Speedway solo bikes are back at the Motorplex.
A good field, including many of WA’s top Solo Speedway riders, will face the starter at the fabulous Perth Motorplex this Saturday night in what will be one of their biggest meetings of the year. The 500cc solo speedway bikes have been included in the huge Saturday evening show which features the running of the “World Series Sprintcar Grand Final”.
For the uninitiated, speedway solos are purebred purpose built motorcycles designed specifically for oval dirt track racing. With a single cylinder 500cc 4 valve motor developing around 80hp and a weight of approximately 77kg these bikes have huge power to weight ratio and accelerate as fast as Formula One cars.
Oh, I forgot to mention they have no gears and no brakes.
The solo boys love the challenge of riding the unique yet tricky purpose built speedway motorcycle track at the Perth Motorplex complex. The relatively long straights and tight turns provide a real challenge for the solo boys to carry their straight line speed into and through the flat, non-cambered turns.
All ten solo competitors had a good hit out at Pinjar Parks Summer Slam event last Saturday and are chomping at the bit to strut their stuff to an anticipated large crowd of pro 4 wheel car fans and show them what speedway solo racing is all about.
There are plenty of bragging rights up for grabs and all riders will be keen to ensure they bag enough points in the heat races to go directly into the A Final.
For those that fall short they will have a last chance B qualifier to advance and have a crack at the prize money on offer for the A final.
For those 4 wheel speedway supporters who may not be familiar with local speedway solo riders, we have provided a brief rider profile to add to your enjoyment when you watch these guys perform for you on Saturday night.
Frank has raced competitively in both the UK and Australia for over twenty years. He is fully backed by Fullock Racing WA and during this ten year partnership Frank has won multiple State Titles and big meetings both in Perth and on the east coast. While he may be at the twilight of his sensational speedway career, Frank is racing as well now as he has for many years.
Matt has developed into one of the states top riders and has come of age since his return from racing in the UK where he rode professionally for Mildenhall in the National League. Matt also got to ride in the Young Lions team. He showed plenty of promise as a junior when he won multiple state 125cc championships and has ridden with distinction on the east coast of Australia particularly SA and NSW. He recently purchased one of Tai Woffindens GP bikes to further his racing career.
Des has developed into one of WA’s top 500cc solo riders in the relatively short time he has been riding. Unlike many of his competitors who came up through the junior ranks at Bibra Lake and the small 142m Pinjar Park track, Des saw speedway motorcycle racing as something he wanted to have a crack at and bought a bike some 5 seasons ago. He has competed at some big events at Pinjar Park including State championship events, a couple of Rob Woffinden Classics and King of Pinjar meetings and scored plenty of points off more fancied riders along the way.
Formally from the Northern territory, Ryan raced with success as a junior and won several 125cc state championships at Northline Speedway. Ryan competed at the Australian 125cc title and finished a credible 5th place. Unfortunately Northline Speedway stopped running bikes and he never got to ride 500cc solos. 15 years later and still with a passion to compete in speedway on 500cc solos he moved to Perth with his wife and son and resurrected his solo career last season. Like riding a bike, he has started where he left off and improves with each meeting.
Formerly from New Zealand, Bryan was bought up around speedway going to watch his father Aaron race against the likes of Ivan Mauger. Bryan could ride bikes almost before he could walk starting off on a motorcross bike at the age of three. He raced motorcross bikes until the age of twenty until a serious knee injury forced him to have a lengthy layoff. He moved to Perth briefly in 2013 and bought a speedway bike and raced for a season before returning to NZ. His love for WA, its people and his speedway bike bought him back in 2017 and he again returned to speedway racing. He gave up a lucrative FIFO position to enable him to complete a full seasons racing at Pinjar Park this season.
Dan has been the most dominant local speedway rider in WA over the past four or five seasons. He was almost unbeatable riding on the tiny 142m Pinjar Park bowl and won several State 500cc solo championships during this time. Dan commenced racing at Bibra Lake Speedway as a junior and has competed with success in the east coast at Gillman Speedway in SA and Mildura in Vic. Dan has beaten many fancied international riders over the years and has always been highly placed during big meetings in Perth and Collie. Dan is the complete package when it comes to speedway racing leaving nothing to chance in terms of his equipment preparation and presentation. He is fully committed to the sport he loves.
Jarryd is one half of the Zeidas Racing Team. His younger brother Kobee makes up the other half, however he is out of racing for 12 months with a knee injury. Jarryd is a fearless solo racer and when he gets it all together he can show a clean pair of heels to top riders in Perth. Hampered by machine troubles and a low budget has not helped his racing this season to date. He showed plenty of promise on the smaller 142m track which appeared to suit his style, however he has put together some good races in recent outings.
Jason began his speedway racing as a junior in 1991. As a junior Jason won a 125cc state title, fairest and best and under 16 championship. He travelled to Tamworth with Guy Wilson for the Australian title where he was placed 4th. Jason used to race under his step dads name, Jason Boin, in those days and used his idol Guy Wilson’s racing number 9. Following a 23year break, his passion for speedway racing reignited and he bought another bike and went racing. Jason is a regular competitor at Pinjar Park and Perth Motorplex and is being coached by Neil Webb, who coached him way back in his Bibra Lake racing and he enjoys huge support from good mate Frank Smart. ‘
Drew is a relative newcomer to speedway racing, however his enthusiasm and commitment are second to none. By his own admission he has a way to go before he can make finals but he is thoroughly enjoying just getting out there and having a go. He ensures his equipment is in good shape and after watching and learning from his brother Dan for a year or so, he is now confident he can work on and properly prepare his own race bike for competition. He is one of the most likeable guys in the paddock and there needs to be a good reason why he doesn’t turn up for a race meeting come Saturday evenings.
Jason has somewhat of a racing pedigree in his DNA given his father Jeff is a former speedway sidecar champion and is still competing at the highest level to this day. Jason chose the motocross discipline as his first choice of motorcycle racing rather than a speedway career. Several seasons ago he jumped at the chance to ride as passenger in the sidecar chair with dad taking on the handlebar duties when Jeff decided to make a comeback to competitive sidecar racing. The Bishops soon became a winning combination in the sidecar division and they rode with success for several seasons. Jason decided he might like a run on a solo and in short order after purchasing a bike he looked every bit an accomplished solo rider. Some were tipping Jason was destined to become a future state champion during his first season in the saddle.
Doug started his speedway career as a junior at Pinjar Park and he has developed into a well credentialed, genuine A grade senior rider. He is an exciting rider to watch and the closer the racing the more he loves it. He has taken it up to and beaten some of the more fancied visiting international and east coast riders in recent years at Pinjar Park and Collie Speedway. He is certainly one to watch at the Motorplex show on Saturday.
Blake is another hard charging genuine A grade rider who should be well suited to the Perth Motorplex track. Blake was a promising junior rider and has ridden with success in WA and on the east coast. His father Lewis Russell was also a prominent solo rider and he provides solid support to Blake in his speedway career. Blake could well be at the pointy end of the points and on the podium at nights end.
Well that’s it. – 10 riders to face the starter at the Motorplex on Saturday. Three heats each, a B qualifying final and an A Final for the chance to grab the cash and bragging rights for the night.
It’s impossible to choose winners these days in solo racing, all riders will be doing their best to earn enough points to make the final. In speedway solo racing things can change in an instant and normally does.
Photo Credit – Warwick Hemy @ Woza Photography Story Credit – Graeme Sinden