Published on 12th October 2020
Author Dick Barrie

Well, that’s the GPs done gone, and the Polish play-offs played off.

The new GP contestants for next season are all sorted – a reasonable mix of nationalities and ages. As it should be.

Mind you, the way they’re doing it now, a year from now 2022 could see a total imbalance in the GP field – hypothetically, no less than SEVEN Poles could be lining up — and there would be nothing anyone could do about it!

Look at it. There are three Polish guys in the 2021 line-up – say all three finished in the top six, they’d have to be in again.

The winner of the European Championship – not an event I’m too interested in, being created for and by Polish television – could be a Pole, so he’d be parachuted into the 2022 GP, just as Robert Lambert got through that trap-door this time around.

Finally, there’s the GP Challenge, giving the top three finishers automatic qualification – what if this trio were all Poles too?

This would mean seven of the regular fifteen contestants at each 2022 GP were Polish. Or, if things ran differently, there might be six Danes, or Swedes, Brits or Russians – even five Aussies, who can’t come in via the Euros (which is itself unfair).

Not an appetising prospect, it would be far too lop-sided – there would be (probably justified) accusations of heavy-handed team riding by whichever nation became so dominant — so we have to hope we never end up with such an imbalanced GP field.

But that’s all away ahead in the distance. This year we’re left with the SON and of course the U-21.

The SON has been a bit of a disaster for those of us on this sceptred isle – to quote the play about another of us Richards –with the whole event (having been totally sold out at Belle Vue) shifted by the FIM and/or BSI to Lublin, away over on the right-hand-side of Poland. And no, our Belle Vue tickets aren’t valid…….

Actually, I suppose the sparkle of the event has dimmed a bit since we lost Tai Woffinden from the side. Drew Kemp’s a nice lad, with a big future in speedway I’m sure, but……..

As a sidebar, I see the FIM has – rather quickly – allowed the Anlas organisation to get a couple of quickly-created “new” tyres through homologation this week, and I’m guessing these will be available for use at the weekend. If so, expect the Russkies and Danes to show to advantage.

The speed with which Anlas have returned from the dark side by the way, has absolutely nothing to do with the company’s generous sponsorships in certain areas of world speedway. Of course.

And so it all bumbles to an end.

It hasn’t been much of a season………

Most of you nice speedway-goers will have by now shrugged it all off, reckoning “it is what it is” and that there will be many more good years in the offing.

But what about all us old grave-nudgers, eh? How many good years have we got left?

We need to capture every last moment of every season, shake all the remaining pixie dust over our every new memory.

This was to have been my seventy-second season. Taken to watch at the age of six, by the time I was ten or eleven, I was hanging around the workshops at Glasgow’s old White City after school, running errands and watching the bikes being prepared.

I learned how to take a cylinder head off before I learned how to unhook a bra.

The story of my life, I suppose……………

Want to disagree with Dick (as so many do?). He is always happy to hear fro interesting people at

Dick Barrie
Dick Barrie

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