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
Weather is lush here in Melbourne. Can’t wait to enjoy the sunshine and take in the Aussie Champs.
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.
Love the commentary here at Kurri Kurri. Giving fans loads of good info on what riders are doing and why.
Just bumped into Davey Watt at Kurri Kurri. He’s taking this series off to recharge and regain some “fire in the belly.”
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.
Speedway as a whole needs to get a better understanding of the rules and legal advice on how to use the system best.
Travel tip from Undera. Bring industrial strength insect repellent. I’ve never seen so many flies in all my life.
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
Tyson Nelson confirmed he is waiting to hear back on his visa application. 900 AUD wasted if it’s declined.
As well as seeing some great #speedway, I got to drive this rocket from the kind people at Avis.
Gutted for Batch. I hope MA give him an SGP qualifying wild card. He’s one of their best hopes.
Brilliant to see Leigh Adams keeping a close eye on proceedings in the pits at Gillman.
Fireworks before the A Final, with YMCA playing in the background. Interesting combination.
Chris Holder is rightly delighted with a hard-earned Aussie Championship. He exceeded his own expectations.
Delighted to see the ELRC taking place at Coventry on March 23. The BSPA have made a move which could revive this great meeting.
Gutted to hear the Isle of Wight won’t be coming to the tapes for 2014. Another NL club lost to the south.
Ten days to go to the Cracker at Peterborough on February 2 and they haven’t announced a single rider. Very strange.
Happy Australia Day to all my followers Down Under. Enjoy the weather!
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.
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.
Finding your way around the city [Melbourne] with a map is easy. The trams just follow the streets. The fares confuse me.
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.
It’s sad that such a positive story of a new Sky deal has been ruined by their ineptness.
Has this mess done Sky any favours? Surely we’d have been better off negotiating a different date?
Credit to Sky Sports and BSPA for moving ERC back to Sunday, March 23 to give @GaryHavelock his big night. The fans were heard
Now we can get back to being pleased about another five years of British #speedway on Sky Sports. All’s well that ends well.
Coventry fans need to lobby their local council and make sure Brandon Stadium isn’t developed until they have a new #speedway track.
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.
Swindon and Reading are still waiting for new stadiums. We wait with bated breath to see if Gaming International deliver in Poole.
EL teams who have gone for a powerful top 3 and signed weak 4th and 5th riders in the averages will pay the price.
Gutted for Emil Sayfutdinov – I hope he sorts his fitness and finances very soon and gets back in the #SGP hunt.
It can’t hurt Belle Vue’s efforts to get a new stadium if the team is winning.
I cover most Poole home meetings and I live in the area, but you have to stay neutral.
I do get free admission. I’m there to work.
Heat leaders can influence more races under this format, but a weak bottom four can be costly
The queues to get into Beaumont Park were huge. Delighted to see the #benfundbonanza so well supported
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.
Nice evening in King’s Lynn. Watched some of the practice session and now having dinner in the beautiful town hall. Real action tomorrow.
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.
Why can’t we have an atmosphere like this at every British #speedway meeting? Zielona Gora fans are on it at King’s Lynn.
Love it when the neighbours get a washing machine delivered and Currys swing their lorry into the side of my car.
Big line-up, big personality, big legend – get yourself down to Poole for @GaryHavelock‘s Farewell tonight.
Just found Coventry Stadium track curator Marek Meiner. He doesn’t speak a word of English, or prepare a fit speedway track. #sackhim
I hasten to add Coventry #Speedway didn’t employ the track curator. The stadium did. They’ve just shafted the Bees.
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.
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.
Manic week in store as I get everything done ahead of my flight to Auckland on Monday for the #NZSGP.
Interesting journey to Auckland. Malaysia flight was hour late leaving London. Just made my connection in Kuala Lumpur. Shame my bag didn’t.
Hard to tell in a practice, but I’m told Darcy Ward was clocking the fastest times.
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.
My suitcase has arrived at my hotel two days late. Now I can finally have a shave. Better late than never.
The riders are rocking up at Western Springs for the #NZSGP. The weather and track are just perfect. This day deserves a cracker.
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
That was a good statement of intent from @MartinSmolinski. Unique use of the inside line and he rode it beautifully.
What’s going on, Greg? Hancock has work to do in Auckland. This is a surprise.
Gutted for Harris. It just isn’t his night. Him and the team have been in good spirits this week. They’ll bounce back.
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.
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.
Yeah, they delivered it within two days as they said they would. The food was crap. Wouldn’t use them again. Qantas or EK.
Qantas and Emirates are the best I’ve used. I’ve never had a moments grief with flying Qantas, touch wood.
Sorry to hear Graham and Denise Drury have left Birmingham #speedway. Decent people and unfailingly helpful. I hope they find another club.
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.
Happy Easter to my followers wherever you are. Enjoy your chocolate!
Can anyone offer any restaurant ideas for Bydgoszcz later this week? I’m looking for great food and nothing spicy.
Interesting stat: the SGP Facebook account has around 2,000 followers in Argentina alone. Wow.
I have a good feeling about @kasperacing in Bydgoszcz this weekend. Zero in 2013 to hero on Saturday? He looks quick enough.
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.
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.
I’d written my headline for the #EuroSGP on Thursday – Zero to hero for KK. Totally different rider this year. Like what I see.
