King’s Lynn Stars pair insist call-off at Poole Pirates was the only option
- Credit: Ian Burt
Fourteen riders last night stuck together to ensure King's Lynn's all-important clash at Poole didn't take place on a dangerous circuit.
The seven racers for the Pirates and the Stars refused to ride on a Wimborne Road track which had crumbled on turn one thanks to efforts to fix a sodden raceway. Rain during the day forced staff of the south coast club to tend to the oval in a desperate attempt to get the meeting on.
But while the first turn was tended to, a giant hole appeared making the shale unsafe for men who already compete on motorbikes without brakes.
Lynn rider Kenneth Bjerre said: 'I don't think anybody wanted to ride it at all.
'The biggest problem was in the first corner. Four guys were going to come in and someone was going to hit the big spot (hole) where the problem is. I know we can't agree to hit it, or mark it up, but it was in the wrong place.
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'It was going to cause trouble and it was too dangerous. It's a shame as the rest of the track was dry and looked good. It was a big long hole, 10cm deep, and if the bike goes in there it would just take off. There would have been crashes.
'We said 'you have to fix it or make the meeting later' but it doesn't look like they had the right material to fix it.
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'I think people wanted us to ride but we can't risk it. If you're scared to ride it and we feel it's not safe I don't know why anyone should make us ride.'
Heavy rainfall during the day had soaked the home of the reigning champions – who went into the play-off semi-final second leg with a point advantage. But while huge amounts of sawdust had made at least 80pc of the shale safe, the massive crater on the first turn was a problem that could not be overcome.
It now means that the showcase meeting will take place on Thursday. And Rob Lyon, his riders, and any of their club's fans who wish to witness the action live will have to make a second four-hour trip in as many days to do so.
Lyon said: 'It's mega frustrating. It's a major, major shame because the rest of the track was in a reasonable condition because of the weather.
'But the first corner was just not good and it was never going to be right. It's not good that they hadn't got their equipment there to put it right. It's a major disappointment from our view and for speedway in general. Before the 4pm rain came they'd have possibly got away with it. But it was too soft going into the first corner. They tried packing it and packing it and they had nothing to pack it with.
'It was just going to lift out, riders would have been lifting, and it was too dangerous. At King's Lynn we would have had the material and equipment to put it right and to get the meeting on. But unfortunately it was not the case here.
'Why they haven't got the facilities I don't know.
'They've done what they can with what they've got to work with but it's not been successful so we've got to come back again.'
Guest Charles Wright was replaced by Adam Ellis ahead of the fixture having crashed in midweek. It's not yet known which of those two – or another name – will take the place of Lewis Kerr for the latest attempt to get the meeting on.
Scott Nicholls is expected by many to replace injured top gun and Lynn number one Niels-Kristian Iversen.
Coventry Bees last night won 50-45 at Swindon to win their two-legged semi 99-86 and progress to next week's final.