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Captain Mads in the pits during Lynn's last home meeting against Lakeside Hammers. Read his exclusive weekly column, first, in the EDP's Lynn Free Press pull-out on a Thursday. Picture: Matthew Usher.
Friday, June 8, 2012
There are a few taboo subjects in speedway that people seem frightened to talk about – but I’m not.
I want to use my column this week to urge the sport’s authorities to start checking engine sizes and carburettors more regularly. They do it in the Grand Prix and I’d like to see it happen more in Elite League racing.
Engines are meant to be 500cc and carburettors can’t expand past 34ml, but more needs to be done to prevent the use of illegal machinery. We’ve seen a lot in the press about silencers, but we need to read more about the parts of a speedway bike nobody dares discuss.
It’s a fairness thing in my eyes. There’s a lot of honour in speedway, but more points equals more money and those two things combined means there will always be somebody cheating.
In every sport, even chess, people bend the rules to win. In this sport, where people make a living from doing well, nobody wants to talk about anybody breaking the rules to do it.
When you bring it up people shush you up because they don’t want anybody to put the sport in a bad perspective. But we see every week in Formula 1 that teams are being punished or disqualified for breaking rules by the smallest of margins. It’s not a bad thing.
We need to educate technical staff and make sure speedway, across Europe, is as fair as it can be. If you ask a referee what the punishment is for breaking rules about engine sizes and carburettors, they can’t answer you. It’s ridiculous.
We need to have a rulebook that you can open up and find, for example, that if your engine is say 550cc, you’ll be fined £10,000 and banned for two years.
While I’m at it, I can’t remember the last time I was tested for drugs or alcohol either. I don’t think people ride speedway bikes half-cut, but when you go out on a night out now there are drugs everywhere. It’s part of life.
I know it’s a pain in the backside, but we need more drug testing in speedway. They do it like three times a day in the Tour de France and look how many cheats they’ve caught.
Back to racing matters, last week’s home defeat to Lakeside was a low point. I can’t really explain what went wrong and you do get meetings like that. We need a big reaction as we’ve got lots of fixtures coming up.
I rode in Sweden on Thursday (three races, eight points), Denmark on Saturday and have since had a few days at home in Esjberg with my girlfriend. I’ve been under the weather so it’s just nice to get away from it all, get my engines serviced, and look ahead to doing better in our next meetings.
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