he responsibility of constructing the track was completely out of our hands.” – DAVID GORDON
recent being last Wednesday, which went okay but I wouldn’t like to put it any stronger than that.
“When the speedway bikes are riding it does actually help to improve conditions on the track in many ways, but at the same time it also helps to highlight the areas where there may be problems.
“On Thursday, the day after practice, those problems manifested themselves in the form of water quite literally coming up through the shale.
“Just after 5 pm on the Thursday evening, Chris Morton and myself were asked to view the third and fourth turns to be shown water bubbling up from the track and effectively a stream running across the surface of the track.
“It was at that stage we knew two things, that one we couldn’t possibly run on the Friday and two we simply couldn’t continue trying to work with, or repair, this circuit in the condition it was in.
“We had a high level meeting first thing on Friday morning with Manchester City Council in which it was decided that the whole of turns three and four needed to be ripped up in view of replacing the defective sub-base.
“That’s exactly where we’re at now. Unfortunately it means we’ve also had to postpone Saturday’s Colts match because there’s just no chance, with the repairs going on, that we’ll be able to run it.
“What we’re not going to do is rush this. We’ve taken some severe hits while all of this has been going on. We missed the Grand Opening, we missed Good Friday and also then Easter Monday, plus other key fixtures.
“But in order to ensure we don’t miss anymore meetings, we know this has to be right and all we need is a safe and complete race track.”
With the timeframe for repairs having already ruled out Saturday’s National League fixture, the club has turned its attention to the Rentruck Aces’ next home match against Poole on April 27.
Work on the affected areas of the track was due to commence during this week and with just over a fortnight to play with, officials are targeting completion of the works in time for this fixture.
Gordon continued: “It’s looking like ten working days, weather permitting, to complete the repairs, but that also depends on what is the extent of the problem below the shale.
“I must point out there’s been nothing wrong with the shale itself, at all. The specification is correct, the mix is correct and the supply is correct. It’s being affected by the defective sub-base.
“When we first realised there was an issue it was thought it was perhaps related to the shale in that it wasn’t reacting the way it should’ve been, but that in turn then highlighted the underlying problem.
“Without the benefit of X-ray vision, we made some of our earlier decisions based on what we could physically see and at that time unfortunately we couldn’t see the defects starting to form.
“In other words, we had perfectly good shale resting on a defective sub-base which caused it to behave and react out of the ordinary and not as you would expect it to, and that’s been the problem all along.
“Had we known that in hindsight I’m confident we’d have made much different decisions to those that we did make, but looking back won’t contribute towards solving the issue we have.
“The unacceptable problems we have experienced over the past few weeks has seriously damaged the club in so many ways, but the only way to fix this right now is to completely rip up both turns three and four to get to the problem material beneath and start all over again, and make sure this is fixed once and for all.
“Hindsight is an exact science but the important thing is the problem has been identified and a solution is being put in place to fix that issue, and now all we’ve got to do is make sure it’s fixed.”
Report: HAYLEY BROMLEY
Kyle ambitious? You bet – Middlo
POOLE team manager Neil Middleditch hit back at tweets from Coventry boss Gary Havelock questioning Pirates reserve Kyle Newman’s ambition for starting 2016 at reserve.
Newman is one of the Dorset side’s draft stars for a third straight season, while Bees battler Jason Garrity opted to begin this year in the Coventry top five.
Havelock was asked on Twitter by Neil McCarthy “can you explain to me why Jason Garrity is no longer an Elite League draft rider but Kyle Newman is please?”
He responded by posting: “The only answer I could give you is that JG is ambitious and wants to get to the top. KN is not?”
The incendiary tweet upset a number of Poole fans and Middlo was quick to jump to Newman’s defence.
He said: “I was a little bit surprised. Gary obviously backs Jason Garrity, and Jason is a very capable young rider.
“Gary says Kyle lacked ambition by not going up into the team. Well, Kyle can go into the team. He’s just starting off at reserve as many riders have done – we all did.
“You work your way into the team and at least Fast Track riders have that possibility. There’s no lack of ambition. The way Kyle’s average is going, he could move up and we’ll have someone like Davey Watt at reserve.
“Jason Garrity has found it a bit tough at No. 2 and it is a tough number. He’s a capable rider and I’m sure he’ll ride his way through it.
“But for Gary to say what he did about Kyle was maybe a little uncalled for. I think Kyle is ambitious. He has invested a lot of money into his equipment and is riding in Poland. By his own admission, he wants to get into the main body of the team.”
Some may call Bees’ decision to allow Garrity to move up a tactical error in their team building.
Had his average earned him a top five berth after starting at No. 6 or No. 7, one of the main team would have been forced down to reserve, meaning Coventry could have had potentially more strength-in-depth than they have with draft duo James Sarjeant and Josh Bates at the tail end.
Pirates have already been slated for signing Krzysztof Buczkowski as a second string after he fell 0.02 under the 6.50 threshold for riders to be deemed a heat leader.
But Middlo is delighted with how Poole’s sums have added up. He said: “The whole object of this game is to win. It’s a numbers game and Matt (Ford) is one of the best at it.
“People criticised us over the Buczkowski thing, but it was all legal. Everybody started screaming that we were cheating. No, we’re not cheating; we’re very clever at using the rules to our advantage. We went by the book and the averages don’t lie.
“We always try to assemble a team that’s competitive and going to improve, and I think Matt has done that this year.
“It’s a long, long season and it’s very early doors. From what I’ve seen, the signs are good, but there are some good teams out there.”
Report: PAUL BURBIDGE
EMIL Sayfutdinov is recovering from surgery to the injured shoulder he sustained in the Best Pairs at Torun while competing for Team Fogo Power.
The operation, carried out by specialist Doctor Aleix Vidal, took place in the Teknon Medical Centre in Barcelona and Sayfutdinov will be working with the same physio team that aided his recovery after his crash in 2013 – which ended his World and European Championship hopes.
His manager and friend Tomasz ‘Susi’ Suskiewicz explained: “His surgery was to a piece of bone at the top of his arm where they inserted a screw to hold it together with the ligament. It was so important to do because with this problem it wasn’t possible to ride anymore – like the meeting in Torun. The problem with the bone was only discovered after an MRI scan in Spain.
“He had a small dislocation on the track after the crash and again after he got hit by Grigory Laguta during the last few metres in his race against him. He would like to come back at the end of May and he will do all he can do to do that, but we’ll have to see how all the physio goes.”
When Sayfutdinov received the bumps after he clinched the European title last year in Ostrow, he had to withdraw from the rest of the event because he injured his shoulder during the incident. However, Suskiewicz denies that his weak shoulder is the legacy from the multiple injuries he received following the 2013 accident.
“No, it’s nothing to do with that crash. The problem with the bone happened in the crash in the Pairs. He said that he felt a little pain after he hit the track and the airfence.”
Sayfutdinov’s fall took place in Heat 2 when he fell all on his own on the first bend in a strangelooking incident, which prompted some commentators to speculate that it could have been a mechanical failure that caused the tumble. But it seems being a bit rusty is more likely to be the reason.
“The thing is that we don’t know what happened,” said Susi. “The bike drove him so quick from the start. He said that he didn’t expect that sort of drive at that moment. When his arms straightened, the bike just launched so quickly. He thinks it was because he’s not done enough racing.”
Report: BRIAN BURFORD
April 16, 2016 speedway star 3