Danny King column: Who are the guilty ones late on parade? Beware the Panthers!
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Witches skipper Danny King reflects on a big night at Belle Vue and an important night ahead at Foxhall
If you were there, or watched it on TV, I'm sure you will agree it was quite a meeting at Belle Vue.
The National Speedway Stadium does have a race track of the highest quality with lines all over the place for passing.
Naturally, the Witches and our fans left Manchester disappointed with the result, but proud of the effort we put in.
To say we deserved our losing bonus point is an understatement. We could have won it.
But Belle Vue were always going to finish strong, with Max Fricke and Kenneth Bjerre off the inside gates in heats 13 and 15.
We needed a bit more of a buffer going into those last few races.
But we can be pleased with the way we rode and the effort all of us gave.
Yet, we are still nowhere near our best yet.
Still, not everyone is firing on all cylinders at the same time. At Belle Vue our two reserves, Cameron Heeps and Jake Allen did well, but they know they can score more than they did. They have showed it.
At one stage or another all of us haven't been on the money, yet still we pick points up on the road.
It was good to see Jake back at Belle Vue.
He's had a shoulder injury and I don't think it is fully mended. I believe Coty Garcia is taking Jake's place against Peterborough tomorrow as Jake's shoulder isn't 100%.
I like Jake. I think he has a great attitude and is a great racer. He has a big future.
And wasn't it good to see David Bellego getting back among the points?
We are a team, all seven of us and it's great to be the captain.
Not that there hasn't been a slight ruffle just recently in the camp over time-keeping mind you!
Oh yes, we are all supposed to get to the track two hours before the start. But we have two in the team who are often a tad on the late side.
Nothing serious you understand, but just enough to get a bit of banter flowing towards them.
I won't name names....
Hang on, yes I will.
The two culprits are the 'Bomber' Chris Harris and Richard Lawson.
Admittedly they apologise profusely but they just can't seem to get their timings right.
Richard was late the other week at Foxhall because he was tiling all day and wanted to get the grouting finished before he left.
He was slightly annoyed he hadn't managed to finish the grouting!
A bit of a handyman is Richard.
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He can turn his hand to most things, plastering, tiling, fixing central heating. He's certainly a good bloke to know for those jobs around the house that want doing!
As I said, we usually arrive at a track two hours before start time and do the track walk an hour before.
If you are late on track walk you get fined.
It's the most important part of our preparation and gives us all a chance to look at the surface and to look where the grip may or may not be.
There's always a bit of mickey-taking and banter on the track walk. And I must admit I'm probably one of the worst for giving it out, although no-one is immune from the mickey-taking.
Did you notice Ritchie Hawkins has re-jigged the pairings again?
Now, I'm at No.2 and I don't think I have ever been at No.2 in all my years of racing.
Obviously, I probably have, but I can't remember when! It must be at least 10 years or more ago.
But fair play, Ritchie seems to have got it right as we saw at Belle Vue.
So, we race at home to Peterborough tomorrow night and we must build on our performance at Belle Vue.
We beat the Panthers at their place but they have strengthened up since then with Scott Nicholls now in their side.
I seem to be riding Scotty every other week these days but I don't mind.
He's a hard rider but he's fair. I only have great racing battles against him.
Charles Wright is another rider in good form and Rohan Tungate returns, so you can see, it isn't going to be easy.
But we are in good form ourselves and our home form is good.
With your support we can keep up our unbeaten home run.
Hopefully see you at Foxhall
AS TOLD TO MIKE BACON