Speedway Reporting Revolution on Twitter continues, part 2

Drawing upon the full majesty of his 11 years speedway reporting Paul (Burbo) Burbidge’s digital social media profile continues to revolutionise our often turgid speedway reporting landscape. Part of a new breed of digitally savvy speedway journalists (“I write news for Speedway GP website and manage speedway gp social media. I’m also Speedway Star’s Chief News Writer”), on Twitter Paul Burbidge is unafraid to use the privilege of his access to all the riders, UK teams and Speedway Grand Prix events to REALLY provide fans everywhere with hard hitting comment, stunning behind the scenes revelations and amazing insight or gossip.

Far from a one-trick “blue-groove ballet” pony, Burbo is unafraid to offer his valuable hard-won searing insights into a wide range of topics including terrorism, events in Ukraine, baggage problems, Currys deliveries, best choice of clothes or airline (& hotels in King’s Lynn), eating out with bigwigs, name dropping as well as reading THE FANS minds. This amazing hinterland defies unfair forum criticism that his position as speedway news reporter is merely to be part dictation typist, part cheerleader for the Speedway Grand Prix, SGP “stars” & Poole Pirates speedway. Welcome to the no holds barred real future of speedway journalism where views are ALWAYS defiantly his “own”. Here’s some of what we learnt during 2014:

28 December 2013

I have a feeling @D_Dublu_racing will show another side to his game at @IndustryRacing. Some blue-groove ballet instead of fence frolics.

30 December

Weather is lush here in Melbourne. Can’t wait to enjoy the sunshine and take in the Aussie Champs.

31 December

Happy New Year to my followers around the world. I’m in Sydney, so I’ve had over 11 hours of 2014 already. Welcome to the future Britain 😉

3 January 2014

Had an interesting chat with Jason Doyle, whose UK visa application has been refused. Other riders having issues too.

4 January

Love the commentary here at Kurri Kurri. Giving fans loads of good info on what riders are doing and why.

4 January

Just bumped into Davey Watt at Kurri Kurri. He’s taking this series off to recharge and regain some “fire in the belly.”

4 January

Back in Sydney after the long drive from Kurri Kurri. Thanks for all the nice messages. I’ll keep you updated from Undera and Gillman.

5 January

Speedway as a whole needs to get a better understanding of the rules and legal advice on how to use the system best.

8 January

Travel tip from Undera. Bring industrial strength insect repellent. I’ve never seen so many flies in all my life.

8 January

Great to catch up with Leigh Adams at Undera. He’s coaching Declyn and the boy is the spitting image of his Dad on a bike

8 January

Tyson Nelson confirmed he is waiting to hear back on his visa application. 900 AUD wasted if it’s declined.

8 January

As well as seeing some great #speedway, I got to drive this rocket from the kind people at Avis.

11 January

Gutted for Batch. I hope MA give him an SGP qualifying wild card. He’s one of their best hopes.

11 January

Brilliant to see Leigh Adams keeping a close eye on proceedings in the pits at Gillman.

11 January

Fireworks before the A Final, with YMCA playing in the background. Interesting combination.

11 January

Chris Holder is rightly delighted with a hard-earned Aussie Championship. He exceeded his own expectations.

19 January

Delighted to see the ELRC taking place at Coventry on March 23. The BSPA have made a move which could revive this great meeting.

21 January

Gutted to hear the Isle of Wight won’t be coming to the tapes for 2014. Another NL club lost to the south.

23 January

Ten days to go to the Cracker at Peterborough on February 2 and they haven’t announced a single rider. Very strange.

25 January

Happy Australia Day to all my followers Down Under. Enjoy the weather!

29 January

Delighted to hear Sky Sports remain on board with British #speedway. Let’s hope the clubs make this contract count and spend the money well.

30 January

I bet @GaryHavelock isn’t happy about the ELRC being moved to the same night as his farewell meeting at Poole on March 21 for Sky coverage.

30 January

Finding your way around the city [Melbourne] with a map is easy. The trams just follow the streets. The fares confuse me.

2 February

Sky and GoSpeed might not have had the final say about running the ERC on March 21, but they proposed the date. They’re part of it.

2 February

It’s sad that such a positive story of a new Sky deal has been ruined by their ineptness.

2 February

Has this mess done Sky any favours? Surely we’d have been better off negotiating a different date?

4th February

Credit to Sky Sports and BSPA for moving ERC back to Sunday, March 23 to give @GaryHavelock his big night. The fans were heard

4th February

Now we can get back to being pleased about another five years of British #speedway on Sky Sports. All’s well that ends well.

