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Soundbites: 18th July 2004

"Apart from the two men on assessed averages, Jason Lyons and Lubos Tomicek, every rider in the team has suffered a drop over the past month. So we will be watching closely what happens both tomorrow and next Sunday against the Isle of Wight. It could be that, although we have taken David Meldrum initially on a short-term loan, if he produces the goods then we could well seek to extend the period he is with us."
Newcastle promoter George English looks forward to today's match

"Although Coventry are at the foot of the table, we knew it would not be an easy meeting. Without Kelvin Tatum, it was essential that all of our riders chipped in to support Mark Loram and everything went to plan with Paul Hurry coming up trumps at reserve."
Ronnie Russell on Arena's home win over the Bees on Wednesday

"I was desperate to beat Frede because we know each other quite well, but I think I'll get revenge on Sunday. I got the win I wanted in my last ride - and it felt so good. I was really pleased with my gating, it was phenomenal, this surprised me because I've had so much trouble with my starts all season. I just hope I can continue making good starts from now on."
Newport's Mads Korneliussen - pleased despite the Wasps defeat at Edinburgh on Friday

"I honestly didn't think we would be calling on Robbie very often after the way he rode at Belle Vue. But we had to draft him in for the two meetings this week and I have been really impressed with what I've seen from him. Robbie gives 110 per cent in every race and deserved a hell of a lot more points than he finished with. It was a tall order coming in to face the league leaders but he performed with plenty of credit against their excellent reserve pairing and went on to do even better against Oxford. He has certainly put himself back at the forefront of our thoughts when it comes to the reserve line-up."
Peterborough boss Trevor Swales on Robbie Kessler

"After I lost my team place at Newcastle earlier in the season I was delighted to get the chance to come to Berwick. It's a different type of track, but having spent the season at Exeter last year I am used to riding the bigger circuits."
Lee Smethills

"The knee's badly swollen, but it could be something like a cartilage problem, which would keep him out for just a week. But it could also be something more serious than that - we certainly don't want him to be out for the rest of the season."
Exeter manager Tony Lethbridge on Mark Lemon

"The Coventry riders wanted to ride, but the Arena management said their riders didn't want to carry on. Referee Tony Steele had a very difficult job and I had some sympathy for him."
Peter Oakes with the Coventry view point on their controversial home clash with Arena on Thursday. The meeting didn't finish until close to 11pm.

"I have to say the whole thing was a farce. I felt sorry for Colin Pratt and for the referee, but Josh Larsen was the rider who told the referee someone could go away injured, and he has a suspected broken ankle. My riders told me it was too dangerous to be out there, and you have to question the whole scenario. Should we still be riding at nearly 11pm at night? I know it is hard when it rains, especially when you have a crowd inside the stadium, but sometimes you have to say no. I don't think it did Arena-Essex, Coventry or the sport any good at all, and the crowd deserved better."
Ronnie Russell with the Arena perspective

"It's been frustrating for me not having regular racing and I'm now hoping to put it all behind me. My engine tuner, Graham Jones, has also packed in racing for Glasgow so hopefully he can spend some time working with me again because I have a lot of respect for that man. I would like to thank all involved at Sheffield speedway for giving me another opportunity. My obvious aim is to repay the compliment by bettering my away form. Thank you also to Buxton for giving me the opportunity to ride for them while I was without a team and I wish them every luck for the rest of the season."
James Birkinshaw - Back in the Sheffield side

"The wrist was still petty sore, but the club needed me back in the saddle sooner rather than later especially as we were without both Seb and Glen tonight. It's a shame that we couldn't quite clinch the win but I'm sure everyone here tonight will agree that it was a tremendous match and fair play to Workington for holding us to a draw. I've told the wife that the wrist may still not be up to the rigours of washing and drying the dishes but riding a speedway bike should be no problem although I'm going to have to have daily laser treatment on it so I can be fit to ride in our next match."
Ray Morton - back in action on the Island on Tuesday

"I was happy with my form there but when I stood back and watched some of the racing it was embarrassing, they were smoking us out of the starts. The Poole track sometimes is iffy but it was okay on Wednesday, we were just beaten by a better team."
Leigh Adams

"It was a big, morale-boosting win. It sticks us up the league table a bit, and we should be OK for the bonus point. We just outgunned them, we were just in that mood. I was slightly disappointed with the crowd. They've got out of the habit of watching, and the weather's not been enticing. I just hope it picks up."
Buster Chapman on King's Lynn's 66-26 hammering of Newcastle on Wednesday

"I've got muscle and ligament damage. They can't find anything broken, so that's good. If it's still giving me trouble in a little while, I'll go back again to see if they can discover where the problem is. Obviously I can remember the crash, but I can't let it affect my riding."
Hull's Joel Parsons on the wrist injury he picked up in a horrendous crash at Armadale last Friday

"To make my Grand Prix debut is something I have been aiming for this year. To be in front of the Swedish fans and riding with the top riders in the world is a dream come true. I will be going into the meeting the same way as I have approached all my meetings this year and look forward to doing my best in front of my home fans."
Antonio Lindback on being handed a wildcard for the Swedish Grand Prix

"I'm so thrilled I'm struggling to put it into words. We needed this victory so badly after what we have been through in the past few weeks. I'm delighted for the riders, for the staff and for the fans. Hopefully we can use this performance as a stepping stone to climbing up the table."
Mick Horton on Peterborough's win over Oxford on Wednesday

"We weren't going to win in Sheffield anyway. I know when we can win and when we can't and looking at us on Wednesday at Craven Park we wouldn't have had the mentality to go in there and win. People think I'm being negative, well sorry, I'm just being realistic. Sheffield have gone 70-odd matches unbeaten at Owlerton, they'd have needed to have had a catastrophe for us to win."
Hull boss Eric Boocock on the wash out at Sheffield on Thursday

"Initially, I will act mainly as the away team manager. Buster has the time and experience to do the home meetings, but is too busy to do all the travelling, so that's where I come in. Buster was very easy to deal with and I went over to King's Lynn to introduce myself to the riders and supporters before taking charge of a meeting. That was a good move because we all knew a bit more about each other by the time we got down to the serious business at Newport the other week."
New King's Lynn team manager John Adams

"This will be my first British Under-21 cap, as I was injured last year when I had the chance to ride, so I am happy to get another shot. I am looking forward to the experience of riding in Sweden as I have only ridden abroad a handful of times and only in Sweden the once. "
Jamie Smith on his call up for the test series in Sweden

"I was a bit miffed to over suggestions that I was ready to walk out with the Comets team if I hadn't won my case on Sunday. That's absolutely ridiculous and is simply not true. The dispute went to arbitration and the management committee representative came down on my side. End of story as I see it."
Ian Thomas on the rider replacement controversy at Newport last Sunday


This article was first published on 18th July 2004

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