Dick Barrie's picture


OK, we have a couple of guest riders coming in to ride for us on Saturday night because of injuries.

Such things are part and parcel of speedway, because the bikes have no brakes, and when riders fall off they can get hurt.

So, as we know, although Jye is coming back into the line-up -- still nursing a bad wing (medical term for broken shoulder) we’re short of David through concussion.

Dany wouldn’t be here even if he were fit as he was booked by his Austrian Federation to ride if well enough in a GP qualifier -- and unlucky Lee (another bad wing victim) has had to call off after trying to ride through too much pain at Belle Vue on Wednesday night.

But it isn’t just injuries that are making a mess of speedway this season.

Yes, these days we have such excellent innovations as our foam-fence – which actually means a reduction in injuries, and therefore in a need for related guests -- but what in the name of the wee man is going on with allowing so much doubling-up and these absolutely ridiculous, badly-conceived new averages?

British speedway, which over the years has developed quite a talent for taking accurate pot-shots at its feet, really excelled itself in this respect last winter.

Efforts (stemming as ever from the upper league’s fragility) to “bring the leagues closer together” to mix things up, and to use a marketing man’s phrase to be spat at – “refresh the product” resulted in scrapping the excellent rolling averages.

Rolling averages which, when brought in about half-a-dozen years back had (at a stroke) cleansed our game of average-fiddling. (New faces at HQ: “Aye, they’re working really, really well – can’t have that, eh?”).

I’m sorry, but there are those perched on seats of power these days with an undimmable capacity for transforming molehills into mountains.

Harsh? Well I like to call a spade a manual earth restructuring implement and whosoever scrapped the rolling averages is deserving of every available sling and arrow.

All of which has positively encouraged more and yet more doubling up, down and no doubt sideways too, if they could arrange it.

In fact, come to think of it there is doubling sideways – it is quite normal now for clubs to turn up with a “facility” for some guy who’s off riding for his Danish club instead of the one paying him good money over here.

How soon will it be before Britain had two equal leagues of ten teams?

And a hard core of just 70 riders racing for two teams each?

Want to disagree with Dick (as many do?). He will always be happy to hear from interesting people at dick@crystalfm.co.uk