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Class of ‘99

Riders of the class of ‘99. Ride for Wolves. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, Wolves would be it. The long term benefits of riding for Wolves have been proven by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no more basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now:

  • Enjoy the style and beauty of your sport.
  • But never mind, you will not appreciate the style and beauty of the speedway till it’s gone.
  • But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of speedway and realise just what a beautiful sport it was.
  • You are not as fat as Graham Jones.
  • Don’t worry about riding at Exeter, you can always fake an injury and be replaced by a guest.
  • The real worries in your life are riders who fence you.
  • The kind that do so on the first bend at 80mph on some idle Monday.
  • Take one line each week that scares you.
  • Wheelie.
  • Do not take other peoples lines, do not put up with people who take yours.
  • Elbow.
  • Don’t waste your time riding for Belle Vue.
  • Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind.
  • The race is short, and in the end it’s only with Andy Smith.
  • Remember races you win, but forget your defeats.
  • If you succeed in doing this, tell Chris Manchester how.
  • Keep your old Wolfcrys; throw away your old Speedway Mails.
  • Gate.
  • Don’t feel guilty if you don’t understand Martin Ochiltree’s programme notes.
  • The most interesting people I know didn’t understand his column at 22. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds still don’t.
  • Score plenty of points.
  • Be kind to Porky. Nobody will miss him when he’s gone.
  • Maybe you’ll win things, maybe you won’t.
  • Maybe you’ll be World Champion, probably you won’t.
  • Maybe you’ll retire after 1 year, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your testimonial.
  • Whatever you do don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either. That’s the fans’ job.
  • Take half chances.
  • So will everyone else.
  • Enjoy riding Monmore Green.
  • Ride it every way you can.
  • Don’t be afraid of it or what people think of it.
  • It’s the greatest track you’ll ride.
  • Win.
  • Even if you can do it nowhere but your home track.
  • Read the rulebook, even if you don’t follow it.
  • Don’t look at Jimmy Nilsen, he is incredibly ugly.
  • Get to know the directions to Cradley.
  • You never know, they may not be gone for good.
  • Be nice to the St. John’s Ambulance.
  • They get in for nothing, but are most likely to help you in the future.
  • Understand that promoters come and go.
  • Apart from the few who aren’t wanted by the police.
  • Gate first at Coventry, for your position at the 30 yard mark will be your position at the end of the race.
  • Ride for Glasgow once, but leave before they make you hard.
  • Ride for King’s Lynn once, but leave before they make you soft.
  • Accept certain truths: King’s Lynn will lose, promoters will cheat, you too will get old. When you do you’ll fantasise that when you were young King’s Lynn were good, promoters were noble and Paul Thorp could ride wet tracks.
  • Ride wet tracks.
  • Don’t expect fans to support you.
  • Maybe you have illegal fuel, maybe you have softened tyres, but you never know when either may run out.
  • Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you are 40 you’ll look like David Hughes.
  • Be careful with the engine tuner you employ.
  • Engine tuning is a form of nostalgia. Tuning is a way of fishing old parts from the garage, wiping the rust off, painting over the poor parts and recycling them for more than they are worth.

But trust me on riding for Wolves.

Dr. H. A. Weasly (“Baz” to his friends)

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Acknowledgements:
Many photographs on this site are copyright/courtesy of John Hipkiss - Wolverhampton Track Photographer.
The opinions expressed on this site are not necessarily those of the promotion/management of Wolverhampton Speedway.
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