22 February

Coventry fans need to lobby their local council and make sure Brandon Stadium isn’t developed until they have a new #speedway track.

22 February

Can’t believe what’s going on in the Ukraine. I was walking around central Kiev only five months ago. I hope they restore peace fast.

25 February

Swindon and Reading are still waiting for new stadiums. We wait with bated breath to see if Gaming International deliver in Poole.

28 February

EL teams who have gone for a powerful top 3 and signed weak 4th and 5th riders in the averages will pay the price.

4 March

Gutted for Emil Sayfutdinov – I hope he sorts his fitness and finances very soon and gets back in the #SGP hunt.

4 March

Congrats to @batchattack1 on getting the #SGP call-up. He’s going to give it 300% and won’t be afraid to ruffle some feathers.

7 March

It can’t hurt Belle Vue’s efforts to get a new stadium if the team is winning.

7 March

I cover most Poole home meetings and I live in the area, but you have to stay neutral.

7 March

I do get free admission. I’m there to work.

7 March

Heat leaders can influence more races under this format, but a weak bottom four can be costly

9 March

The queues to get into Beaumont Park were huge. Delighted to see the #benfundbonanza so well supported

13 March

Can’t wait to go to King’s Lynn next week for their showdown with Zielona Gora. I’ll be at the practice and dinner the day before.

18 March

Nice evening in King’s Lynn. Watched some of the practice session and now having dinner in the beautiful town hall. Real action tomorrow.

19 March

I hope everyone has a great afternoon at Poole’s press day. I’m staying in King’s Lynn ahead of Zielona Gora’s visit tonight.

19 March

Why can’t we have an atmosphere like this at every British #speedway meeting? Zielona Gora fans are on it at King’s Lynn.

20 March

Love it when the neighbours get a washing machine delivered and Currys swing their lorry into the side of my car.

21 March

Big line-up, big personality, big legend – get yourself down to Poole for @GaryHavelock‘s Farewell tonight.

23 March

Just found Coventry Stadium track curator Marek Meiner. He doesn’t speak a word of English, or prepare a fit speedway track. #sackhim

23 March

I hasten to add Coventry #Speedway didn’t employ the track curator. The stadium did. They’ve just shafted the Bees.

23 March

Whoever was responsible for ERC being postponed, you have to doubt whether the fans who spent £25 to get in plus fuel will do so again.

23 March

One lesson from today’s ERC fiasco. All promoters must have ultimate control of how their track is prepared and by who – not a third party.

25 March

Manic week in store as I get everything done ahead of my flight to Auckland on Monday for the #NZSGP.

29 March

Congrats to @D_Dublu_racing and @Chris_Holder23 on last night. Telepathic team riding. Darcy directing traffic in the final. Sublime.

30 March

I hope @TWoffinden has got himself an upgrade to business class. Hope you have a comfortable flight and a speedy recovery. #NZSGP

31 March

Interesting journey to Auckland. Malaysia flight was hour late leaving London. Just made my connection in Kuala Lumpur. Shame my bag didn’t.

1 April

Gorgeous weather in Auckland. I’m off to see Team @BomberHarris08 playing tennis at hotel. Glad to see @philmorrisgb keeping Bomber busy.

1 April

Very impressed with @MartinSmolinski‘s SGP pits. His crew look like a team, great branding and he looks the part. #greateffort #NZSGP

2 April

The riders seem happy with the Western Springs track after #NZSGP first practice. Great to hear bikes roaring into action again. #speedway

2 April

Very grateful to @GregHancock45 for helping me out with my first Instagram video for @SpeedwayGP today. Hopefully the first of many.

2 April

Hard to tell in a practice, but I’m told Darcy Ward was clocking the fastest times.

2 April

It’s a long season and you’d have to be brave to pick a world champ. But I’ll give it a go – @D_Dublu_racing. If he stays fit, watch out.

3 April

My suitcase has arrived at my hotel two days late. Now I can finally have a shave. Better late than never.

5 April

The riders are rocking up at Western Springs for the #NZSGP. The weather and track are just perfect. This day deserves a cracker.

5 April

It’s baking hot in Auckland and there’s still a fan wearing a Wulfsport jacket. I thought I’d messed up by wearing jeans

5 April

That was a good statement of intent from @MartinSmolinski. Unique use of the inside line and he rode it beautifully.

5 April

What’s going on, Greg? Hancock has work to do in Auckland. This is a surprise.

5 April

Gutted for Harris. It just isn’t his night. Him and the team have been in good spirits this week. They’ll bounce back.

