DANNY KING COLUMN: Chris Louis gets a maximum, while ‘Rocky’ Schlein sees red against Redcar
PUBLISHED: 18:58 26 April 2017 | UPDATED: 19:29 26 April 2017
© Stephen Waller
I’ll tell you what.
You wouldn’t want our luck right now, would you?
Injury and illness seem to have followed us wherever we have gone since the start of the season and the latest poor fella to suffer is Nico Covatti.
Nico suffered a terrible wrist injury at Redcar last week in a big crash. We all knew it was bad straightaway, he was in huge distress, it was horrible to see and hear him like that. Most of us riders stayed away while the medical people looked after Nico.
He has a badly broken wrist and no idea when he will be back.
It leaves us with six riders and although we say goodbye and thanks to James Sarjeant, whose loan spell with us ended this week, we welcome back Kyle Newman into the team.
It will be great to have him with us at last, although I think it’s fair to say we must be a bit patient with Kyle. While we have all been racing loads, he hasn’t had one full meeting yet.
In saying that, he’s a quality rider and I think he may come back with a bang tomorrow against Berwick.
So, tomorrow night it’s Berwick at Foxhall, and it’s been a busy week.
Last Wednesday, I rode at Poole for Coventry in a challenge meeting. I tried a few things out and was pleased with how they went. I should have got a couple more points than I did after messing up in heat 15.
On Thursday we were well beaten at Redcar, but all thoughts were with Nico to be honest, while poor Cameron Heeps spent most of the night with his head in a bucket being sick - those cheap takeaways!
Only kidding! But poor old Cam really was ill from start to finish. Don’t know what bug he got, but it was pretty nasty. I felt sorry for him and he sensibly took the weekend off.
So, after all that, the next night I rode for Leicester at Belle Vue.
How frustrating was that?
We should have won. The Lions were six points up with three heats to go and we conceded a 5-1 in every flippin’ race!
GRRRRR! And that isn’t a Lions growl either, it’s a hacked off growl.
Still, we picked up a point, something many teams won’t do at Belle Vue. Leicester are a good side, we just need a bit more track time at home to get used to our own place.
So, after a disappointing Friday, it was at least a very happy Saturday.
Redcar were back at Foxhall and despite having to use rider replacement and guest Josh Bates, we were excellent and I’m glad the fans responded with some superb support.
Now, there are a few things about this meeting I need to bring to your attention.
1. Josh Bates was brilliant. I like Josh a lot, he can be a bit mad, but he’s a quality rider. You don’t win British U-21 titles as he has done if you lack quality.
2. Rider replacement got a max. Yes, with Ritchie Hawkins having caught Cam’s bug (goodness knows how he did that! Ha! Ha!), It was Chris Louis who took over as team boss against Redcar and duly slotted the right pegs in the right holes. What a genius.... (Is that OK, Chris?).
3. We have a new nickname for one of the riders in the Witches camp..... It’s not Rory Schlein, but ‘Rocky’ Schlein! Yes, Rory, sorry ‘Rocky’, was in fighting mood after a little ‘altercation’ with Redcar’s Ben Barker in heat 15. It all kicked off for a while as ‘Rocky’ was held back, but order was soon restored.
So, next day we headed north to Newcastle and again our injury jinx struck.
Josh Bates, who was so brilliant for us the night before, damaged his wrist in his first ride and suddenly we were down to five fit riders!
We battled on and our two reserves, Connor Mountain and Danyon Hume were again excellent.
In fact I think we put on quite a good show to be honest. We were only four behind with six heats to go, but we ran out of riders in the final few races.
What a few days. And I’m back to Newcastle on Sunday in the British semi-finals where I’ll be looking to start the defence of my British title. Can’t wait.
But before then we entertain Berwick tomorrow night at Foxhall and travel to Berwick on Saturday.
They have made a few changes to their team, we welcome Kyle Newman back. Would love to see you at Foxhall tomorrow. Speak soon
AS TOLD TO MIKE BACON