Neil Hodgson wasn’t the only road racer to get among the country’s top shorttrack riders in the American-style dirttrack meeting at Scunthorpe Speedway last Saturday.
Former Vivaldi Suzuki rider Ben Wilson showed his aggression with some breathtaking wild rides around the boards on his own YamahaYZ250F. “I’ve never ridden on a speedway track before but this is really good fun,” he said. “I prepped the bike myself last night - took all of ten minutes plus the time to chuck a speedway rear tyre on it. It’s something I liked to do more of. Obviously I want to stay in BSB but I’ve got nothing sorted right now.
Wilson’s stunning rides ended in tears though. After two wins to upset the shorttrack regulars he bent his bike so badly after a massive highside in his third qualifying ride that he was unable to take his slot in the semi-finals.
NW200 and Macau GP winner Steve Plater rode a borrowed CR450 Honda which had been specially lowered to suit shorttrack racing. He looked set to book a slot in the final until he crashed twice in his semi-final race when the rain turned the track into a mudbath. Plater said: “I’m a bit disappointed but I’ve had a lot of fun. The track was like an ice rink once it got wet again.”
John McGuinness also just missed the cut for the finals but was also in top form in the drier conditions on a CR450 Honda motocrosser that was previously owned by his great friend David Jefferies.
TT star McGuinness said: “I bought this off his dad after DJ died. It’s typical DJ, blinged to fuck and I’ll never sell it. The bike is not ideal for this type of racing but it’s great fun to be here. It’s what biking’s all about.”
McGuinness also had his new bike in the back of the van: a speedway bike he has just bought from Speedway World Champion Jason Crump. McGuinness said: “Speedway’s great and I just wanted to have a go myself. I’ve only ridden it once, here at Scunthorpe and crashed my brains out but when you do get the thing sideways there’s no better feeling.”