Postponement frustration is understandable, but riders’ safety should always be speedway’s priority

15:00 17 May 2012

Rain stops another King

Rain stops another King's Lynn Stars meeting at the Norfolk Arena. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2012

Given recent events it almost seems ridiculous that any speedway fan would dare to criticise a decision to postpone a meeting on safety grounds.

King’s Lynn Stars’ last three home Elite League fixtures have been abandoned due to wet weather, much to the understandable frustration of the club’s management, riders and supporters.

However, safety of the men we pay to marvel at while they race around an oval track at speeds of up to 70mph on a motorbike with no brakes is – and always should be – the priority.

Injured Stars’ rider David Howe, who fractured his shoulder a month ago after a nasty accident while riding at a grass track meeting, said: “Us riders know and accept the risks, but if you thought about the dangers you’d never get on a bike.

“Riders do need a voice, though. Certain ones, particularly the best riders, need to be listened to. When they’re saying a track is unfit, and then those who prepare tracks like Buster (Chapman), is saying it as well then that’s it. You don’t give it a go.”

As speedway mourns the loss of Lee Richardson, who died aged 33 while racing in Poland on Sunday, there really needs to be no reminder of how dangerous the sport is.

The risk is part of the thrill, but speedway is safer than it was. It must remain that way.

While Lynn hope to welcome Wolverhampton on Wednesday for their first Norfolk Arena meeting since April 6, given recent events, it clearly won’t be a tragedy if the meeting is called off.

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