31.....Adam Shields has risen to prominence after his second successful outing for Isle of Wight. Adam scored a brilliant 2',1',3,3,2'=11+3 to almost snare a paid maximum as he was instrumental in the match win the 'Islanders' had over visiting Swindon 53-37. The New South Welshman rode to an 8 point (paid 9) match in his very first appearance for his new Premier League club two weeks earlier. Team-mate Adrian Newman returned to racing after injury with 1',0,0=1+1. The 'Robins' Frank Smart tried all night with 2,3,1',2,3,1=12+1 to no avail and Lee Herne made a surprise guest appearance to the 'Robins' squad, but did not score after three rides..
31.....Swedish Elite League round 5 results................
51 Ryan Sullivan 3,2,3,3,1=12
Kaparna 45 Shane Parker 0,0,1,-,1'=2+1
46 Todd Wiltshire 3,3,2,2,3,0=13 Craig Boyce 2,1,0,-=3
Steve Johnston 0,2',3,1,2=8+1
46 Jason Lyons 1,2,1,1,2=7
Team Svelux 49
48 Jason Crump 2,0,3,1,2'=11+1
Masarna 48 Leigh Adams 2,2,2,1,2=9
31.....Coventry held Eastbourne at bay for most of the match to win at home 50-40. The only 'Bees' scorer to reach double figures was Billy Hamill with 13 from 5 rides.
30.....Kings Lynn fought hard to stave off the advances of a
visiting Oxford team and won this Elite League fixture 49-40. The victorious 'Knights'
included Jason Crump with 2,2,3,3,3=13, Travis McGowan
1',1',3,1=6+2, Craig Boyce 2,2,3,1=8, Shane Parker
1',1',2',1=5+3 and Leigh Adams a terrific 3,3,3,2',2'=13+2.
Mark Lemon fronted for Oxford from a short lay-off due to his shoulder injury last week but he could not continue after his second ride. Todd Wiltshire started well with 3,3,2,2',1,1=12+1 and Steve Johnston had a great night adding 3,2,2,3,2',0=12+1.
30.....Lee Herne was in great form for Conference League team Newport 'Mavericks' scoring a paid maximum 3,3,3,2'=11+1. The team easily accounted for Peterborough 61-28.
30.....Two Premier League matches have ended in a tense draw at 45 all. Newcastle hosted Hull and Reading blew a good mid-match lead over Sheffield.
30.....Wolverhampton have hung on to win a thriller over visiting Ipswich 45-44 in Elite League action. Tomasz Gollob and Chris Louis battled hard winning the last 3 heats to no avail.
30.....Another strong team performance from Workington at home winning 51-39 over Berwick. Mick Powell was handy with 10 from 4 rides.
30.....Peterborough have soundly beaten Belle Vue 56.5 to 33.5. Ryan Sullivan almost took a back seat with his 9 points from 4 rides, Nigel Sadler was better with 4 from 5 rides and 'Panther' newcomer Brett Woodifield was terrific adding 5+1 from 3 rides. Other new chum Peter Karlsson and Stefan Andersson did the bulk of the damage. For the 'Aces', Jason Lyons has had better days scoring 7.5 (including a dead heat with Karlsson) from 5 and Kevin Doolan struggled to 1 point from 4 rides.
30.....Exeter have done it again! Yet another huge thrashing inflicted by the 'Falcons' at home over Newport. Final score....72-18!
29.....Round 8 of the Polish EkstraLiga from Roman Chyla...............
47 Todd Wiltshire 2,ef,3,2,2'=9+1
Gorzow 41 Jason Crump 3,0,2,0,3,2=10 Craig Boyce 3,3,0,1,0=7
47 Leigh Adams 3,3,2,3,3=14
Torun 39 Ryan Sullivan 1,3,3,2,2',3=14+1
29.....Glasgow are struggling as they lost their home Premier League match against Hull 39-51.
