Heat 13 needs to be lucky for our riders

THE MARK LORAM COLUMNTONIGHT is a big one for Ipswich Evening Star Witches when they entertain fancied Eastbourne at Foxhall Stadium looking for their first Elite League victory.

THE MARK LORAM COLUMN

TONIGHT is a big one for Ipswich Evening Star Witches when they

entertain fancied Eastbourne at Foxhall Stadium looking for their first Elite League victory.

A win is paramount as Ipswich do not want to be cut adrift at the foot of the table.

But it will not be easy. In fact it will be tough as Eastbourne look to me to be a very good side.

I was keeping tabs on the Witches meeting at Peterborough on Monday, and not for the first time this year we were doing fine up to heat ten.

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Then the Witches fell away, and it is all getting very frustrating.

Heat 13 is a vital race in virtually every meeting, and we are not coming up with the goods. Robert Miskowiak, number one in the team, is

inconsistent at the moment, and I notice that there is going to be a change in pairings for tonight's cruncher.

But this does not affect Robert, who stays where he is, and Witches fans will be hoping he can cut the mustard in the crunch races tonight.

One rider I am particularly interested in watching tonight is Simon Gustafsson, the Eastbourne reserve.

I used to ride a lot with his father Henka and am still friends with the Swede.

I am told Simon is a chip off the old block and I will be looking keenly to see how well he goes tonight.

FORMER Ipswich skipper Scott Nicholls will be in action for Eastbourne this evening at Foxhall, now that he has moved on to Eastbourne after leading Coventry to the championship in 2007.

This is a big year for Scott as he is getting to the age now where he needs to start making a bigger impact on the international scene.

The first Grand Prix of the year takes place in Slovenia on Saturday and Scott will be whizzing off there as soon as tonight's meeting ends.

You always get 110 per cent with Scott, but now is the time for him to convert his vast potential into reality and start pushing the riders at the top of the tree.

If you asked me who I thought would win the world title this year I would go for Australian Jason Crump to make it a third title.

But he will be pushed all the way by Nicki Pedersen, the current champion who will want it so bad again that this will give him a psychological advantage over the rest.

WHILE Sweden have young riders like Simon Gustafsson coming through, there does not appear to be a lot of young English talent coming through the system.

In my new job involved with the Under-21's I plan to make a few changes once I get Monday's thigh operation out of the way.

What I would like to do is to gain a mailing list of all young moto-cross riders and invite them to speedway trials.

Speedway offers more bright lights than moto-cross and it is much more lucrative as well.

Most moto-cross riders could become good speedway riders if they took the plunge with Chris Louis one example of someone who switched codes.

I think we need to do this, and Buxton is a track that could be used for this purpose. If there are any good riders who would do well for Ipswich then I will be pointing them in the right direction.

MY priority for the next few weeks is to make as good a recovery as possibly from the operation I am to undergo in Norwich Hospital on Monday.

The surgeon is hopeful I can make a full recovery after the first operation following my leg break last March did not prove a complete success.

A bone graft is going to be done on my thigh and I am confident I will be in much better shape before long.

But I will have to go for some while without putting any weight on the leg.

Wish me well!

As told to Elvin King

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