Dave Watters
"Jeff Hall Suzuki" TOP GUN Championship

Owlerton Stadium

15th June

Ref: 0102030405060708091011121314 151617181920Tot Posn.

  1. David Speight

3 0 2 3 3  11  5th

  2. Tom Hedley

2 3 fx 1 3 9 3rd

  3. Mark Jones

1 2 3 3 2 11 4th

  4. Ben Hopwood

0 2 2 1 1 6  10th

  5. Tai Woffinden

fx 1 - - - 1  16th

  6. Andrew Aldridge

2 2 0 3 1 8  8th

  7. Scott Richardson

f - - - - 0  17th

  8. Jack Roberts

3 1 0 0 2 6 9th

  9. Shane Waldron

2 2 1 2 2 9 7th

10. Matt Browne

1 0 1 1 1 4  13th

11. Josh Auty

 3 3 3 2 3 14 1ST

12. Grant Hayes

0 3 2 ef - 5  11th

13. Mark Thompson

3 3 3 3 3 15 2nd

14. Mike Pickering

 2 1 2 2 2 9 6th

15. Rusty Hodgson

 0 +0 3 fx ef 3  14th

16. Sam Dore

1 0 1 2 1 5  12th

17. Jamie Pickard

1 0 1 0 2 15th
Junior track record
62.0 Richard Hall
010203040506 070809 10111213141516 17181920
64.8awd64.264.565.0 64.664.166.764.566.9 64.665.966.663.865.8 awd66.465.766.066.1

Semi-final FINAL
David Speight3rd Josh Auty1ST
Mark Jones1st Mark Jonesfell
Mike Pickering      4th Mark Thompson2nd
Tom Hedley2nd Tom Hedley3rd
66.066.1

The discerning supporters who elected to watch speedway rather than televised football were treated to the best meeting I've witnessed for some years. Everyone mucked in together in the pits and there was a great atmosphere and sense of camaraderie. Action on the track was even better.

David Speight seems to have the wagon back on the rails and heat 5 aside when he caused mayhem on the first turn, he recorded his highest finish in an individual meeting.

Tom Hedley, all the way from Mildura, Australia suffered a dodgy start being bundled off on the first bend in the first race. He went better in the rerun finishing second to David Speight, and won heat 5 after passing Matt Browne, Mike Pickering and Andrew Aldridge on consecutive laps. He was leading heat 10 when he threw his bike at the fence, and found Mark Thompson and Josh Auty had a little more Owlerton experience than he could cope with in his fourth ride. Another win in heat 18 saw him make the semi-final in which he passed Speighty to book his place in the final. By this time he had already been nominated the S*T*A*R*S "Man of the Match".

Mark Jones also demonstrated what a rich vein of talent they've unearthed 'Down under'. Good solid riding and two wins saw him into the semi, which he won to book his own final place. Ben Hopwood claimed 6 points and finished ahead of Matt Browne in the process. Tai Woffinden has been showing well in second-half races for the last few weeks and was one of the fancied riders, but a poor start and fall in his first ride didn't auger well, and despite passing David Speight to claim third place in the dying throes of heat 5 he was then forced to withdraw from the meeting with mechanical problems.

Andrew Aldridge is another who has been a regular in Owlerton second-halves, and he just missed the semi's despite a win in heat 16. Scott Richardson was pushing Jack Roberts for the lead in heat 2 when he clipped Jack's rear wheel and took a very awkward looking tumble which forced him to withdraw from the meeting, no broken bones though. Jack Roberts won the restarted heat 2, but that accounted for half of his six point tally. Shane Waldron missed out on the semi-final having scored nine points, the same as Mike Pickering, but Mike had beaten him when the two met in heat 11.

Matt Browne is always worth watching as he uses every inch of the track and was rewarded with a point after remounting in heat 17 when Rusty Hodgson ef'd on the last lap. Josh Auty didn't always make the gate, but who cared when we could watch him scythe through the field. Except for heat 14 that is, as after giving Mark Thompson yards at the start he just couldn't find a way past. Grant Hayes took a tumble on the second bend in heat 3, but won his second ride on his way to a 5 point return.

Mark Thompson had "Gi'yus a job" stamped all over him. He was trapping, he was fast, he was brave and even Josh had to concede to him in heat 14. Mike Pickering had a belter of a meeting and must have been well pleased to make the semi. Rusty Hodgson saw the extremes! Last, last from a 15 metre handicap for tape touching, FIRST!, fell, engine failure. I wonder which one he'll remember? Sam Dore managed a second place on his way to 5 points, and Jamie Pickard (any relation to the Enterprise captain ? :-) garnered a couple of points deputizing for the battered Scott Richardson.

So, the final featured Josh Auty, Mark Jones, Mark Thompson, and Tom Hedley. Tom took an absolute flyer and was extending his lead when second place Mark Jones threw his bike at the fence on the third turn, with Mark Thompson in third place laying his bike down in the nick of time to avoid a nasty accident. Mr. Watters caused a royal furore by initially excluding Mark, but after conversing with various persons a compromise was reached and all four riders were reinstated. Strange how fate can intervene isn't it, as Mark had seriously modified his bike to the extent that it was hors de combat leaving the final restart featuring the appropriate trio. Tom didn't manage a second flyer, but in an audacious move he passed Josh down the back straight to slot in behind race leader Mark. Josh rode a brilliant line around the inside of bends three and four to take the lead on the second lap, but thereafter there were so many passes and re-passes that I would need to refer to the video to report them to you.

TOUGH! There isn't one! Hope you are miffed. You should have been there. These "Top Gun" meetings are always GREAT entertainment.

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