5 April

For me, that was the best #SGP round I’ve seen in almost 11 years of covering #speedway. I hope we come back next year. #NZSGP

8 April

30-day ban for kicking a rider in the stomach while he’s down? That’s assault. Richard Hall should miss half of the season at least.

15 April

Good luck to all the riders in the British U21 Final at Monmore Wood tonight. I wish I could be there, but jet lag is a killer.

15 April

Yeah, they delivered it within two days as they said they would. The food was crap. Wouldn’t use them again. Qantas or EK.

16 April

Qantas and Emirates are the best I’ve used. I’ve never had a moments grief with flying Qantas, touch wood.

16 April

Sorry to hear Graham and Denise Drury have left Birmingham #speedway. Decent people and unfailingly helpful. I hope they find another club.

18 April

Terrible decision by Dan Holt. Milik excluded from heat 8 after being taken wide by Batchelor; no room on turn one. All 4 was right call.

18 April

Love a nice dirt bath on Good Friday. I think I’m wearing the Wimborne Road track. #dustbowl #speedway

20 April

Happy Easter to my followers wherever you are. Enjoy your chocolate!

22 April

Can anyone offer any restaurant ideas for Bydgoszcz later this week? I’m looking for great food and nothing spicy.

23 April

Interesting stat: the SGP Facebook account has around 2,000 followers in Argentina alone. Wow.

24 April

I have a good feeling about @kasperacing in Bydgoszcz this weekend. Zero in 2013 to hero on Saturday? He looks quick enough.

24 April

I think @TanyaAmott has just recovered from another ‘relaxing’ Ryanair flight. They pushed back with passengers still standing. #chaos

25 April

If anyone has a ticket to Liverpool v Newcastle on May 11 and fancies cashing in BIG TIME, please get in touch. Serious offers only.

26 April

To any car and bike enthusiasts in Bydgoszcz, there’s loads of classic cars on the bridge over the Brda river near the old town square.

27 April

I’d written my headline for the #EuroSGP on Thursday – Zero to hero for KK. Totally different rider this year. Like what I see.

27 April

SHOCK OF THE DAY: I’d like to congratulate the Ryanair crew on the Bydgoszcz-Stansted flight for some outstanding customer service.

29 April

And Chris Schramm goes back to the pits for a change of underpants … That was some wheelie!

4 May

He’s already one of the fastest men in the world and he’s only 22 today. Happy birthday @D_Dublu_racing. His best years are ahead.

6 May

Interesting to see only 5 riders per country can now qualify for an FIM World Championship final or series in #speedway, ice and longtrack.

9 May

Welcome to Poole @hopwoodracing. I’ve heard good references from his old boss on the Isle of Wight, Chris Hunt. Good team man, big tryer.

13 May

RIP Lee Richardson. May 13, 2012 was the darkest day I’ve had covering #speedway, but one that showed how great its fans are. #RICO

17 May

For all those wondering, once practice has started, if a rider pulls out, the first track reserve not the first series reserve replaces him.

17 May

Good luck to @KakeNieminen tonight. Huge chance for him to make a name for himself and ride in Finland’s biggest #speedway meeting ever.

19 May

How does someone waving a rider around count as outside interference? No-one came on to the track. I’ve seen riders waved round in the NL.

23 May

Is finger cramp a common thing when riders are asking the ref for the green light?

25 May

Condolences to the friends, family and fans of Malcolm Simmons. RIP. Before my era in #speedway, but clearly a favourite.

28 May

Interesting press release from @HeathensSpeed. I think they’ve outgrown the National League. Time to test themselves at a higher level.

30 May

Dinner with the Mayor of #Prague. #CzechSGP

1 June

The best event I’ve worked at here in #Prague. Thanks to everyone at AK Marketa for their awesome hospitality as ever. #CzechSGP #speedway

1 June

I’m glad we have five lightening @D_Dublu_racing starts on camera. He can trap. If he did it every meeting, #speedway might get boring.

3 June

That has to be one of the most baffling exclusions I’ve seen in 11 years of covering British #speedway. @benbarker88.

3 June

Happy birthday to the young man, who has been tearing up the #speedway world since I was in nappies. Have a great day @GregHancock45.

5 June

Pleased to hear Tony Mole is joining the team trying to build the Cradley Heathens their own home. The man for the job. #speedway

10 June

When will some promoters realise complaining about their crowds and drawing attention to low attendances isn’t the way to promote #speedway?

