DANNY KING COLUMN: Down in the dumps in Denmark, clutch-slipping in Ipswich, but fun ahead for Casey’s first birthday – pass the jelly and ice-cream!
PUBLISHED: 19:00 10 May 2017 | UPDATED: 05:39 11 May 2017
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Well, my weekend trip to Denmark was a bit of a pooper.
I think I can say ‘pooper’, it’s not rude is it?
Hoping to make progress in this season’s GP qualifiers, me, Ritchie Hawkins and a good friend of ours, and third driver, Martyn (with a ‘y’), set off for Denmark straight after our home win over Glasgow last Thursday.
We headed off to Folkestone to take ourselves through the Euro Tunnel, into France and then a long drive through France, Holland and Germany ending up in Esbjerg, in Denmark.
It was almost an 11-hour drive but with three of us in the van, it was about three-and-a-half hours drive each, while one person slept, Ritchie was in control of the music - need I say more?
We got to Denmark and met up with Rasmus Jensen who was at the track. He rode for Workington last year and offered to help wash the bikes which were still filthy from the Ipswich meeting.
Ritchie was all for that of course and we went back to Rasmus’ before settling down. We had to be up early next morning.
Now, if you remember I told you last week Ritchie wasn’t a morning person.
So, you should have seen the look on his face when I told him we had to be at the Esbjerg track at 7am on Saturday morning to sign in and get the bikes checked. Ha! Ha! He laughed!
Actually, he didn’t, nor did any of us to be honest. It was a bit early.
The meeting itself went about as well as my first heat at Foxhall last week against Glasgow - more of that later.
A set of gate positions that all worked against me saw me struggle to be competitive in the first turn and with little passing I was always struggling to make the cut to the next round.
In the end I got five points, failed to qualify which is a huge shame because the GP’s are something I would really love to have had a go at. It was a long journey back and I got back in my house at 5am Sunday morning.
I’m sure a quiet weekend in the Cotswolds with the family would be less hassle... But I’m a speedway rider!!
Before my trip to Denmark, the Witches got three more points against a very good Glasgow team who caused us problems throughout the night.
Their heat leaders, Aaron Summers, Richard Lawson and Richie Worrall were really on it all evening, but we had enough strength in depth to see them off, it was just infuriating we let them go home with a point with a last heat 5-1 maximum.
I mentioned my first heat earlier and if you noticed I went into the first turn about 10 yards behind everyone else because my clutch was slipping.
Indeed it was slipping throughout the race.
If you can imagine driving your car and continuously putting your foot on the clutch as you are going along, that’s the sensation you get when you hear riders say their clutch was slipping.
It’s a hopeless situation, but we got it sorted, even if my engine did pack up back in the pits after heat 15. I won’t bore you with the technicalities just to say it was another pain on a difficult night for me.
On Tuesday I went to Leicester for a bit of practice.
It was great to spend a few hours at the track. We haven’t ridden there much this season, so to get three hours of track time was very useful. Josh Bates and Ty Proctor were there too.
Last night I rode at King’s Lynn for the Lions and hopefully we can turn some of our decent away performances into positive results. I like King’s Lynn, it is a big, fast bowl.
As regards the Witches, well we have another tough-looking tie against Scunthorpe tonight at Foxhall.
Again, the Scorpions have a solid-looking 1-7 and I know it has been said before but there are no easy meetings in the Championship.
It’s good to welcome Nathan Greaves into the side. He’s a young lad I don’t know much about, but I’ll give him any advice he wants, as I know Rory Schlein and Justin Sedgmen will.
Justin settled in well last week on his Witches debut. It’s good having two-and-a-half Aussies in the team (Rory of course being half British! - ha! ha! only kidding mate!!). They bring a great deal to the side.
It’s my youngest son Casey’s first birthday on Sunday and we plan a nice big party for him.
I’m glad I have the weekend off so I can enjoy it. Blimey, it doesn’t seem a year ago he was born.
There will be jelly and ice cream, sausage and chips, balloons and all the trimmings. As normal, I’ll be looking to snap up any leftovers the children leave on their plates! I love cold chips!
We just need a child’s entertainer to keep the the kids amused, you know a bit of Punch and Judy, a few impressions, do a few dance moves with a chair, that sort of thing... Ummm! Wonder what Ritchie is doing?
See you at Foxhall tonight. Come along, we love your support. And don’t forget if you want any of our autographs, just ask.
AS TOLD TO MIKE BACON