So after the blurry eyed, tea and toast fueled, 4am mess that was the inaugural Auckland Speedway Grand Prix, what can we take from it to try and gauge who will perform well tonight in Leszno? Well, not a lot really.
Now I’m all for the progression of the series abroad and I’m sure the logistics of the ‘NZSGP’ were a bloody nightmare to organize, and I know that this Speedway drought of a month is done with the longer term inclusion of an American SGP to fill the gap nicely, but as a result, I do feel properly out of the loop! Looking back, Greg is up top, followed by Hampel and Gollob, it’s kinda like nothing has changed from last season. - None of this is helped by the fact that due to the glorious British Spring weather (rain) I haven’t been able to get anywhere near a speedway meeting since Easter. I’ve got some serious withdrawal symptoms going on. In fact, I’m not typing this from the regular comfort of my oversized office chair, I am in fact currently sat in a dark cupboard, rocking back and forth, smelling a can of methanol and desperately trying to remember what Chris Holder’s purdy face looks like. He’s the albino guy with one arm, right?!
Having been to Leszno a few years ago you’ve got to say that the place is a quality arena for the Grand Prix. The track is huge, the terraces are always packed and the only form of food available is the greasiest, gristliest sausage on a bun combo you will EVER see.
Now I could quite happily write the rest of this post about the sausage. The estimated calorie content, its unequivocal ability to retain levels of grease, hell, we could even try to guess what type of animal the bloody thing is made out of, although having had the product already pass through my lips perhaps it might be better to leave that last one alone. So lets talk grand prix!
When I started writing this I wanted to take an educated punt on who could do well tomorrow night, kinda like a form book. However so far, this read has probably been pretty unhelpful, unless you’re looking to further your knowledge on Polish cuisine.
So the obvious favorites for tonight are the Poles. In fact my sources inform me that not only does Jarek Hampel ride at Leszno, he was also conceived, born, raised and indeed lost his virginity on the track itself, so I think it’s pretty safe to say that the lad is in with a good shout.
As for the other one, Gollob looked ridiculously fast in NZ. Now either Eddie Kennett lent him a silencer for the night or the veteran could well have the bit between his teeth once again this season. We all know he can do it, and when the mood strikes he’s bloody lethal going into that third bend; so that’s another no brainer for tonight.
But what of third? I loathe myself for saying it but at 10/1, Nicki Pedersen looks like a right tidy bet. Sayfutinov could be another cheeky threat, although I’d love to see Chris Holder, Greg Hancock or Hans Andersen sneaking onto a podium place too.
As for the rest? Freddie’s not looking quite so hot from what I’ve seen this season, nor Bjarne or Bomber. As for Jonsson, well, I think I’ve got a better chance of growing a full handlebar mustache or, discovering a sustainable cure for genital warts by tomorrow morning than I do of trying to guess how that guy will perform at any event. Carl Blomfeldt, on board or not, I ( and my betting money) am staying well away.
So who the hell is your money on?
I’ve got it on… Antonio Lindback! I can hear you gasping from here. Why the hell would I do that?! Simple really. In order to be successful on these big Polish tracks you need 2 things, raw power and a fucking massive set of testicles. Despite it being a month ago, if the New Zealand grand prix tells us anything of any vague sort of usefulness for tonight, it was that Lindback and his kit looked bloody fast. In fact, he was probably the only guy that looked anywhere near as quick as Gollob did all night. The lad is sorted financially, much more focused and if he can manage to stay away from those starting tapes, I reckon he could be in for a good night.
All banter/tips/slagging off welcome. POLSKAPOLSKAPOLKSA!!!!!
So, I spent a bit of time last week writing a post about the New Zealand Grand Prix with the plan being to ejaculate it all over Twitter and Tumblr on the Friday before the event. All dressed up, planned out nicely and ready to go! However, having finished the post, I accidently proceeded to click the preview button instead the ‘create post’ one. Bugger. Checking back two days later, I realized my error. As a result, I’ve been left with an arse-load of out of date, SGP satire sat looking longingly at me, desperate to see the light of day. So i’ve come to the conclusion that I’m going to post it any way, then look back at it to see if it was right! Badly thought out? Perhaps. Pointless? Probably. Self indulgent? Definitely! Enjoy…! :-)
Right then, given the imposing nature of this weekend’s SGP (and the cheeky fact that I’m on easter break from Uni so I have half a minute to myself for once), lets take a goose at who exactly will be present during this year’s championships.
The usual offenders are thankfully, all there, meaning that every other Saturday (weather/track permitting - I’m looking at you, Vojens!) we will be seeing the always smiling and ever charismatic faces of Gollob, Crumpy, Bjerre, and the eternally well loved and all round good egg, Nicki Pedersen.
Now seeing as we have a lot of riders in the field that are nearing the autumn of their careers and therefore looking to blitz the series completely (I wish there was a German rider to link a pun with there), 2012 has the potential to be a properly exciting season. We all know Hancock, Gollob and Hampel will be flying as per, however I’m thinking this could be the year that Emil finds some consistency and properly cements himself as a title contender. The same applies for Lindback and Holder, both of which on their day, and if the mood strikes, can beat any one that is put in front of them.
