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Kevin Doolan's picture

I might have made it back onto a speedway bike last weekend but it was still a frustrating time.

Definitely on the plus side is that I managed to get some good laps in at Edinburgh on Friday and Leicester on Sunday – which needs to be weighed up against the decision to call off our Championship League match against Edinburgh.

I'll quickly touch on last Saturday’s rain-off and start by saying that all seven Bandits were happy and willing to race.

The track was in great condition and holding up to the showers, but the timing of the rain was causing the biggest issues.

The Moanarchs(sic) had been raising “concerns” from before the rain even started but the decision on whether to race or not was was always going to rest with the referee.

Initially he decided to delay the start as the rain was actually falling quite steadily at 7pm. Our only hope was that it would stop and not return.

As those of you who were in attendance – and thanks both for turning up and your patience as events unfolded – will know it returned again just before 7.30 and the referee abandoned the meeting.

In my opinion the track was still in good condition with only a little surface water but the timing of the rain meant very little could be done to improve conditions.

Visibility would have been an issue and there was general agreement that it was not worth the risk of starting a meeting that we were unlikely to be able to finish.

I was especially frustrated because I arrived on the back of a third place finish in the Scottish Open at Armadale on Friday night, my first meeting back after the concussion lay-off following my big off at Eastbourne.

After my Bordernapolis victory that makes it two open meetings, two podium finishes this season so I’m quite pleased.

I was definitely a bit rusty and on Friday and at Leicester my starts were inconsistent but I settled in as the meetings went on and had some good races.

Most importantly my head felt fine. Every concussion is different and although I had given myself plenty of time and had tested recovery with exercise and MTB-ing I was still on the lookout for any lingering symptoms.

Sunday’s Shield semi-final first leg at Leicester showed up our lack of recent track time. While Aaron produced a true Number One’s performance it would be fair to say that Jye, Coty and myself had a mixed evening with some good rides and some average ones.

The effort was there but things just weren’t working as they should. When we sat down to discuss it after the meeting we were all frustrated that we couldn’t reproduce our good races more consistently but felt that we were getting nearer with every outing.

This weekend would be a great time for us all to get back in our early season groove.

I can see in people’s eyes that we are no longer considered the big threat we were after our storming start to the season; that we are beginning to be seen as the underdogs again.

That suits me fine. I know we have a team which can win anywhere and I’m happier working with my team-mates to make small but vital improvements than I am talking about trophies and championships.

On Saturday we just have to take our best shot and make sure we leave nothing in the pits. We have great home form and have proved to be more than a match for strong teams time and time again.

Sunday’s Fours at Peterborough sees every one of the 11 teams start on an equal footing. We have a great team and we have some good Peterborough form – not least with Aaron rattling up the points for the Panthers in the Premiership this season.
Personally I am really looking forward to the whole weekend. There will be some cracking racing and a great atmosphere at both meetings.

Enjoy it with us

Kev