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Soundbites: Best of 2005


"I never try to break records, that is not my main ambition. I just try to win as many races as I can, and if you win races, then you will win GPs as well. I know I only need a small, small slip and I won't be winning, so I need to stay focussed. I never take anything for granted."
World Champion - Tony Rickardsson

"That was sheer agony, but well worth it. It was a great meeting."
PL Pairs winner - Shane Parker

"I'll be badly out of pocket because I'm a self employed plasterer and earn £500 per week if working every day, while I will also be losing my speedway earnings. It means I'll have to win a lot of races when I come back, or otherwise get six numbers up on the Lottery!"
Paul Lee on the consequences of his arm injury

"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."
Peter Karlsson on the cash crisis at Peterborough

"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."
Edinburgh's Ross Brady

"We've reached an amicable agreement. I am happy with the outcome. Hopefully we can put the rent problem to bed now."
Hull promoter Paul Hodder - Speaking a little too soon!

"In the nine years I have done this job, I have never felt so embarrassed, disgusted and ashamed of a performance as I feel now. Our travelling supporters deserved much better than that."
George English after Newcastle's 71-23 defeat on the Isle of Wight

"You don't know me but you own my contract!"
Andy Smith introduces himself to Avtar Sandhu

"The problem with Zetterstrom is that he can dish it out, but cannot take it himself."
Buster Chapman's view of Zorro

"There have been a lot of phone calls from a wide area from people wanting to know where the track is and how much it costs to get in. Clearly they are people who haven't been before and it is up to us to put on a well-run, professional show to encourage them to come back."
Belle Vue boss Ian Thomas

"I could never understand people booing him before he even started racing, it makes no sense. He's proved people wrong and there's a lot more to pull out of him yet."
Craig Branney on his Hull team-mate Lee Dicken

"One swallow does not make a summer. So I'd suggest that the Poole fans do not run to the hills just yet."
Neil Middleditch on Poole's early season defeat at Arena Essex

"People told me there was an injury jinx on the Comets and I just laughed at them. But I'm beginning to think there's something in that because all the riders have now had an injury."
Workington boss Graham Drury after losing Kevin Little to a broken shoulder blade

"This is one of the biggest signings Glasgow have made for years. Leon is one of the hottest young talents in world speedway."
Glasgow boss Alan Dick on the capture of Leon Madsen - Madsen then walked out on the club before racing a meeting

"We asked Glasgow to change but they refused. They're crazy for going ahead with the match. No one will turn up to watch and they could have been more flexible."
Peter Waite - Fearful of taking an understrength side to Ashfield. He needn't have been as they won the meeting!

"I'm not motivated by maximums anymore, money is all I care about now! That's why I went out in heat 15 and I still ended up on my backside. That will teach me for chasing pound signs."
Sam Ermolenko


"We weren't happy with the track at all. It was like a sponge pudding on the second turn. After a lot of debate we reluctantly decided to ride as we'd have been fined if we'd pulled out. They ended up putting a white line round the bad bit - it looked like a chicane."
Hull promoter David Peet - unhappy with track conditions at Sheffield

"Cameron is a rider whose head needs to be right. Hopefully he can ride through this current bad spell and come out stronger on the other side. His trouble is he cannot make starts and panics."
Edinburgh promoter Alex Harkess on Cameron Woodward

"This club was on its knees a year ago. Whatever happens now, this has been a terrific season for us. We are the best team because we finished top of the league over 36 matches, and I don't agree with the silly play-off system. We should be the champions now, not having to play a cup competition to win it."
Belle Vue boss Ian Thomas

"It's great to hear the Newcastle fans cheering me after all the boos they used to give me when I was riding here for Glasgow or Edinburgh."
James Grieves

"If the Comets supporters want to show their displeasure towards Compton for past events, then that is fair enough. I'm sure he is man enough to take it."
Graham Drury

"A hospital check revealed that I had broken my coccyx - the small tail bone at the bottom of your spine. I was told to have bed rest and forget about riding for a month. That was bad enough but the thought of my bike being written-off completely really got me upset."
Carl Stonehewer

"I'm feeling beat up and I'm sure I'll hurt like hell for a couple of days, but it will take more than that to keep me off the bike. I instinctively got up straight after the crash but I felt chest pains so had to take a couple of minutes on the track to get myself right. At least it gave the mechanics time to fix my bike!"
Sam Ermolenko

"I think Ivan Mauger should think about sharpening up his gating skills to protect his record."
Leigh Adams sums up the 2005 Grand Prix season

"Whether you are a speedway rider, a tiddly winks player or a car salesman, if you don't get the results expected your job is in jeopardy and I'm afraid that's the position Sam finds himself in. There is no way I can tolerate a second heat leader failing to score and we have to act now to try and salvage the season. I have been very concerned about Sam for a while and last night only heightened that. I will be looking all over the world to see if there are suitable riders out there."
Peterborough manager Trevor Swales when Sam Ermolenko was struggling

"The disappointing thing for me is that the riders were beaten before they went out. They all seem to have this thing in their heads about the Exeter track. I could tell from the mood in the dressing room beforehand that we weren't going to do very well. They just seem to take it for granted that they are going to have a bad night around the County Ground track."
Workington boss Graham Drury on their heavy defeat at Exeter

"I don't usually get too excited about speedway, but I went last year and the hairs on the back of my neck were standing up. The atmosphere and the whole day was just great. It's the best speedway in the world."
Mark Lemon sums up the Cardiff experience

"Apparently I am worth £36,000 according to the SCB, and I suppose it is quite flattering to be valued at that sort of figure. I am told Jason Crump also cost £36,000, and if I can achieve what he has achieved in the next few years, I will be delighted."
Scott Nicholls

"I never worried that I'd be dropped, how do you replace me?"
Sam Ermolenko

"Steve was absolutely delighted to be given the chance to ride for the Comets and we had agreed terms. Then less than 24 hours later, he rang back to say he would be out of action for six weeks. He had been in his workshop with his six year-old son Reece. The boy had gone out to see his mother and unfortunately left his bike on the floor. Steve turned round and fell over the bike, dropping the engine onto the foot which already had two broken bones. He had been actually working on the engine to bring it to Workington. It's hard to believe but is just typical of the luck we've been having at Workington this season."
Graham Drury misses out on signing Steve Masters


This article was first published on 31st December 2005

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