So as a fan I’m excited, I bloody love the first Grand Prix of the year, the new Kevlar’s, the new merch, the new bikes and of course, the new, babyfaced, fresh, young, talent. You know, the ones that will be setting the stage alight every fortnight for the next 8 months. The ones that attract people to happily pay to watch live on the promise of ‘being there’ when they finally come of age and reach their full potential in front of a sold out stadium somewhere in the middle of a (probably) former soviet state. The ones that will brighten up the series and position it as a more marketable, demographic straddling, properly cool, world class franchise? Oh hang on, this year’s GP lineup roster says that instead of competing, they’ll be at home with the rest of us, watching it on Sky whilst flipping between the races and ‘Take Me Out’.
OK, so I’m being flippant, and if I’m being honest, Holder, Sayfutinov and Antonio (if he’s been off the energy drinks that day), manages to satisfy our urge for new(ish) blood in the series, but no matter how excited I get for the start of this year’s festivities in Auckland, I can’t help but feel slightly soured by riders such as Darcy Ward’s exclusion.
Now I know I’m dangerously at risk of sounding like Nigel Pearson right now (Bazinga!), but Darcy Ward is the single most promising rider in the sport right now. Not since watching Tony Rickardsson in the great season of 03 have I seen someone so outrageously and relentless flying around our circuit. Still not convinced? Get down to Poole on a Wednesday night when the Sky cameras aren’t about; the boy is a different type of animal.
Now I’m fully aware that Darcy’s absence in the series is entirely the product of the PZM’s consistent love affair with causing savage arsebanditery with our beloved sport, but surely something could’ve been done to get them on side. The Grand Prix series is the one, it is what every rider on earth should be aspiring to reach as the pinnacle of anyone’s career and no one, not even the almighty Polish Motor Union should possess the capability to corrupt that dream for anyone - even if it is just for the one season.
But whatever, I guess we’ll just have to put up with only seeing the lad as a wildcard at every single event that the FIM can attempt to crowbar him into, so maybe I shouldn’t be too disheartened. I mean besides, we all know what an exciting watch it’ll be to see Bjarne Pedersen and Peter Ljung throwing themselves into corners and blasting around the boards for all their worth each and every meeting, don’t we?
Wow, could you tell I was annoyed about the Darcy thing when I wrote that? Haha.
Back to the present and the first SGP of 2012 is over. And what a success it was with around 20,000 adopted kiwis reportedly being present for it - a great moment for the progression of the sport abroad. Watch out racquetball, we’re coming for you!
There were no surprises about the winner and to be fair, all power to Greg for it! The guy has reached legendary status, you can’t help but be in awe of someone that 4 years ago looked dead and buried as a serious, series title contender. He’s a gent, a brilliant rider and a bloody great ambassador for the sport. In the words of the man himself, I believe this would definitely be an appropriate time to use the term ‘winning’. *does W hand thing*… Ok, it’s cooler when he does it.
So thats it. The SGP is done for a month, the season is shaping up well and I’ve learned a very valuable lesson in how to use the ‘publish now’ button, a positive weekend for all. Stay tuned for a hugely bias, self deprecating and probably, tragically inaccurate Elite League review in the coming days x
So I’ve pretty much spent the past few weeks gingerly working on a new story for tumblr. An entry that can only be described as the Rick Waller of entries. It basically sees an accurate, yet clinically redundant comment being passed on every 2012 line up in the Elite league. Then it hit me that most teams aren’t actually finished yet so maybe I should give it until the start of the new season to burden you all with it. (You’re welcome!)
So that left me with a problem. Do I A.) leave it 3 months, or B.) visually assault your PCs (or macs, if your properly cool) with a whole array of up to date, cutting edge and promiscuous views of current signings, as and when they happen? So after a modest amount of deliberation, I decided that I could perhaps spend some of the time I currently use staring blankly at Facebook in search of some sort of vaguely pleasing human-computer interaction - on playing with my tumblr instead! So here we are, there’s no plan like a plan B…
So its been a good few weeks of welcome additions for the Poole faithful! The second week of January saw Coastal aluminum sign a rumored £200,000 sponsorship deal (what recession?!) which takes us into the new year very nicely. I’m just hoping a few quid of that lot goes into getting a new lightbulb for the Texas Chainsaw Massacre themed 4th bend mens toilets. Although having said that, maybe some things are better left unseen…
Last week also saw a new signing for the 2012 season! Enter Mr Adrian Miedzinski. I’m not going to get into the whole ‘you didn’t have permission to speak to him’ thing as I have no place in doing so. All I’ll say is that the guy couldn’t ride for Swindon even if he wanted to as he has practice for his Polish club too close to Swindon race nights, so the whole thing seems a little bit school boyish. But then again, what would a professional sport be without a bit of off season handbags? Table tennis, thats what.
