SPEEDWAY by Alan Goodman

Alan Goodman
Alan Goodman

News from Coventry Buildbase Bees and Coventry Storm

Both Bees and Storm face a heavy programme of matches in the next couple of weeks in order to beat the cut off times for both competitions.

Storm’s cause was not helped on Friday when events conspired against them and left them unable to finish before a curfew was called. The second match against Mildenhall will somehow have to be rescheduled.

To add to the Coventry management’s problems, Monday’s Elite League match against Lakeside fell victim to the traditional Bank Holiday rain and has quickly been rearranged to next Wednesday (9th). Bees were to be without Joonas Kylmakorpi, the third Bees rider to suffer from back injuries but were to welcome back Kyle Howarth, who replaces Stuart Robson.

Storm 46, Kent 42.

The visitors were without their team manager who also had the race jackets, so they were equipped with the Mercia Vikings set.

With two meetings to run, this one did not get off to the best of starts with two reruns required for heat one. When it finally got underway the visitors’ Ben Morley was first the post with Dan Greenwood, who had been handicapped fifteen metres making up the ground to take third and share the heat points.

Storm lost a chance to go ahead in the next when Jamie Holder fell when in second place.

An easy visiting maximum gave them the lead in heat three before Storm almost drew level in the next, Kent’s James Shanes passing Darryl Ritchings on the second lap.

Darryl Ritchings won heat five with Mark Baseby taking third to bring the scores level. Storm went ahead with a maximum in the next before a 5-0 after both visitors had been excluded gave them a bit of a cushion.

Heats eight and nine were shared before Greenwood had to split the visitor’s pair in heat ten to prevent a maximum win.

Heat eleven was rerun before finishing up 3-2 to Kent after both Adam Sheppard and Martin Knuckey had been excluded in separate incidents. Knuckey was excluded for bringing off Morley and unfortunately his own thumb injury was to end his night’s racing.

The next three heats were shared before Kent took the final race 4-2 after a good first turn by Shanes. This left Storm narrow winners by 46-42.

Storm scorers; Dan Greenwood 7(2), Darryl Ritchings, Conor Dwyer 7(1), Rob Shuttleworth 6(1), Mark Baseby 6, Jamie Halder 5.

The second match against Mildenhall was abandoned due to the time curfew with just five heats ridden with the score 16-14 to Mildenhall.

A series of falls made it impossible to get the necessary ten heats in for a result. The worst incident came in heat six when Greenwood clipped the back wheel of Connor Coles and took a nasty tumble on the Rugby turn. He needed lengthy treatment and was eventually taken to hospital. It was then decided to call a halt to proceedings. Storm now have fitness doubts over Greenwood and also Martin Knuckey who was forced to withdraw from the Mildenhall match after being injured in the first match.

Speedway Grand Prix

The GP challenge now looks the only way for Chris Harris to compete in next season’s competition after another disappointing performance on Saturday leaves a top eight place an almost impossibility.

He made a good start to the meeting when good use of turn two saw him pass eventual winner Matej Zagar for second place. Another good ride in his next race saw him, despite going off the unfavourable outside gate, snatch second place from Troy Batchelor in a blanket finish. It then went all wrong with just one point from his remaining three rides to finish in twelfth place. Zagar, despite a heavy fall earlier, won the final from Greg Hancock and Tai Woffinden. Woffinden, with 109 points, heads the series from Nicki Pedersen (85) and Greg Hancock (82). Harris is in thirteenth with 39.

Preview

Bees are in for a busy time in the next few days. They should hosted Swindon tonight (Wednesday), weather permitting and then go to Swindon tomorrow (Thursday). On Friday night they have an unusual double header meeting. Firstly the entertain Leicester in a rearranged Elite League meeting and this is followed by Storm riding Eastbourne in a National League match. The match is due to start at 7.30pm but in view of last week’s events it may be worthwhile checking before leaving.

To add to a busy period, Storm are due host Cradley on Tuesday before the rearranged Lakeside match on Wednesday.

Alan Goodman.