Danny King column: So... Who’s laughing now?
© Copyright Stephen Waller
In this week’s Danny King column, the Witches skipper looks back at a fine win at Peterborough and some big meetings ahead.
I remember well when our Witches team for 2019 was announced back in February.
And I remember it well because I remember many of the comments about it.
Admittedly not by many Ipswich fans, but by plenty of others in the sport... 'Just making up the numbers', 'Ipswich have no out and out No.1', 'Defo won't make play-offs'.
I think it is fair to say many people thought we might be a bit of cannon fodder. And yes, there were a few sniggers.
Well, they're not laughing at us now!
And while I know there is a long way to go this season and plenty still to race for, I think it is fair to say the Witches have already shown what we can do - and we haven't finished yet.
I must admit I'm so proud to be captain of this side.
What a team.
The camaraderie among the riders is just fantastic, everyone getting on so well. After each race we have a quick huddle and chat about track conditions and set-ups. Everyone chips in on and off track. It's a delight.
At Peterborough on Monday night it was just another great example and what a win it was.
Danny Ayres came in as a guest for Edward Kennett and was superb for us although hopefully Edward will be back with us at Swindon tonight.
I didn't score as well as I had hoped, although I must admit I didn't think my score reflected my riding and I certainly wasn't happy at being excluded when I clashed with Hans Andersen in one race. I felt I was very hard done by.
Unfortunately Hans went on to have a nasty one with Cameron Heeps later in the meeting.
It was a big one and I hope Hans makes a full and quick recovery - luckily Cam just has a sore elbow I think.
It look the gloss off the night just a bit, but our win was brilliant.
Four points, top of the table, what more could we wish for?
MORE: Witches joy at Peterborough
I think it's fair to say our team all like Peterborough.
Whether the track is grippy or slick doesn't bother us. It's a great racing track and we have a team of racers, so it just suits us all.
Our fans were superb again at Peterborough and it is fun to hear them cheering.
Speedway fans don't often travel in numbers. But we get great support wherever we go, especially at Peterborough and King's Lynn.
So, we are top of the pile, but with two very tough away gigs on the horizon.
Tonight we are at Swindon and on Monday we go to Belle Vue.
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Our away form has been really good all season, so we travel to both tracks in confident mood.
Our team boss Ritchie Hawkins has said the big win at Peterborough has taken the pressure off a bit for these next two meetings and I know what he means.
But we want to win both meetings, make no doubt about that.
We have already been to both tracks and know all about them. Swindon is a slightly different shape than it used to be but, as I said, we have been there now, although they are strong at home.
While Belle Vue we pushed really close last month, so we go there with confidence as well.
I have been asked whether there are more injuries about these days than there used to be.
I seem to get asked this question every season.
Sadly, we are in a bit of a spell of crashes right now and it is never nice.
But speedway is a dangerous sport and always has been. Nothing has changed on that front. Yes the bikes are faster and the tracks haven't changed a great deal, but it's the sport we do. It's what we do.
So, while I hate all these crashes as much as anyone, I don't think there are any more than usual, we are just going through a bad spell right now.
Finally, I took a bit of a battering off Ritchie at golf last week.
We played for our 'tin cup' which the winner proudly takes home and although I was just one down at the turn, by the 13th I was five down!
Oh, he lapped it up, even putting the cup on the dashboard so I had to see it in my eye line all the way home. My revenge will come.
So, no meeting at Foxhall tonight, but we will be battling like crazy at Swindon and hoping to keep ourselves top of the table.
Belle Vue on Monday and I have a Sheffield meeting in between.
Busy times, but when you are top of the table, you can't wait for the next meeting to come round.
AS TOLD TO MIKE BACON
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