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E I Addio

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Everything posted by E I Addio

  1. E I Addio

    Knutsson v. Fundin 1961-65

    From what I have read about Briggs’s early says, and from the man himself on the DVD, it seems to me more of a case off sending someone out to pick up fallen riders that the young Briggo had knocked off !
  2. E I Addio

    Knutsson v. Fundin 1961-65

    Well that’s another moot point. I always say you can only judge the best of their time., Different attitudes, different standards of professionalism, different bikes , different tracks , different standards of opposition, all play into a riders success or lack of. How would Tai Woofinden handle a dirt Douggie on cinders ? We don’t know, but doesn’t stop the discussions being fascinating.
  3. E I Addio

    Knutsson v. Fundin 1961-65

    Thanks Norbold and CHR. We are of like mind and I think you are the only ones I’ve spoken to who share my view of Mauger. Not that I am knocking him but I always kind of felt that he never had quite the same intensity of opposition that the “big five “ had. Olsen was , for example a big name alongside Mauger and admittedly you can’t argue with Olsens three World Championships he also had some World finals where he wasn’t really in it, and I don’t think that could be said about Fundin. I think Ivan was robbed in ‘73 on that dodgy gate but was a little lucky in ‘72 as Briggo had already beaten him before his crash and really looked unassailable. However, we can opinionate forever on this. Jack Young , Norbold. Yes.To come from the second division, even back then and take the world title was phenomenal.
  4. E I Addio

    Knutsson v. Fundin 1961-65

    Personally I don’t think the record books tell the whole story . For one thing records tell us that Jerzy Szczakiel was almost on a par with Ivan Mauger if judged purely on the occasions that met but I would suggest that anyone who put them in the same bracket had taken leave of their senses. Ivan IMO was probably the best ( or shall we say most successful ) rider of his generation if judged on w week—in week-out basis, assuming we say Fundin, 5 or 6 years older belonged to a previous generation, as finished his 5 World Championships before Ivan won any of his. How would you guys match those two ? Then we have Briggo. More erratic on form but at his absolute best I don’t think there was a rider so far ahead of the opposition except arguably Fundin who I didn’t see at his best so can’t really comment. My outstanding memory of Briggo is winning the last of his British finals at West Ham. The No. 2 gate wasn’t working and nobody did better than third off of it and even Ivan ran a last from it . Then. Briggo came out off No2 and a made it look like it was the others that weren’t working as he waltzed to a 15 point maximum. Then we’re does Ronnie Moore fit into all this? I have seen him described as the most naturally talented rider that ever sat on a speedway bike . I only ever saw I’m at the back end of his career when he came back from retirement after 6 years was past his sell by date , but still better than most could ever hope to be, and probably one of the most stylish riders I’ve ever seen. Where does he fit with the others ? Great Sport to have us all talking like this years later.
  5. E I Addio

    YOUR Hackney

    I am 99% sure the “ pungent odour “, ( if I can express it that way) came from the Boake-Roberts Abrac Chemical works in Carpenters Road . We used to cycle up from Stratford along Carpenters Road to the Stadium, getting lungfuls of the vile pong as we urged our bikes up the incline. My goodness it was vile, and it was exactly the same smell , albeit in milder form drifting across the stadium when the wind was in a certain direction. Apparently it was well known in the area ( the smell that is ) when my dad was a boy growing up in Bow. As for the Bovril connection, I had an uncle and aunt living in Hackney and I understood the factory manufactured Branston Pickle ( Branston and Bovril were the same company so may have both been made both there) . Anyway the place did pen-and -ink quite a bit but not as bad as Abracs in Carpenters Road. Uncle Fred and Auntie Flo were always coming out with tales about dead mice and things being found in the pickles so with that inside knowledge I’ve always avoided the stuff ! Them was the days in the East End. A great place to grow up in those, days. Wouldn’t change it for the world but wouldn’t want to live there now !
  6. Personally I would prefer the 20 heat formula but even that has its downside because four riders get the worst gate twice with no second chance of a semi final. However the nature of speedway is that you need a slice of luck to win anything, and that’s the way it goes.
  7. I am not saying that there is NO home track advantage, but I question whether there really is much in the point particular at high level, bearing in mind the number of other factors that come into play, one of which, we now know, choosing when to change tyres. Track conditions change as the evening wears on and even if the riders knows the track he still has to adapt as conditions change. For example in heat 8 Howarth rode the best race of the evening up to that point, the beat Woffinden, so he obviously knew the track well. Then there was a track grade so when Howarth came out for heat 9 it was a completely different track and he was last all the way, and that was off gate two which had been by far the most successful gate position up to that point. Hero to zero in two races. Then look at gate positions in the final . Bewley the “ track specialist” picked gate one but got a dreadful start, which really shows how fickle track conditions can be. Bewleys pass of Woffinden in the final was IMO a fine piece of riding, not track conditions. As far discrepancies between Home and Away league performances any track curator worth his salt would be able to prepare a track to suit 7 specific riders in his home team but as far as I know, and I hope, it doesn’t go on in individual meetings, particularly at championship level
  8. Is there really much in the “ home track advantage “ thing ? Speedway is such a fickle sport depended on so many unforseeable and unquantifiable factors that I would have thought that the higher up the order you get the more you should be capable of riding anywhere especially if you aspire to becoming a champion. There used to be a Swedish rider you may vaguely remember, Norbold, a chap by the name of Fundin. His famous comment was “ I want someone to build me a bike to get me to the first bend first, then I’ll do the rest “ . Surely the sign of a true champion is that as long as he has a decent bike he can “ do the rest “? I thought it was a pretty decent meeting last night. Incredible to think that under the old 20 heat formula Tom Brennan would be British Campion now. I
  9. E I Addio