29.....Newport had plenty of top end strength from their heat leaders to narrowly win their home League match 47-43 over Exeter. The win was sealed in the last heat as Anders Henricksson (13+2 paid max.) and Ben Howe (12+1) scored a 5-1. The return match at Exeter tomorrow is a fearful prospect for the 'Wasps' after huge home wins by the 'Falcons' of late.
29.....Stoke, using Simon Stead as a guest, won their Premier League fixture over visiting Swindon 48-42. Stead played an integral part in the victory with 11+1 from 5 rides, while Frank Smart tried in vain for the 'Robins' with 2,2,3,1,3,3=14 and Olliver Allen 5+2 from 4 rides..
28.....Arena-Essex suffered a home Premier League fixture loss to Edinburgh 43-47. Christian Henry is still on the injured list and did not ride.
28.....The atrocious weather in the UK continues as more League matches were rained off this morning AT., however the Eastbourne V Wolverhampton clash managed to scrape in 12 of the scheduled 15 heats. The match score will stand with home team Eastbourne winning 43-29. The 'Eagles' reserve Brent Collyer is still recovering from his crash last week and did not ride.
28.....After having home track and weather problems, Belle Vue have finally got back onto the race track, this time away at Coventry. For the 'Aces', Jason Lyons tried his heart out to register 3,2,3,1,3,0=12 and Kevin Doolan found the going tough with 0,0,1=1 . Belle Vue were far from disgraced going down to the 'Bees' 49-41.
28.....Mike Faria is the new American Speedway Champion and along with Josh Larsen (2nd), Sam Ermolenko (4th) and John Cook (9th), will compete in the Overseas Final at Poole UK on the 18th of June.
27.....With Christian Henry missing from the 'Monarchs' squad due to injury, Edinburgh managed a tight win over visiting Hull 47-43 in a Premier Trophy fixture.
26.....In Premier Trophy action, Sheffiled at home were far too good for Berwick with a superb performance by Simon Stead scoring a paid maximum 14+1. Final match score....50-43.
25.....Rain has been causing havoc with the UK League fixtures in the last few days, however Ipswich were able to host their 'Knock Out Cup' match against Kings Lynn. The 'Witches' held off the 'Knights' and won 48-42 with Jason Crump 12 points from 5 rides, Travis McGowan 1 from 3, Craig Boyce 12 from 5, Shane Parker a shocker with 2+1 from 4 and Leigh Adams 12+1 from 6 for the losers.
25.....Swindon stormed away to a huge win over visiting Arena-Essex by 32 points. Frank Smart was slightly subdued in the score feast with 3,2,3,1=9.
24.....In the first fixture of the Premier 'Knock Out Cup', Hull have won at home over Stoke 48-42.
23.....Round 4 of Swedish Elite League.................
Todd Wiltshire 3,3,2,0,3=11 Craig Boyce ef,3,0,3,1=7
Kaparna 49 Shane Parker did not compete.
Masarna 50 Leigh Adams 3,3,3,3,2',3=17+1 Paid Maximum.
60 Ryan Sullivan 3,3,3,2',3=14+1 Paid Maximum.
Ornarna 36 Jason Lyons 1,2,ef,1=4
Jason Crump 2,2,3,1,3=11 Mark Keast 3,2,0,1,0=6
Team Svelux 39
23.....Christian Henry has crashed heavily during a Conference League match for Ashfield 'Lightning' against St. Austell. While battered and bruised, his bike faired worse which could hamper his Premier League committments in the coming week. Christian had scored 2,3,2=7 points before his 'get-off'.
23.....Coventry took control early then a mid-match rally by Wolverhampton, but the 'Bees' steadied to take the Elite League fixture 41-49 at Wolverhampton.
23.....Exeter have done it again! The 'Falcons' have totally demoralised their opposition at home to the tune of 74-16. The unlucky opponents............. Glasgow. Last week it was Arena-Essex, 75-15.
23.....Reading at home defeated Berwick 50-40 in Premier League action.
22.....In a huge upset, Hull have defeated hometeam Workington 44-47. Mick Powell crashed in his first heat demolishing his good bike and then struggled on the back-up scoring fx,0,2,3=5. Mick's only heat win was on Carl Stonhewer's bike.
