind the occasion the BLRC was. The World Final was heading the same way at Norden, Vojens, Pocking and so forth. Without the evolution of the GPs, there is no doubt the World Championship would have been a pretty tepid occasion, untelevised in some British, Swedish or Polish backwater. Anyone who thinks the continuation of World Finals would have meant massive Wembley occasions is kidding themselves. I got to a few World Finals....Norden, Bradford, Amsterdam, Bradford and Wroclaw...I can honestly say that all of them have been bettered by GP occasions I have attended in Cardiff, Torun, Bydgoszcz. Agree. Some of the modern day racing in the GPs is staggering. You could spend hours scouring footage from the 70s, 80s on YouTube and you wouldn't find anything to beat some from the stuff served up by Zmarzlik, Woffinden, Janowski, Laguta, Sayfutdinov, Doyle and Lindgren. I admit to not be as invested in today's racing as I was in the 80s/90s...perhaps that's more to do with my age and other life commitments taking precedent? But I couldn't squarely look a modern day fan in the eye and tell them all the racing was better in the 80s/90s, it simply wasn't.
  14. falcace

    RIP Taffy Owen

    Ah Taffy. Taker of my weekly pocket money throughout the 1980s in exchange for finest speedway merchandise. Gone, but never forgotten. Condolences to all his loved ones.
  15. falcace

    Joe Biden

    Here here. Person Woman Man Camera TV Good enough for me

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