    Berwick 2024

    I think six man teams would be another nail in the coffin of the sport especially as we are already seeing riders fairly regularly having to come out six or seven times a meeting. Your point is well made though. Where is the next Rory Schlein coming from or riders of similar ability? Who is going to fill the gap Scott Nichols leaves when he eventually goes ? Even in his mid forties there are not that many 20 years younger who can give him a run for his money . It doesn’t look good for the future when these older guys eventually bow out.
  10. E I Addio

    YOUR Hackney

    Obviously the racing at ‘Ackney made less of an impression on you than Stan Stevens beating Briggo at the wonderful West Ham !
  11. E I Addio

    YOUR Hackney

    Len losing his trousers at the end of season meetings!
  12. E I Addio

    Sheffield vs Ipswich 13th May

    Nobody is arguing about Tai’s past record. That speaks for itself, but speedway needs every avenue of support it can get and mouthing off is not the way to get it. It’s a pity because I know from personal experience that Tai can be a very nice guy behind the scenes. I just don’t know why he he speaks the way he does in the public eye sometimes.
  13. E I Addio

    Sheffield vs Ipswich 13th May

    Being outspoken means stating your opinions frankly and clearly, it doesn’t mean being too inarticulate to express yourself in normal language. What Tai is known for is having his brains in his throttle hand.
  14. E I Addio

    John "Tiger" Louis R.I.P.

    An all round motor cyclist who already had a successful career in scrambling behind him before he even took up Speedway. It’s not easy to successfully make the transition from one discipline to the other but Tiger did it, reaching the World Final within 3 years. I think he carried on successfully in Speedway till he was about 40, which was quite old to stay at the top in those days. So, more than just a Speedway rider , a great all-rounder and a great enthusiast. A credit to the sport.
  15. I think the riders being flung head first into the safety fence or lamp standards was a common feature of many fatal and serious accidents both at home and abroad. On a slightly different tack regarding riders riding wide on the bends at Hackney, I remember reading an interview with Colin Pratt in Classic Speedway in which he was saying when he rode for Hackney he would always get to the track early so he could make sure Len Silver would always prepare the inside line the way he wanted it done and that was where almost all of his wins came from .I found that interesting because Pratty’s time at Hackney was probably the best of his career . It’s interesting how track preparation helps different riders.
  16. E I Addio