22.....After a weeks break, round 7 in Polish EkstraLiga results from Roman Chyla.............
Ryan Sullivan 2,3,2,1,0=10
Bydgoszcz 38 Todd Wiltshire 2,2,2,1',0=7+1
Jason Crump 0,3,3,3,3=12 Craig Boyce fell,0,0,-=1
Leszno 44 Jason Lyons 2,1,3,0,1=7
22.....Christian Henry blew his tired motor at the start line of his first heat for the Ashfield 'Lightning' (formerly Linlithgow), but then went on to win his next two heats on a borrowed bike to finish his night on 6 and a team win over visiting Mildenhall, 49-40. Surprise entrant to the 'Lightning', Rusty Harrison, performed brilliantly in his first race meeting scoring 2,0,3,3=8 and impressed many.
22.....Newport put any hopes that Glasgow had of a win by taking two 5-1's in the last two heats to win 51-41. Lee Herne toughed it out to 1,0,0=1 suffering a few mechanical problems.
21.....The British Final run at Coventry has been superbly
won by Ipswich's Chris Louis who was unbeaten on the night. Second went to Eastbourne's
Paul Hurry, while third was taken by Eastbourne Captain Martin Dugard. Next best were Mark
Loram, Carl Stonehewer, then Joe Screen.
The top 7 non GP riders qualify to the Overseas Final next month. Through to that next qualifying round of the GP 2001 series are, Paul Hurry, Martin Dugard, Lee Richardson, Shaun Tacey, Sean Wilson, Scott Nicholls, and David Howe
20.....Their third match on the trot ended in a win at home for the Edinburgh 'Monarchs' over Sheffield, 47-43. The 'Tigers' battled fiercely in the second half to close the ten point gap opened up earlier but the hometown team held on to take victory. Christian Henry played his part with 2,0,1,0,1'=4+1.
20.....Arena-Essex has redeemed themselves a little with a narrow win at home over Newport. The 'Hammers' 15 point total for their match the previous day didn't phase the team today taking this match 48-42. The 'Wasps' Lee Herne started well with 2',fell,0=2+1.
20.....Mark Lemon, complete with 'Lucky Lemo' sewn on his leathers, has crashed in
his return to Elite League racing for Oxford against Kings Lynn and has sustained a
dislocated shoulder. Lemo's first race was very good as he trailed home the 'Knights' Jason Crump for a second, then an engine problem prevented a score in his second
ride. The third race ended in a rather innocuous fall where the shoulder popped out.
Crumpy leant a hand trackside to relocate it!!
Eight Aussies appeared in the match which was won by hometown Oxford. Todd Wiltshire got better as the night went on with 1',2,2',2',3=10+3, and Steve Johnston also was firing with 2,3,2,3=10. For the 'Knights', Jason went on to score 3,2,3,1,3,1=13, Travis McGowan 0,0,3,1=4, Craig Boyce 3,3,1,2=9, Shane Parker an off night of 0,1,0=1, and Leigh Adams as strong as ever with 3,3,3,0,2',0=11+1. Final score, 48-42
19.....Edinburgh lost their second Premier Trophy match in two days on the road, this time at Sheffield. Simon Stead was in great form scoring 2,3,3,2=10 for the 'Tigers' however Christian Henry struggled to 1,0,0=1 for the hapless 'Monarchs'
19.....Peter Giles has sent in a rather troubling article about Isle of Wight's Adrian Newman...................
Adrian Newman was at the St Austell meeting (Conference League) last night. As a direct result of this "accident" (see below..15th) he is unfit to ride for at least 2 weeks, and apparently his bike was nearly a total write off. He said he'd been able to salvage most of the engine parts but that was all. For a rider on a shoestring budget who can't even afford a place to stay and has to rely on friends and family for offers of accommodation, this is rather career threatening. Last year he had to cash in his ticket home to Australia to pay for repairs on his engine.
