Home Contact Us Stadia Pix Articles All About You Riders to Remember
DVDs Books Pictures Archive Dream Teams Programme Generator
Ivan Mauger V Britain's Best
Part 6: John Louis and John Davis
Rose Tinted Spectacles
Ivan Mauger V Britain's Best
Part 5: Chris Morton
Your Feedback
Ivan Mauger V Britain's Best
Part 4: Dave Jessup
Your Feedback
Ivan Mauger V Britain's Best
Part 3: Malcolm Simmons
Your Feedback
Ivan Mauger V Britain's Best
Part 2: Ray Wilson
Your Feedback
Ivan Mauger V Britain's Best
Part 1:Nigel Boocock
Your Feedback
Silver Machine Win Gold
Ivan's Fantasy Island
Your Feedback
Tidying Up The Parade
NZ v Australia 1980
Your Feedback
2024 is Off and Running
The Story of Noddy Holder
Your Feedback
1975/76 NZ v England
Your Feedback
DVD: Great Races of the 80s
What's Wrong With Ambition?
Your Feedback
Book Review: Walthamstow
When the Rangers Roared
High Beech Revival of 1954
Your Feedback
Western Springs Winged Wheels
Grand Pricks?
Your Feedback
Blind Speedway Rider
Track Pix: Oxford
Farcical Guest
Your Feedback
The Ole Olsen Tapes
Dream Team: Richard Cleaver
Plus Points
Your Feedback
1974/75 BL V New Zealand
Heat Details Required
Your Feedback
Northside Arena
Review: Tigers at White City
Your Feedback
How to halt the decline
NZ v Poland - 1st Test
NZ v Poland - 2nd Test
NZ v Poland - 3rd Test
NZ v Poland - 4th Test
Track Pictures: North Brisbane
It's All About You: Lionel King
Your Feedback
Dream Team : Geoff Langley
Your Feedback
Gerald Dunn's JAP
Your Feedback
1975 World Final. Heat 20.
Your Feedback
Peter Collins Autobiography
Your Feedback
DVD Review: 70s - A to Z
Your Feedback

What's Wrong With Ambition?
By David Pickles

To some, I probably come across as an habitual complainer, but there are increasing signs that speedway continues to isolate itself on the world stage, and once again the GP's are found wanting.

The line-up for 2024 to me is found sadly lacking (I won't go into the Sayfudinov/Laguta thing again), but the calendar of venues is shocking to say the least. Out of 11 GP's next year, no less than FOUR are in Poland. Doesn't that tell you something? The organisers seem to have buried their heads in the sand as far as ambition and wing-spreading are concerned.

One example is the Stade de France, in Paris. Some time ago they held a speedway event there, granted it wasn't packed to the rafters but it was a run of the mill meeting and still attracted a healthy crowd. A Grand Prix would undoubtedly attract a very healthy one, how many Brits would make a day of it and travel through the tunnel for a day in Paris? A large amount I would suggest.

Also, have the organisers put out feelers in other countries? China I have mentioned before, to my mind a sleeping giant with a massive population who I think would attend in their droves, at least out of curiosity at first. India being another country that is motorcycle mad, has perfect weather at certain times of the year, and stadiums big enough to fit a temporary track in, holding upwards of 50,000. And what about the original birthplace of our beloved sport - Australia? No mention or thought of ending the GP season with one there, likewise the US - who continue to feed decent riders into the system each year and yet are ignored.

Saudi Arabia are making giant strides on the world stage of sport, witness their pumping hundreds of millions into football, and now they are looking seriously at cricket. Why can't speedway make a play there, at least an effort to hold a presitgious GP. That's one venue that at least wouldn't be affected by rain-offs.

If the GP organisers, along with the FIM are content with having a GP series totally euro-centered, with the real centre on Poland then its no wonder that interest in it will continue to fade with the paying and viewing public.


This article was first published on 17th December 2023

[ Use Mobile Version ]


  • Steve Haire:

    "Another good article by Dave Pickles. Ambition, still exists but probably lower expectations of what can be achieved. America's national sport is American Football, their top competition is called the 'World Series', yet no other country competes. Their game has not changed over the years but their support hasn't wained.

    A few years ago they tried to introduce football to Britain with games with top American teams playing at prestige stadiums including Wembley and although well supported at the start it was a sport which us British never took to. Speedway is becoming the same, Poland has become the prime country or centre stage for speedway. Any rider with ambition now aims to get into a Polish team to compete with the best and further their career, years ago it was the British league that riders headed for to progress.

    For some reason when speedway get's it right the authorities deem it neccesary to dumb down a competition and change the format. A good example the World Cup, for years it was a team of four riders riding as indivuals with the top four teams qualifying for a final, worked for years until Poland started winning it practically every year, so what do they do? change the name to 'Speedway of Nations', reduce it to a pairs meetings (the least number of riders you can call a team) with seven teams qualifying, bear in mind there wasn't that many nations that had leagues and some struggled to field two riders (fortunately it's more or less gone back to the old world cup format).

    If memory served me right they tried to introduce speedway to an Emirate country consisting of a top class field of riders, also I think they attempted it in Spain but either it failed or didn't come about.

    Speedway has seen so many changes to technology and safety, chain guards, silencers, four valve bikes, wheel spoilers, cut out switches, dirt deflectors, multi link forks, back and neck protectors and air fences (I think they ruined the racing at a lot of tracks became narrower), so how long before we have electric speedway bikes? Of course stadium car parks will need elctric chargers for patrons to charge their cars to get home. "

  • Tracy Holmes:

    "France, yes !!! Australia too but from my very limited understanding, no-one wants it because it would be a financial flop. As for China, India or Saudi Arabia. Just makes me cringe in horror. It would just be a novelty side-show and treated like a day at the circus. But the USA is where I would love to see it happen. True, you would have to put up with all the Yeehah crap they would serve up but the action would be taken seriously especially if you had Bruce Penhall, Greg Hancock and Billy Hamill on the promotion team. Just a thought. "

  • Steve Brown:

    "Just a small correction to Steve Haire's comment on, "What's Wrong With Ambition?" American football's top competition is, in fact, called the "Superbowl". The "World Series" is the baseball equivalent, and actually includes a Canadian team, the Toronto Blue Jays. There were two Canadian teams before the Montreal Expos relocated to Washington D.C."

  • Steve Haire:

    "I stand corrected, in America the 'World Series' is Baseball not Football (Superbowl), easy to get it wrong as both are basically played and watched by only Americans. Basketball, the other major American sport, the championship trophy is the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy (had to google that), anyway, the funny thing is that Baseball and Basketball, two of their top sports are games originated in for girls, Rounders and Netball, and as far as American Football is concerned we have Rugby where players don't we ar half a ton of protective clobber.

    Just read about the Kings Lynn refereeing 'fiasco', will not comment on it but how long before we have to have VAR, appreciate it will mean extra expense, perhaps they could get it sponsored by Specsavers.

    The 'Ambition' topic, I think Oxford are being ambitious in running teams in all three leagues."  


    Comment on this Article | Contact Us | Go Back to Main Menu

  •    Please leave your comments on this article or on the site as a whole