Soundbites: 28th May 2005
"The two guys out in front in the standings - Tony Rickardsson and Jason Crump - have already
opened a small gap over the rest and I can't let that gap widen.
Rickardsson looks really solid this season and, although Crumpie hasn't necessarily been at his
best, he won last time out in Sweden and has made it to the A finals.
I've said it before but that's what I have to do all the time."
"I had six rides and had some really good heats, but two really bad ones with my two last
places. My aim is to reach the final, it has got to be. You don't get easy races in the Grand
Prix, every race is tough."
"We took Wimbledon to a final heat decider with three riders, two of who must take an immense amount of credit - Jon Armstrong and Lee Smart.
Coming into Mildenhhall for this season has been a bit like re-building Manchester United, and because of our recent success people revel in beating us away from home.
There are a lot of expectations of myself and riders at the club, but I am relaxed about our results because we have pushed teams very close with under-strength line-ups."
"I need to get myself on the rostrum as soon as I can, and a good result in Krsko would be the perfect tonic ahead of the next Grand Prix at Cardiff in a couple of weeks time.
I have had some mixed experiences at Krsko in the past. I have done well there, finishing third in both the GP Challenge in 2001 and in the Grand Prix in 2003.
But I also broke some bones in my ankle in a bizarre accident there in 2002 when a mechanic rode one of Tony Rickardsson's bikes into me as I came off the track on to the pit ramp."
"It is vitally important for the fans and the confidence of the riders that we get back on track.
They say the league table doesn't lie but I reckon we are a top five team and the riders now have to prove it.''
"The first GP in Poland was a disaster for me and the second one was even worse.
To be honest, I don't remember a lot about the Swedish GP. I felt so ill and lethargic in Eskilstuna that I almost pulled out of the meeting at one point.
I woke up Friday night feeling very sick because I had such severe stomach cramps. On Saturday morning, I stopped throwing up, although I still couldn't eat anything.
In the end, I just stayed in the motorhome, had some water and then tried to get on with the job in the evening.
It may not have been the best preparation for a GP but when it's the World Championship you have to give it a go."
"I'm still following the old adage of one GP at a time, because there are five or six guys who
can win this championship, not just Tony Rickardsson or me. I've never made the final in Slovenia
and making the final four will be my goal this weekend.
The secret at Slovenia is not to go in with too much horsepower, otherwise the bike will just spin up the whole time."
"What we achieve on Monday depends on the continuing availability of both Burrows and Clement, and an improved showing from our middle-order riders. With all respects - they didn't come up to expectations in our 51-42 Conference Trophy defeat on Sunday.
I have made it clear that there must be a better response from them. Burrows, of course, always comes up trumps - but it's unfair to rely on his efforts alone."
"It was a bit worrying for a while, but there has been a takeover and everything has been sorted out.
There's no point being a promoter if you can't pay the bills and although speedway is great fun, I do it for a living."
"I am aware that I'm getting booed, and it's not very nice. But if that's what the fans want to do I'll have to live with it. It's only a minority. I've got lots of supporters who are behind me. I just want to concentrate on my racing."
"Gary's a determined young lad so hopefully he won't be missing too long. He loves his speedway too much."
"It's certainly not going to happen again, that's for sure.
I'm in a different frame of mind from my last visit, that's all I can say on that one."
"He was our match-winner there's no doubt about that. He rode sensibly all night and held a good line.
Jan was even keen to go out and do Heat 15 as well, but I thought that would have been one race too far for him."
"It's a hectic schedule for both man and machinery, but one the lads were all looking forward
to. If people think footballers have a hard life having to play two matches a week sometimes,
well that's nothing compared to what speedway riders go through.
Come the end of Saturday night, our riders will have raced four matches this week alone then,
next week, they face home and away matches against Newport on Tuesday and Wednesday!
In between there's bikes to clean, engines to tune, and vans to be driven to and from
It really does make me cringe when I read about Premiership footballers claiming they have a
"James Grieves' exclusion seemed to unsettle him a bit and, though he won a superb tussle with Shane Parker, he wasn't quite at his brilliant best.
Lubos Tomicek was another to fall foul of this particular referee - not for the first time I might add - and he was fined £50 for delaying the start of his first race.
That appeared to affect Lubos rather badly and he added only one more point from his other three rides."
I'm delighted with the effort. There is no doubt we had what bad luck there was going.
Both Robbie Kessler and Stuart Robson snapped primary chains, while Jack Hargreaves blew a
"It's another massive blow for the club, not just because Kauko is a nice lad and a good rider,
but he is also an influential figure in the pits.
He'd done very well for us against the Stars, beating Tom Topinka on his home track, which very
few manage, and also winning a tactical ride race for us. Although we'd lost the morale among
the boys was lower than you would expect because Kauko is extremely popular in the team."
"It was difficult to make the initial jump and having to travel 330 miles every week, but for speedway riders that's part and parcel of the game and you get used to it.
It was quite strange and an honour to be made captain. Normally the honour goes to a rider owned by the club, but obviously Newcastle saw something in me they liked.
I'm getting on with everyone and really enjoying the challenge, though things have not been quite so good for me personally on the track, though not bad."
This article was first published on 28th May 2005
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