19.....With Frank Smart (3,3,3,3,1=13) in blistering form, Swindon defeated Stoke 52-38 in a match that was hampered by some nasty crashes. Olliver Allen was involved in one after he took 7 points in his first 3 rides. No report on possible injuries for the recent Aussie visitor.
19.....Hull travelled to Glasgow and have won their first match in the Scottish city since Ivan Mauger lead the 'Vikings' to victory in 1979. Score...42-48.
19.....Exeter pummelled visiting Arena-Essex by possibly the biggest winning margin in Premier League history. Lowest scorer for the 'Falcons' made 8+4 and the score..............75-15!
19.....In the first televised SKY channel match, Eastbourne have downed visiting Coventry in a tough encounter on a terrible weather affected track. Final score, 48-43.
18.....The Nykoping Open Individual meeting in Swededn featured two Aussies, Brett Woodifield collected fifth place with 2,ef,3,3=8 and Mark Keast 7th on 2,2,2,1=7. The meeting was won by Stefan Andersson.
18.....Hull found their own track a problem as they struggled to a narrow win over Edinburgh 46-44. Christian Henry was handy with 2,1',1,0=4+1.
18.....Kings Lynn have comfortably overcome Wolverhampton 58-32. Scorers for KL......Jason Crump 3,3,3,2',2'=13+2, Travis McGowan 2',1,2,1=6+1, Craig Boyce 3,2,2',3=10+1, Shane Parker 2',1',3,0=6+2 and Leigh Adams 3,3,3,3,3=15.
18.....A Mark Loram-less Poole had built up a big enough lead to win over Ipswich even though the 'Witches' scrambled three 5-1's for the last 3 heats. Final score of this Elite League fixture was 48-42.
17.....Adam Shields has started his UK League career with a brilliant effort for his team Isle of Wight. With signs of relief more than ecstacy after the match , Adam's night of 3,3,2',fell=8+1 was just what he needed as he nervously kick started his racing campaign. The 'Islanders' managed the win 48-42 over Exeter.
17.....Round 3 of Swedish Elite Leaguye..................
Shane Parker 0,2,3,3,3=11
Vastervik 36 Steve Johnston ef,1,0,-=1 Craig Boyce 1,3,0,1,1,0=6 Todd Wiltshire 3,3,3,2,1,2=14
48 Leigh Adams 3,3,3,3,0=12
49 Jason Lyons 2,3,3,0,1=9
Rospiggarna 47 Ryan Sullivan 1,2,1,2,3=9
Vargarna 49 Jason Crump 3,2,3,23,1=14 Mark Keast 2,0,0,1,0,1=4
16.....The strength of Workington was displayed away at Newcastle as they narrowly defeated the 'Diamonds 42-48. Grand Prix hero Carl Stonehewer was sensational for the 'Comets' posting a maximum 15 and Mick Powell was very good bar one race - 2',2',fell,3=7+2.
16.....Both Reading and Exeter have pummelled their opponents Arena-Essex and Stoke respectively, to the tune of 57-33 each in Premier Trophy fixtures.
16.....Wolverhampton have fought out a close match against visiting Poole 48-42. Sam Ermolenko is still wowing them with a top score of 14+1 from 6 rides.
15.....Two Conference League matches involved two Aussie currently competing in the Premier League. Lee Herne was outstanding in his six rides to amass 3,3,2',1,1,1=10+1 for the Newport 'Mavericks' in their demolition of Buxton 65-25, and Christian Henry rode for the Linlithgow 'Lightning' also posting a terrific 10+1 from his 4 rides of 3,1',3,3 although the team were defeated by the Sheffield 'Prowlers' 47-40
15.....Travis McGowan and Kevin Doolan are comfortably through to the Semi-Finals of the World U/21 Championships. Travis finished third and Kev fourth in the qualifier at Santarem, Portugal.
15.....Adrian Newman has taken a tumble during his first ride of the night for Isle of Wight and took no further part in the match even though he did walk to the ambulance. Stoke defeated the 'Islanders' 54-36
15.....A last heat decider gave home town Glasgow a narrow win over Berwick 46-44 In Premier Trophy action.
