Rider crisis looming warns Louis
IPSWICH Evening Star Witches promoter John Louis today called for radical changes to be made to speedway in this country.He admits that his club is in a dilemma and struggling to build a competitive side to compete in the Elite League.
By Elvin King
IPSWICH Evening Star Witches promoter John Louis today called for radical changes to be made to speedway in this country.
He admits that his club is in a dilemma and struggling to build a competitive side to compete in the Elite League.
“There are just not enough riders to go round,” said Louis.
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“According to my calculations 19 riders have left the Elite League in the last two to three years.
“It is something the authorities have to address as we cannot carry on with the product we have at the moment.”
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Louis confirmed that Australian Todd Wiltshire is not in the running.
“He needed time away from Australia last year and rode for Oxford,” added Louis. “But he is now concentrating on settling down with his young family and re-building his life.
“Tomasz Gollob and Jarek Hampel both have enough on their hands without riding in England, while Piotr Protasiewicz has caused Oxford to switch their race night to accommodate him.
“Ryan Sullivan - like Pepe - is concentrating on the Russian League, while Mikael Max wants time to reflect on how to arrange the rest of his career.
“If we cannot find a seven point-plus rider then we will not look particularly strong on paper, but there are plenty of examples of riders who come in on low averages and take the Elite League by storm.”
Daniel King will not be leaving Ipswich until the Witches have assembled a complete team, although Peterborough are reported to have him pencilled in to complete their side at number two.
“Daniel is one of our assets and we will not be letting anyone else go until we have completed our side,” said Louis.
“This is a vital time of the year in the speedway calendar and it has become more difficult. It is a worry, but it is part of the job.”
Ipswich have so far confirmed Chris Louis, Mark Loram, Robert Miskowiak, Kim Jansson and Marcin Rempala as certain starters with King and Tobi Kroner waiting in the wings.
Miskowiak cannot wait to get started with the Pole saying: “I am really happy at Ipswich.
“There is not as much pressure as in Poland, and even if I do not get a good result in one or two heats you still have other chances.
“In Poland in such situations you are just done and have to take the flak.
“The Elite League sees one meeting after another and you have to go on and not cry over spilled milk.”
Miskowiak is currently working-out three times a week, while fellow Pole Rempala has watched all the Elite League videos supplied by Ipswich.
He is still practising daily, although with no winter camp organised by his Tarnow club he is planning to go skiing for a few days.
Kamil Zielinski, a 20-year-old from Tarnow, will be in England with Rempala and brothers Jacek and Greg for the Ipswich press and practice days.