The Internationale 1970
A sad publicity stunt caused an air of Purple Haze over this Wills Internationale. In the programme at number 1 was Junicho [ Jimmy ] Ogisu from Japan. A keen amateur who had toured Australia, Ogisu was written up in the programme as the only Japanese rider to ever appear in the UK, his appearance was "a major breakthrough for British Speedway and the sport in the Western Hemisphere."
Jimmy Ogisu was one heck of a nice guy and genuine in his attempts to be a Speedway rider BUT he should never have been allowed in this meeting, often touted as having a stronger field than the World Final. Every now and then, someone has a really bad idea. This was one of them. He was used as a gimmick, a 'clown' to draw punters to the 'Big Top' and that only brought shame on the event and Speedway as a whole.
Also, a new regulation was introduced. Any rider failing to score in two consecutive rides would be withdrawn from his next heat and replaced. Interesting concept and good news for the reserves.
On the Bank Holiday Monday of May 25, over 20,000 watched as World Champion Ivan Mauger was 'smokin' and put on one of THE most powerful performances of his career. The unbeaten score reflecting his mastery. And taking home the brand new Jawa.
Trevor Hedge could certainly smile at the end of the night after dropping just two points and his Wimbledon companion Ronnie Moore was back on the podium, first time since 1961 !
IVAN MAUGER 15. Trevor Hedge 13. RONNIE MOORE 11. Terry Betts 11. Bengt Jansson 8. Jim Airey 8. Ray Wilson 8. Ole Olsen 8. BARRY BRIGGS 6. Martin Ashby 6. Eric Boocock 6. Reider Eide 5. Bernt Persson 4. Nigel Boocock 4. Res Christer Lofqvist 3. Res Reg Luckhurst 2. Junicho Ogisu 1. Res Cyril Maidment 0. Tony Clarke 0.
This article was first published on 8th March 2020
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