14.....Just as Brent Collyer had been giving promising performances for Eastbourne, the Queenslander has been injured in a fall during the 'Eagles' match against Poole. Having scored a paid win in his first ride of the night, Brent then crashed heavily in his second and early indications are a dislocated shoulder and cracked ribs are the result. Eastbourne went on to comfortably defeat the 'Pirates' 56-34.
14.....Coventry have snatched a victory at home over a persistant Wolverhampton 45-44 largely due to Greg Hancocks brilliant maximum from 5 rides.
14.....In the first leg of the 'Tyne/Tweed Trophy', Berwick showed their home strength by overpowering Newcastle 54-36.
14.....With a star studded field on hand, Norway's Rune Holta has snatched the valuble first place prize in the 'Gold Bar' Individual meeting at Vojens in Denmark. Leigh Adams and England's Chris Louis were top heat scorers but were pipped into 2nd and 3rd respectively in the Final by Holta. The six rider Final was rounded out by Sweden's Tony Rickardsson 4th, Poland's Tomasz Gollob 5th and Brian Andersen of Denmark to 6th.
13.....Stoke were looking a sure thing throughout most of this Premier Trophy match at Arena-Essex, only to have the 'Hammers' snatch a victory in the last heat with a 5-1. Final score 46-44.
13.....Edinburgh secured their biggest win of the season so far with a 13 point victory over visiting Newcastle in Premier Trophy action. Christian Henry is settling into the 'Monarchs' team very nicely and added a useful 3,0,1,2,0=6. Final score...51-38.
13.....Mark Lemon, competing for Bysarna in Sweden for their second match in two days, has again shown remarkable form by top scoring for the team with 10 points from 5 rides. Vetlanda, however, won the match 53-43. Our Aussie number two has had very limited time on the bike since leaving down under just over a month ago and is showing his true class. A UK Elite League berth is surely beckoning.
13.....Peterborough are really struggling at the moment and have lost another home match 41-49, this time to Eastbourne. Captain 'Panther' Ryan Sullivan is performing brilliantly but needs his team mates to lift accordingly. Ryan finished with 3,2',3,3,3,0=14+1 and Nigel Sadler needs to climb out of a form slump adding 0,0,1',1=2+1. For the winning 'Eagles' Brent Collyer posted 0,2,fell=2.
13.....Oxford and Poole have fought out a terrific second leg match in this 'Knock Out Cup' fixture to a 45 all draw. Todd Wiltshire was superb blasting to a 3,2',2,3,2=12+1 effort and Steve Johnston added a solid 2,3,2,2=9. Poole progress to the next round of the Cup courtesy of their winning aggregate of 92-88.
12.....Two Aussie riders still seeking an inclusion into the UK League scene, have appeared in the first round of the Swedish AllSvenskan League. Mark Lemon has produced a brilliant performance for his team Bysarna and undoubtedly has taken match winning honours with a 2',3,3,2,3=13+1over Piraterna 42-54. AND Brett Woodifield tried hard for the hapless Getingarna with 0,1,1,2,1,1=6 as the team was totally swamped by Filbyterna 19-77 !!!
12.....Sheffield have won their Premier Trophy match over visiting Hull 47-42.
12.....In an unusual twist, Swindon have avenged their heavy first leg defeat at Exeter 10 days ago by trouncing the visiting 'Falcons' 61-29, However Exeter claimed the bonus point after the aggregate scores were tallied and a 93-87 result was given. Frank Smart was back into the action once again with 3,2,3,2'=10+1 and Olliver Allen was terrific with 3 wins and a fall for his nights efforts.