Now if this guy goes like I see him ride in the big P on a weekly basis then I’m thinking 2012 could be a decent year to be a Poole fan. People seem sceptical about signing Poles, and to be fair, people have very good reason to be. I mean, will his priority really be the pirates when he rides in front of 10,000 + adoring, blood thirsty, baby wanting, Polish fans every Sunday? Will he invest as much time, effort and money into his British bikes as he does his continental equivalents? Will he warm to the tepid tastes of a grease filled burger from the snack stand on the third bend of Wimborne stadium? Who knows, its always a risk. But there’s nothing to suggest that this guy isn’t potentially at the point in his career to properly blossom and start making his name UK side. Say what you want about the Poles, you cant question their loyalty and dedication to the sport, I just hope it translates.
More updates as and when I can muster up the desire sit still for 5 minutes.
So on the face of it, it looks like I’ve done what most people do just a few weeks into using a social media site.
I came in heavy, like a fat man eating a Krispy Kreme, spued out a few muffled adjectives, like a fat man eating a Krispy Kreme and then, for all you knew, emegrated to an african country with below par internet coverage, perhaps not the best place for a fat man that enjoys Krispy Kremes.
Well the good (or bad) news is that I am still in the currently festive hotbed that is the united Kingdom! My post negligence has been down to other commitments, namely being up to my bollocks in university work. I do however plan to swing forth my speedway related tumblrisms in the future and press on for the new season! Huurah.
But for now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a masters level peer critique of industrial internal commuications to finish.
The party never stops.
Ah awesome! thanks buddy, properly enjoyed last season! Ah sweet I love Wolves, always a quality team to watch, will be back contending next year I’m sure of it! Peter Adams is a legend too, quality on TV!!
Thank you! I’m all about the banter haha. Loving your stuff too! :)
So here we are! The difficult second post, how can I possibly top my last paragraph based effort? Well lets have a crack, and what better crack to…crack on with? Than the mighty speedway AGM!
The big talking point of this years AGM was always going to be the now infamous 8 point rule, which upon its inclusion, saw the league pretty much tear itself a part a year ago. The ruling basically dictated (if you didn’t guess from the title) that only one 8 point averaging rider would be eligible to ride per elite league side during 2011. Now I’m not going to get dragged into the who’s right and who’s wrong RE the insanely hell bent dolly throwing saga that followed during the ‘winter of discontent’. All I will say is that the ruling made the inclusion of Kings Lynn and Birmingham a lot easier to swallow and as a result, we (the punters) got an action drenched season that Sky (and the big cheeses within) could have only dreamt of in previous years. But a year has past, Kings Lynn and Birmingham currently find themselves held firm to the hectic, yet alluring bosom that is the elite League and the time has come to ditch the rule. Rejoice I hear you say, lets party! *Cracks open sparkling wine*
Ironically, due to the nature that is sports fans (especially those passionate about a smaller sport such as speedway), some will claim that the move to get rid of the rule is wrong. But in the cold light of day, our sport is a product and in order for a product to shift units it has to be worth buying. I personally can’t see a single downside to having more GP standard riders lining up to represent a team on a weekly basis. Say what you want about costs and teams not being able to splash out on Matej Zagar’s travel fees; the crowds we all witnessed at Poole last season are a living, breathing justification that the notion of spending money to make money is something that this sport needs to do in order to grow. But thats enough about that.
The second biggy sees the elite league pairs tournament somehow finding itself on the shelf for the foreseeable. Following the decision, a collective ‘meh’ has been heard around the nation. I kinda got that feeling you get when you’re told that your aunty that you don’t see very often isn’t showing up to your 12th birthday party. Ok, you’re down a present, but the present was probably some shite picked up from a 24 hour Tesco Express on the way over. I mean it wasn’t even in a box for god sake, just 99p’s worth of glittery tote bag with an unwritten tag hanging from the strap.
In principal the tournament is a great idea, seeing the two brightest from each Elite league outfit mirroring off against rival clubs offerings. However the nature of the sport (and any sport nowadays for that matter) means the process, money and a whole host of logistical factors make for an event which is dogged before it has even begun. I still feel the competition has its place within the UK calendar, but with the fiercely competitive (and busy) continental leagues clogging up riders diaries, I cant help but feel perhaps putting the comp to bed for a year may be for the best.
Now there are plenty of other rule changes published within the AGM statement, however, its 2:48am and I am losing the will to live, let alone the desire to type coherently (I have trouble enough with that as it is).
I will leave by boldly stating that 2012 looks solid for the elite League. It looks bright for Sky’s domestic coverage and it looks bright for us, the loyal trackside dweller. The GP’s however, well, maybe we’ll tackle that topic at a later date!
Until next time! :)
Thank you :D
Hey to all my followers,
This is a new blogger called James, he is a friend of mine and an avid speedway (Poole Pirates) follower. So the more he blogs, check it out and maybe even follow. Click the title to go to his blog
Hello all and welcome to my fairly unimpressive blog!
So about me! I’m 22, fairly male and from the south coast of England.
I basically plan to use this blog to both talk about SPEEDWAY and all the goings on within the sport and to put off doing my uni assignments.
I’m new to Tumblr but have been a Poole Pirate (don’t let that put you off) since I was about 3 months old. In general I love the sport enough to make a blog about it, unquestionable loyalty haha.
Feel free to follow (or whatever you do on this site!) and I’ll return the favor.