13 June

Too wet for #SwedishSGP practice in Malilla. If I had to pick a winner, I’d go with @D_Dublu_racing. He’s in good form and knows Malilla.

15 June

It’s incredible that #speedway has gone all these years with no consequences for riders who wipe opponents out. Time to get tough.

16 June

The one thing I’d like to see in tonight’s British Final is a surprise – either the winner or someone different making an impact. #speedway

20 June

Sorry to hear about your injuries @DavidWatt24. I hope you make a speedy recovery.

20 June

Gutted to hear reports that @Chris_Holder23 has suffered a broken wrist in Denmark. I hope you make a speedy recovery

23 June

Hats off to all involved in the Life of Tai. Brilliant insight into @TWoffinden and the life of a #speedway rider. Nice work @SkySports.

25 June

Sounds like Birmingham need a change of owner and fast. The club badly needs fresh direction and stability. I hope they survive.

30 June

Sad to hear Tony Mole’s Birmingham takeover is off. But why would anyone buy a club with no play-off prospects, poor crowds and heavy debts?

1 July

So that’s Eastbourne out of the Elite League unless they find a new promotion for 2015. The BSPA has big problems to solve.

4 July

Sounds like Alan Phillips has had his promoters’ licence ripped up. If it makes it easier to find a promoter, that has to be good news.

11 July

Some positive feedback on the #Cardiff track following #BritishSGP practice. I’m going for @GregHancock45 to win.

25 July

Alan Phillips is deluded. He was getting it right apparently. That’s why he was only getting 500 fans at home meetings. Who’s fault’s that?

26 July

NEVER booking a hotel room at the Dukes Head in King’s Lynn again. Mattress is so knackered a shop doorway would be more comfortable.

26 July

Sitting up and listening to the couple noisily going at it next door is actually preferable to sleeping on this bed.

29 July

Delighted to hear @Andrecompton has been released from hospital with no broken bones. He had a lucky escape.

1 August

By my calculations, GB have not won an #SWC medal overseas since England won silver at Bydgoszcz in 1995. Time to end the wait @AJROSCO?

2 August

I’ve just been joined in the Bydgoszcz TV truck by five-time world champ Ove Fundin.

2 August

Sounds like the usual knockers are laying into Team GB. Fourth is no disgrace. There is work to be done, but it takes time and money.

3 August

You won’t believe who I just met at Bydgoszcz Airport. @MayorofLondon and future prime minister Boris Johnson!

12 August

Wonder if the Elite Riders Championship will be staged this season – middle of August and still no restaging date

12 August

I’d also be interested to know the results of this BSPA inquiry into the postponement at Coventry in March. We’re still waiting.

14 August

After missing the 2013 #LatvianSGP with glandular fever, thoroughly looking forward to checking out Riga and Bikernieki

15 August

Couldn’t recommend Riga more highly as a city break destination. Awesome atmosphere, beautiful city and top night out for anyone.

16 August

Looks like I’ll be seeing another Latvian #speedway circuit this weekend. Shame the #LatvianSGP was cancelled. Love Riga and the stadium.

17 August

Credit to Ward for facing cameras. He’ll face hefty criticism for failing alcohol test. No excuses, but good to hear his side.

17 August

Whatever bad news Ward has had, I hope he’s getting the support he needs. Being 22 years old and 10,000 miles from your family isn’t easy.

18 August

I feel for Coventry and Swindon here. They’ve turned up to put on a #speedway meeting, not the Dave Robinson show. Madness.

21 August

Dudek’s B sample also tests positive for a performance enhancing drug. He now faces a ban of up to 2 yrs and a fine of up to circa £10,000.

28 August

Today is the final day for clubs to sign riders for the Elite League play-offs. Can Matt Ford pull a rabbit from a hat following Ward’s ban?

31 August

On my way to Berlin to fly back to the UK. Dramatic #GorzowSGP! Congrats to @BartekZmarzlik – what a future he has in #speedway

31 August

Best wishes to @doniversen & @GregHancock45 after a nasty pile-up last night. Both deserve to be fighting for the gold after great seasons.

4 September

This guest rubbish is making a mockery of the Elite League. Tonight’s Wolves line-up is laughable. Time to introduce squads. Long overdue.

4 September

If Eastbourne drop out, cut Elite to 8 clubs – more riders to go around for squads. Those riders who want to ride all meetings still could.

11 September

I’m hearing Nicolas Covatti and Mattia Carpanese are the wild cards for the #GPChallenge at Lonigo. Interesting second selection.

12 September

Woffinden just let out a loud cry of anguish after coming in from a practice run in Vojens. He’s not comfortable but fighting.