    Speedway Season

    Agreed. We have to remember that promoters lose money by calling a meeting off. I forget exactly how the system works but Jon Cooke used to say that once you get to a certain point the losses run into several thousand pounds so that money is saved by earlier call offs. Cooke used to have about 3 or4 weather forecasts from different sources before calling a meeting off. It’s a difficult decision for promoters and they sometimes get it wrong. A pain for the fans when meetings get called off, but when the sport is being run on a shoestring anyway it hits them hard in the pocket if meetings are called off too late.
  17. Interesting comments from everyone but I think all of our memories play tricks on us at times. The Sad fact is that ALL forms of motor and motorcycle racing are dangerous and people are going to,get hurt at times. Although safety features , notably air fences have enhanced safety , that , in my opinion is cancelled out by the fact that there are far more crashes. I can’t remember a single meeting back in the day when we were 20 minutes into a meeting and had only run two or three heats because of crashes, yet it seems to be a frequent occurrence today. I remember talking to Olle Nygren not long before he died and he was saying that when he was riding he reckoned to do about 100 meetings a year and only fell off once or twice and that “Briggs Mauger and the others were the same” , but these days he reckoned most were falling off more than that every month. Speedway tracks are much harder to land on than most spectators realise. There seems to be little doubt that tuners have got a lot to do with it. You can’t get a quart out of a pint pot , and every time you squeeze more power from the engine you shorten the power band so power comes in more suddenly and unpredictably making the bike more difficult to ride. Incidentally, can anyone update me on what SS said about Graham Miles post accident?
  18. Apologies if this has been mentioned before but I was looking at some material about Tommy Price recently and it suddenly dawned on me that he must have been about 37 when he won his world title. I know there have been some , notably Greg Hancock , who became World Champion and an older age but I can’t think of any off hand who were older at the time of their first win ? I am sure Bobbath and maybe a few others have the information to hand so can anyone give us a table of the oldest first time winners? Thanks
  19. E I Addio

    Oldest First time World Final Winner

    Thank you . Everything I’ve ever read about Tommy Price suggests he was a far better rider than results suggest, perhaps not in his technical skills but he certainly seems to have been a “hard man” and somewhat ahead of the game mechanically. He apparently geared his bike half a tooth lower than everyone else round Wembley on the basis that if he got in front by the first bend, he was such a hard man to pass that he was likely to hang on to that a early lead. In the workshop he drilled extra oil ways to avoid the engine failures occurring to the early J.A,P’s in those days. He also used to start warming his bike up earlier than anyone else because had a special barrel in his JAP engine although I can’t remember what it was made of, or whether it actually was a special barrel or just psychological mind games to con or intimidate the others ! Certainly one rider I wish I’d seen and it’s probably fair to say that if WW2 had not intervened he would likely have had a much better record than he has today.
  20. E I Addio

    Garry Hay RIP

    I’ve only just noticed that sad announcement. Always a double tragedy when a rider suffers life changing injuries as the innocent victim of track crash. Does anyone know the circumstances of the crash and how he rebuilt his life subsequently ?
  21. E I Addio

    Pits crew attire

    Hi Dean, is there a foolproof way of limiting revs to 10,000, and what would be the effect on the racing ? I ask that because some years ago Lewis Bridger did a pre- Season warm up meeting on an upright and he got blown away by everyone mainly, I think he said, because he lacked acceleration out of the bends. I know everyone would be in the same situation but would it affect the spectacle do you think.?
  22. E I Addio

    Pits crew attire

    No more than two per rider are normally allowed in the pits and that seems to be the norm for most TV meetings. Two per rider means28 personnel, plus 14 riders, plus Clerk of the Course, plus Pit Marshal , plus team managers plus promoters, and Machine Examiners. I make that 50in total before TV crew. Ŵ
  23. E I Addio

    27 years on

    I think there is much more to it than that. Sitting in a freezing cold stadium for two months of a six months season is not going to get modern punters through the doors, especially the times when you are 30 minutes into the meeting and have only run maybe three or four races due to delays. Most people have fairly comfortable homes these days and a variety of TV channels and choices. It’s not like the ‘50’s when people had at best poorer quality homes and BBC only on TV. No incentive to stay at home in those days. And all that is before we even get to what goes on at the track . Dog racing is the same. There were around 40 dog tracks in London alone in the ‘40’s and 50’s but only one I think left today. People just don’t want that sort of stadium based entertainment anymore. In many ways the sport has shot itself in the foot but I very much doubt whether it would even be big again in the modern world but even if the sport got its act together . I think less and less people want that sort of entertainment.
  24. E I Addio

    Hans Andersen retires

    Yes, he could be a bit prickly in his younger days but looking back over his career it has been quite outstanding. Never gave less than value for money, and as everyone seems to agree a great servant to the sport and always seems to have had time for the fans. Sad to seem him go, but a great career over 20+ years
  25. E I Addio

    Mike Parker - Saint or sinner?

    I’d take Mike Parker any day over , Godfrey, Chapman. , and the present shower.
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