11.....Ryan Sullivan scored almost half of Peterborough's final score in a brilliant display of Speedway racing where the South Aussie took a 6 point 'Golden Double' heat win AND breaking the Kings Lynn track record in the process. With his 3,3,2,3,6,3=20 Ryan still couldn't manufacture a win for his beloved 'Panthers' as they were comfortably beaten by the all conquering Kings Lynn. Nigel Sadler had an off night with 0,2,0=2. The 'Knights' however were unstoppable with a good team performance from...Jason Crump 2,3,3,2=10, Travis McGowan 1',1,3,2'=7+2, Craig Boyce 2,0,3,3,2=10, Shane Parker 1',1,1,1'=4+2 and Leigh Adams 3,3,3,1',1=11+2. Final score 51-42.
11.....Oxford have taken it right up to home town Poole in this first match of the 'Knock-out Cup'. The 'Pirates' were staring down the barrel after the 'Cheetahs' new signing Jan Staechmann won heat 14 and tying the match at 42 all at that critical stage. However a 5-1 to Poole in the final heat gave the 'Pirates first blood in the Cup. Todd Wiltshire had a horror night falling in one heat and finishing with 3,1,fell,1'=5+1 and Steve Johnston added a handy 3,3,1,1',0=8+1.
11.....The Hull 'Vikings' disposed of visiting Sheffield 52-38 with the 'Tigers' Simon Stead adding 6 from 4 rides.
10.....Round 2 of the Swedish Elite League.............
..............Masarna 44 Leigh Adams 2,3,3,0,2=10
Rospiggarna 52 Ryan Sullivan 3,3,3,3,3=15.
..............Vargarna 53 Jason Crump 2',3,2,1',2=10+2 Mark
Vastervik 49 Todd Wiltshire 3,0,3,3,3=12 Craig Boyce 1,2,2,0=5
................Ornarna 38 Jason Lyons 3,1,2,0,1=7
Kaparna 58 Shane Parker 2,2',2',1,1=8+2
9.....Although finishing their match with five fit riders, Wolverhampton have taken a win over visiting Peterborough 49-41. Aussie 'Panthers' Ryan Sullivan added 3,1',2,2,3,1=12+1 and Nigel Sadler found the going tough on 1,1,0=2
9.....Exeter 54 were too good for Isle of Wight 36 where Adrian Newman posted 1,0,0,1'=2+1 for the visiting 'Islanders'.
9.....Stoke travelled to Reading and won their Premier Trophy match 43-47.
8.....The Individual 'Pirate Cup' at Motala in Sweden saw West Aussie Mark Keast ride to a fabulous third placing with 2,2,3,3,3=13. The winner was Jimmy Jansson who rode to a maximum 15 from 5 rides.
8.....Round 6 results of the Polish EkstraLiga from Roman Chyla....................
.............Bydgoszcz 49 Todd Wiltshire 2',2',1,1,2=8+2
..............Leszno 43 Leigh Adams 3,3,3,2,3,2=16
Gorzow 43 Jason Crump 3,1,2,1,1,2=10 Craig Boyce 3,2,0,3,1=9
Torun 38 Ryan Sullivan ?
8.....The Premier Trophy battle of the two 'Tiger' teams went to home team Glasgow 47-43 over Sheffield. The visiting 'Tigers' had Simon Stead firing with 12+1 however to no avail.
8.....Once again, Premier League side Workington are proving to be too strong for all comers as they romped away to a big win over Berwick 51-38. Mick Powell is showing great form and rode to 12 points from 5 rides.
8.....Down to a last heat decider, Edinburgh held onto their slim lead to defeat home town team Newcastle 44-45. The 'Monarchs' Christian Henry played his part in the victory with 2,0,0,0,2=4
8.....In the first Premier League Championship match, Newport open their account with a comfortable win over Stoke 49-41. Lee Herne was given extra rides to cover for injured team mate Craig Taylor, but couldn't match the oppositions speed finishing with a disappointing 1',0,0,0,0,0=1+1.