SHOCK OF THE DAY: I’d like to congratulate the Ryanair crew on the Bydgoszcz-Stansted flight for some outstanding customer service.
And Chris Schramm goes back to the pits for a change of underpants … That was some wheelie!
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.
Interesting to see only 5 riders per country can now qualify for an FIM World Championship final or series in #speedway, ice and longtrack.
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.
For all those wondering, once practice has started, if a rider pulls out, the first track reserve not the first series reserve replaces him.
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.
Is finger cramp a common thing when riders are asking the ref for the green light?
Condolences to the friends, family and fans of Malcolm Simmons. RIP. Before my era in #speedway, but clearly a favourite.
Interesting press release from @HeathensSpeed. I think they’ve outgrown the National League. Time to test themselves at a higher level.
Pleased to hear Tony Mole is joining the team trying to build the Cradley Heathens their own home. The man for the job. #speedway
When will some promoters realise complaining about their crowds and drawing attention to low attendances isn’t the way to promote #speedway?
It’s incredible that #speedway has gone all these years with no consequences for riders who wipe opponents out. Time to get tough.
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
Sorry to hear about your injuries @DavidWatt24. I hope you make a speedy recovery.
Gutted to hear reports that @Chris_Holder23 has suffered a broken wrist in Denmark. I hope you make a speedy recovery
Sounds like Birmingham need a change of owner and fast. The club badly needs fresh direction and stability. I hope they survive.
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?
So that’s Eastbourne out of the Elite League unless they find a new promotion for 2015. The BSPA has big problems to solve.
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.
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?
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.
Sitting up and listening to the couple noisily going at it next door is actually preferable to sleeping on this bed.
Delighted to hear @Andrecompton has been released from hospital with no broken bones. He had a lucky escape.
I’ve just been joined in the Bydgoszcz TV truck by five-time world champ Ove Fundin.
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.
You won’t believe who I just met at Bydgoszcz Airport. @MayorofLondon and future prime minister Boris Johnson!
Wonder if the Elite Riders Championship will be staged this season – middle of August and still no restaging date
I’d also be interested to know the results of this BSPA inquiry into the postponement at Coventry in March. We’re still waiting.
After missing the 2013 #LatvianSGP with glandular fever, thoroughly looking forward to checking out Riga and Bikernieki
Couldn’t recommend Riga more highly as a city break destination. Awesome atmosphere, beautiful city and top night out for anyone.
Credit to Ward for facing cameras. He’ll face hefty criticism for failing alcohol test. No excuses, but good to hear his side.
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.
I feel for Coventry and Swindon here. They’ve turned up to put on a #speedway meeting, not the Dave Robinson show. Madness.
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.
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?
This guest rubbish is making a mockery of the Elite League. Tonight’s Wolves line-up is laughable. Time to introduce squads. Long overdue.
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.
I’m hearing Nicolas Covatti and Mattia Carpanese are the wild cards for the #GPChallenge at Lonigo. Interesting second selection.
Woffinden just let out a loud cry of anguish after coming in from a practice run in Vojens. He’s not comfortable but fighting.
Good morning from Lake Garda. Looking forward to the #GPChallenge at Lonigo tonight – always huge drama. I’ll keep you updated.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Suspended bans for Greaves, Sarjeant and Phillips following their involvement in the Brandon brawl. All very lucky boys. #speedway
An #AusSGP is long overdue. Massive credit to everyone who has made this happen. Could an Aussie be crowned world champ on home shale?
Strongly agree with those calling for track covers in British #speedway. More fans and broadcasters messed about today. Covers long overdue.
Ole Olsen’s seem to work in Vojens. They wouldn’t come cheap, but they’d pay for themselves eventually.
The drainage has to be effective as well as covers. It’ll take investment. Investment that won’t happen.
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.
Surprised that Poole didn’t postpone that earlier. It has been peeing it down here all afternoon. It was never going to happen. #speedway
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!
Cradley homeless again, Coventry under threat, Birmingham in the balance … sad times for #speedway fans in the Midlands.
Thanks to everyone for their comments on guests. Some fans for using them and others against. Opinion is very divided. #speedway
To my followers in Dorset, if you’re on the roads, slow down. Ridiculous amounts of standing water. Nearly went sideways through Slepe (A35)
If Gollob puts 10,000 fans on the gate, who cares if it’s money motivated. It’ll be an amazing event.
BSPA are looking for a new vice-chairman after Jon Cook stood down at today’s AGM. Wonder who would want the job?
Still not convinced there are enough riders for every club to have two competitive fast-track reserves – not enough replacements.
The second strings won’t be stronger. They’re just on inflated averages from this year.
[on yellow & black helmet colours] That’s my reasoning too. Poor floodlights. Not a monumental change, but helpful nonetheless.
Poole far stronger next year with Starke joining Newman. Wolves have done well picking Blackbird and Bates.
The BSPA don’t recognise the SEC. One competition too far for them. They don’t want riders missing EL meetings.
If you’re looking for a great meal in Dorset, I highly recommend The Greyhound at Winterbourne Kingston. It has been transformed big time!
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
My thoughts are with those caught up in the #sydneysiege. Having stayed around the corner, it’s terrifying to see terrorism travel so far.
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.
Merry Christmas to all my followers throughout the world. Have fun!