THAT Ty Proctor looks a decent rider doesn’t he?
James Grieves has started the season in scintilating form – but we alread know what a class act he is – so the young Aussie’s performance at Newcastle was easily the biggest plus point of an otherwise disappointing and frustrating first weekend of the season for the TLS Bears.
Always on the pace, he showed guile and determination and was well worth a paid eight total in only his second meeting in the UK.
The clenched fist salute as he crossed the line for his first ever win in British speedway said it all – and I reckon there’s plenty more where that came from.
He arrived – belatedly and only after the intervention of MP Vera Baird – with a case full of praise from his high profile Aussie compatriots and with two bikes recently purchased from Leigh Adams.
The first time I spoke to him, he struck me as being level-headed and determined in equal measure. Surely a good combination – and I haven’t changed my mind.
There’s a long, long way to go of course, but I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who headed back to Teesside dwelling more on Ty’s encouraging display than on Josh’s sticky start, Havvy’s injury or the lack of points from reserve.
Mind, I was pleasantly surprised to have anything at all to dwell on after battling through a snow storm en route to Tyneside. I half expected to see Sergei Tarabanko and Milan Spika sharpening their spikes in the pits.
So early in the season and with conditions that would make an eskimo shiver, it’s difficult to gauge how the rest of the season could pan out. Give us a couple of meetings at home and we’ll know where we’re at, was Havvy Snr’s response to the weekend’s two defeats and you can see where he’s coming from.
And, despite the margin of defeat, the delayed start and the biting cold, I’m glad I was there at the venue formerly known as Brough Park.
It’s never really been able to shrug off its reputation as being a gater’s track, but I’ve always enjoyed my visits there. George English is as dedicated a speedway man as you’ll find anywhere and meetings on Tyneside seem to have a sense of occasion about them, especially when the Bears are in town!
Maybe it’s the ghosts of Mauger, Michanek, Olsen et al still taking care of things on race night.
The brown signs proclaiming ‘Newcastle Speedway’ as you leave the motorway lend an added sense of importance to the meeting ahead too… although I spotted another one sporting the words ‘Biscuit Factory’ a little further along the road so maybe they just dish them out willy nilly up there?
Whatever, the Diamonds scored a deserved win on Sunday and the local bragging rights have gone back up the A19. Now the Geordies are heading our way on Thursday for round two – predictions anyone?