7.....A night of Mixed Emotions and Surprises in Prague By Matthew Payne
It was a magnificent night, both on and off the track at Pragues picturesque Marketa Stadium. Hundreds of Poles had crossed the border, bathing the stadium in a sea of Red and White, expecting a Tomasz Gollob victory. Sadly for them, though, it wasnt to eventuate. It was a night full of surprises, and upsets. It was a great night for the English, having three of their five representatives make it to the Semi Finals, and the crowning of a new hero Carl Stonehewer, a young rider for Workington in the British Premier League.
From an Australian perspective it was a night of mixed emotions. Our favourite to win the World Championship, Jason Crump, had machinery problems, and struggled. Leigh Adams also had trouble coming to grips with the tricky Prague surface. Ryan Sullivan made it to the last round before the Semis, but the story of the night was Todd Wiltshire. He made World Speedway sit up and take notice, as many in Australia predicted he would. He made it all the way through to the A Final, surviving a kamikaze effort by Tony Rickardsson in the first round of the Sweet Sixteen. Todd eventually finished fourth in his first Grand Prix, and comeback to World Championship Racing. 1976 World Champion Peter Collins and Sky commentator Tony Millard laughed at Sam Ermolenko, when he predicted Todd to win the meeting. By the time Heat 24 came around they were laughing no longer. He started out well, staying with the leaders for the first lap and a half, but then dropped back midway through the race.
The winner on the night was American Billy the Bullet Hamill. The 1996 World Champion is back with a vengeance. He suffered a broken back during the Grand Prix Series in 1998, and has only now regained the form that took him to that World Championship.
Second in the A Final was Briton Mark Loram. His performance was scintillating when you consider that he dislocated his collarbone last week, and he has ligament damage to one of his knees! He sat on the high line all night, and was seemingly able to pass his competitors at will. He was the rider of the night. Look out for when he is fully fit!
Third in the A was Chris Louis who was one of the quiet achievers of the night. He qualified the hard way, coming fourth in his second round ride, and had to come through the last chance qualifier.
Todd Wiltshire rode brilliantly all night to secure fourth in the A Final. He was pumped for a return to Grand Prix racing, and now hes showing his true class. He qualifies directly for the Sweet Sixteen for the second round of the Championship in Sweden in four weeks time. Todd will be hoping that the Championship doesnt hold true to the form of the Czech Grand Prix, as none of the eight seeded riders that qualified for the Sweet Sixteen in Prague made it into the A Final.
The many Poles that packed the Stadium had come to see their man Tomasz Gollob. He is the highest paid sportsperson in Poland, and is expected to take out this years World Championship after narrowly missing out last year to Tony Rickardsson. The pressure on him is immense. When the rider introductions and National Anthem was being conducted, Gollob stood with earplugs in, trying to escape the noise of his fans who were shouting his name. It didnt work he failed to finish in the top two of his Semi Final, hence qualifying for the B Final, which he won.
Joining Gollob in the B was defending World Champion Tony Rickardsson, who was also disappointing. He was excluded in his first ride after diving in on Todd Wiltshire the move failed and Rickardsson crashed heavily into the Turn 4 Air fence. He made his way to the Semi Finals, where he was beaten by Loram and Wiltshire for a berth in the A. Rickardsson finished second in the B.
Third in the B was the other quiet achiever of the night, Swede Mikael Karlsson and fourth was the new hero of Britain Carl Stonehewer. Reputations meant absolutely nothing to this 23 year old who rides for Workington in the Premier League. He could have almost guaranteed himself a start in the Elite League for next year with his performance. Carl has booked himself a start in the Sweet Sixteen for the Swedish Grand Prix next month. He was not expected to do great things in this company, but in a night of surprises, he was one of the shining lights coming second only to Loram as rider of the night.
Jason Crump went into the Czech Grand Prix with high hopes for a good showing. It was the first Grand Prix for Jason as a Jawa Sponsored rider, and as Jawa is based in the Czech Republic, he wanted to put on a good show for the factory bosses. He could be well disappointed after Prague, as it was the Jawa that let him down! In his first ride, the Engine just had no drive at all Jason was wringing its neck trying to get something out of the bike, but to no avail. In his second and final ride, Jason was never in control the bike was all over the shop and he couldnt get a smooth run going. It nearly spat him off several times. Jason will be looking for a better performance in Linkoeping.
