King’s Lynn Stars welcome unbeaten Poole Pirates as storm brews over Miedzinski decision
Unbeaten Poole arrive at King's Lynn tonight under a cloud of controversy after the Stars hit out at the decision to allow the Pirates a guest facility for Adrian Miedzinski.
Promoter Buster Chapman said it was 'crazy' that the Speedway Control Burea (SCB) overturned a decision by the British Speedway Promoters' Association (BSPA) which would not have allowed the league leaders to use a guest for the out-of-contract Miedzinski.
The BSPA ruled that even though the Pole was riding in the Grand Prix qualifier semi-final tomorrow, the Pirates would be unable to name a replacement because they had said Miedzinski would no longer be riding for the club this season.
But the Elite League champions took their appeal to the SCB who found in their favour because Miedzinski is still registered as a Poole rider, leaving Artur Mrockza free to ride at Lynn as a guest.
Chapman said: 'It is crazy because even if Adrian was not riding in the qualifier he would still not be at King's Lynn on Friday. The BSPA had made their decision for the good of the sport as firstly it is not right ethically and secondly in an attempt to deter other teams from signing riders on short-term contracts. It is disappointing the SCB have not backed the BSPA on this but it seems they are happy to roll over and let Poole use a loophole in the rulebook to their advantage yet again.'
Poole were unable to use Mrozka as a guest for Miedzinski for their meeting at Wolverhampton on Monday and were forced to use three-point rider Kyle Newman instead.
Lynn will be without captain Mads Korneliussen and Kevin Wolbert for the Pirates' visit – due to their GP qualifiers – and double-up pair David Howe and Joe Screen who are riding for their Premier League clubs
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Rob Lyon's Lynn will operate rider/replacement for Korneliussen and have drafted in former rider Lasse Bjerre and talented Brit youngster Richie Worrall as guests.
The Stars were agonisingly close to ending Poole's dominant stretch, now 18 matches long, last month before a last-heat 5-1 win reverse saw the Pirates win 48-45. Their display at Wimborne Road has however given Lyon hope his charges can secure a shock win tonight.
He said: 'Last season we beat Poole 50-43 at home against all the odds and this season we have already taken a league point from them at their place.
'I know it will be a difficult once again to beat a team on such a roll but we will be going all out to beat them and inflict their first defeat of the season. I know our riders will not be happy about the SCB's decision so maybe it's what we need to fire us up and get a win against all the odds.'
Poole boss Matt Ford last night launched a passionate defence of his Pirates regime in response to the much-publicised Stars criticism of the decision.
He told the Bournemouth Daily Echo: ''We run our club the way that we deem fit.
'It is a successful club and often by being successful you leave yourself open for abuse or criticism. My sole objective in this matter is to do what is best for Poole Speedway and its sponsors and supporters.
'As long as I am here, that is all I will do. We don't tell other clubs, who are perhaps running less successfully, how to run their businesses and perhaps people should also allow us to run ours the way we deem fit.'
With many Lynn fans voicing their disapproval of the SCB's decision on Twitter, it's sure to be a spicy affair at the Norfolk Arena as the Stars look to halt Poole's seemingly unstoppable charge to retaining their league title.
Lynn's ambitions of a historic victory have been helped by the league's number one rider Darcy Ward being sidelined by a wrist injury. However, Pirates boss Ford has replaced him with former number one Davey Watt, who romped to a paid 17-point hail on his visit to Lynn less with Lakeside last month.
King's Lynn: 1 Niels-Kristian Iversen, 2 Lasse Bjerre (Guest), 3 Maciej Janowski, 4 Rider/Replacement, 5 Daniel Nermark, 6 Mateusz Szczepaniak, 7 Richie Worrall (G)
Poole: 1 Davey Watt (G), 2 Rider/Replacement, 3 Chris Holder, 4 Ricky Kling, 5 Artur Mrockza (G), 6 Ludvig Lindgren, 7 Kyle Howarth.
Gates open at 6.30pm with racing starting at 7.45pm.