Bikesure, the freethinking motorcycle insurance broker, offers a beginners guide to the ever popular and much loved form of motorsport, speedway.
Speedway is form of motorcycle racing, where usually four riders race in heats, anti-clockwise around oval circuits made up of dirt or loosely packed shale. The riders use this surface to slide their bikes sideways into the bends. The type of bikes used for speedway have no brakes, only one gear and can reach speeds of up to 70 miles per hour on the straights!
Professional speedway racing is regulated by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), which provides guidelines and legislation on all aspects of the sport, including circuit size and construction. There are many purpose built circuits around the UK. However, the FIM granted a special allowance for the British Grand Prix to be held at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, and has recently signed a five year deal to secure the venue for future Grand Prix.
King’s Lynn’s Norfolk Arena, home of the King’s Lynn Stars, will again host the second event of the 2012 Speedway World Cup. This will be the third time in a row that the Norfolk Arena has hosted a Speedway World Cup event.
It is thought that Speedway in the UK began in 1928. It is unclear which was the first ever speedway circuit, but there are a few circuits that started that year which are still used for speedway. Among those are; the Belle Vue track at Kirkmanshulme Lane, Manchester; Brandon Stadium , Coventry; Arlington Stadium , Eastbourne, and Monmore Green Stadium, Wolverhampton.
The most unusual speedway track was probably home to Trelawny Tigers in Trelawny, Cornwall. Although the circuit is now unfortunately closed, it wins the award for being the oddest as it was built in a clay pit. There are photos of the track on www.speedwayplus.com.
If you are looking for the place to watch speedway, it would probably have to be at a track with a grandstand on the home straight, as they are the best spot for watching the race to the finish. Good examples of this are the homes of Poole Pirates, Workington Comets, Berwick Bandits, Lakeside Hammers and Birmingham Brummies, among others.