12 September

Absolutely gutted to hear @GregHancock45 misses his first #Speedwaygp. Still 14 points up on Woffy. Hopefully see you in Stockholm, Grin!

20 September

Good morning from Lake Garda. Looking forward to the #GPChallenge at Lonigo tonight – always huge drama. I’ll keep you updated.

25 September

I’m hearing King’s Lynn isn’t exactly packed to the rafters for tonight’s #ERC. £25 admission? Just doesn’t represent value for money.

27 September

Sorry to hear of ugly scenes at Brandon. A rarity in our sport. Any riders involved in a brawl should not appear on Sky in the EL play-offs.

28 September

Loved seeing @jarekhampel back at his best. Sad that a true gentleman has had a rough time with Polish media. What a way to answer critics!

6 October

Sadly I won’t be at Poole on Thursday. I’m going to Torun that day. But let’s hope Pirates and Stars can put on a good show on a fit track.

6 October

For all those asking me about track covers, no idea why Poole didn’t use them. A good cover would have definitely saved this meeting.

7 October

Suspended bans for Greaves, Sarjeant and Phillips following their involvement in the Brandon brawl. All very lucky boys. #speedway

9 October

An #AusSGP is long overdue. Massive credit to everyone who has made this happen. Could an Aussie be crowned world champ on home shale?

9 October

Strongly agree with those calling for track covers in British #speedway. More fans and broadcasters messed about today. Covers long overdue.

9 October

Ole Olsen’s seem to work in Vojens. They wouldn’t come cheap, but they’d pay for themselves eventually.

9 October

The drainage has to be effective as well as covers. It’ll take investment. Investment that won’t happen.

12 October

What a night that was in Torun. Take a bow @GregHancock45. If I’m that driven and enthusiastic at 44, I’ll be very happy. #inspiration

14 October

On a personal note, gutted @peterkildemand missed out on a wild card. Hope his chance comes soon. Best rider outside the SGP 15 this year.

15 October

Surprised that Poole didn’t postpone that earlier. It has been peeing it down here all afternoon. It was never going to happen. #speedway

20 October

Congrats to @poolespeedway – back-to-back Elite League titles again. Two years of injury havoc and they just keep pulling it out of the bag!

23 October

Cradley homeless again, Coventry under threat, Birmingham in the balance … sad times for #speedway fans in the Midlands.

27 October

If anyone has a 125cc #speedway bike with a junior frame for sale, please contact @TanyaAmott.

10 November

Writing a feature on guests in British #speedway for @speedwaystarmag. Tweet me your views, positive or negative. I’ll print best tweets.

10 November

Thanks to everyone for their comments on guests. Some fans for using them and others against. Opinion is very divided. #speedway

12 November

To my followers in Dorset, if you’re on the roads, slow down. Ridiculous amounts of standing water. Nearly went sideways through Slepe (A35)

13 November

Can’t wait to return to the @StadionNarodowy. The place is simply world class – it’ll look even better with a #speedway track in the middle.

13 November

If Gollob puts 10,000 fans on the gate, who cares if it’s money motivated. It’ll be an amazing event.

14 November

BSPA are looking for a new vice-chairman after Jon Cook stood down at today’s AGM. Wonder who would want the job?

16 November

Still not convinced there are enough riders for every club to have two competitive fast-track reserves – not enough replacements.

16 November

I’m also concerned the likes of @KyleNewman91, @LewisKerrRacing & @lewiblack may stagnate if they continue racing 2nd strings and reserves.

16 November

The second strings won’t be stronger. They’re just on inflated averages from this year.

16 November

[on yellow & black helmet colours] That’s my reasoning too. Poor floodlights. Not a monumental change, but helpful nonetheless.

26 November

Poole far stronger next year with Starke joining Newman. Wolves have done well picking Blackbird and Bates.

5 December

The BSPA don’t recognise the SEC. One competition too far for them. They don’t want riders missing EL meetings.

6 December

If you’re looking for a great meal in Dorset, I highly recommend The Greyhound at Winterbourne Kingston. It has been transformed big time!

12 December

I like the look of @TheAces. Far more muscle at the bottom end this year. If the top boys perform, they could win the league

14 December

My thoughts are with those caught up in the #sydneysiege. Having stayed around the corner, it’s terrifying to see terrorism travel so far.

19 December

If Poole go for the spectacular and track Holder & Ward, I’d be interested to see who they could fit in at second string. Big averages.

24 December

Merry Christmas to all my followers throughout the world. Have fun!

















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