Leigh Adams was disappointing also. He never came to grips with the track and scored a pair of thirds to bow out, and have to do it the hard way in Sweden. Ryan Sullivan had brief flashes of brilliance, making it to the last round before the Semis, but he too will have to do it the hard way after finishing ninth in Prague.
Crump, Adams and Sullivan are in good company having to come from the back. Former World Under 21 Champion Joe Screen was never in it, and neither was Swede Jimmy Nilsen. The nuggetty Brit, Andy Smith, failed to advance past his first two rides, which was a little surprising. Another rider who was unfortunate to miss out on qualifying for the Semis was the oldest man in the field, Czech rider Antonin Kasper. He produced a couple of inspiring wins before faltering when it counted most.
Well, what a great start to what promises to be a great World Championship. Nobody expected the Four that Qualified for the A Final to be there, but it proves that anything can and does happen in Speedway. It will be interesting to see if Gollob can overcome the pressure being placed on him and also whether Rickardsson will come back in his home Grand Prix. When they line up at Linkoeping on July 3, everybody will be watching Mark Loram, as he should be a lot fitter (heaven forbid!), they will be looking to see whether new Superstar of World Speedway Carl Stonehewer is here to stay, or a one hit wonder and if the Aussies can come back, in particular if Todd Wiltshire can get into the A Final yet again.
RESULTS BY HEAT: (1: 2: 3: 4) (xGP denotes Championship Points earnt, (R) =retired, (F)=fell)
Pre Main Event - Round 1:
HT1: Mark Loram: Stefan Danno: Andy Smith: Bohumil Brhel
HT2: Antonin Kasper: Henrik Gustafsson: Chris Louis: Michal Makovsky
HT3: Billy Hamill: Peter Karlsson: Brian Karger: Rafal Dobrucki
HT4: Todd Wiltshire: Carl Stonehewer: Mikael Karlsson: Brian Andersen:
Pre Main Event - Last Chance for Round 2:
HT5: Dobrucki: Andersen: Smith (2GP): Makovsky (R, 1GP)
HT6: Louis: M. Karlsson: Karger (2GP): Brhel (1GP)
Pre Main Event Round 2:
HT7: Stonehewer: Hamill: Loram: Gustafsson
HT8: Kasper: Wiltshire: P. Karlsson: Danno
Last Chance for Main Event:
HT9: M. Karlsson: Loram: Dobrucki (4GP): Danno (3GP)
HT10: Gustafsson: Louis: Andersen (4GP): P. Karlsson (3GP)
The Sweet Sixteen:
HT11: Stonehewer: Wiltshire: Ryan Sullivan: Tony Rickardsson (F)
HT12: Tomasz Gollob: Hamill: Greg Hancock: Kasper
HT13: Louis: M. Karlsson: Jimmy Nilsen: Jason Crump
HT14: Loram: Gustafsson: Leigh Adams: Joe Screen
Last Chance for Round 2:
HT15: Kasper: Sullivan: Nilsen(6GP): Screen (5GP)
HT16: Hancock: Rickardsson: Adams (6GP): Crump (5GP)
Second Round of the Sweet 16:
HT17: Hamill: Stonehewer: Gustafsson: Louis
HT18: Loram: M. Karlsson: Wiltshire: Gollob
Last Chance for Super Eights:
HT19: Gollob: Rickardsson: Gustafsson (8GP): Kasper (7GP)
HT20: Wiltshire: Louis: Sullivan (8GP): Hancock (7GP)
HT21: Louis: Hamill: Gollob: M.Karlsson
HT22: Wiltshire: Loram: Rickardsson: Stonehewer
HT23: Gollob (15GP): Rickardsson (14GP): M. Karlsson (12GP): Stonehewer (10GP)
HT24: Hamill (25GP): Loram (20GP): Louis (18GP): Wiltshire (16GP)
7.....Reults of the Czech Grand Prix from Prague..................