BY Rod Colquhoun

• It’s been said a thousand times already, but what dreadful luck for Jason Doyle last weekend and now the news that he won’t be able to compete in Melbourne really is a body blow for not just Jason, but the meeting itself.
Doyle, a former elite junior baseball player, is the darling of Aussie fans at the moment and his omission just knocks a bit of the stuffing out of what genuinely promised to be a momentus occasion.
It could have been, and I stress the word ‘could’, the first time in history that an Australian has been crowned world speedway champion (excluding sidecars) in his home country – hard to comprehend given the success we have had at levels, particularly over the past 15 years.
There has been anger expressed on social media from some close to JD who said he has been robbed of the world championship, but that wording is a little cut and dried for what is a multi-faceted situation.
Yes, he was involved in a crash and no he wasn’t at fault, but as they say in the classics – that’s racing.
He has certainly been removed from the list of potential winners and that is real shame for him given he really has been the best rider in the world for the last two months.
The good news is that he will recover fully and no doubt give a great account of himself again next year and possibly get the job done.
He has most certainly earned the respect of his peers over the latter half of this season!

• Jason’s very unfortunate omission has handed a lifeline to fellow Hunter Valley racer Sam Masters and whilst it answers Masters’ prayers in terms of being involved, he told me today that he really feels for Jason;
“Doyley has been on fire and he deserved to be in Melbourne fighting for the title”, he said.
“It feels a lot different to last year because of what has happened to Doyley, but now that I have the chance I know what to expect so as always I will prepare well and give it everything,” he concluded.

• Great to hear that Pioneer Park has a new owner and will once again be part of the bike scene on the east coast.
The picturesque little venue is situated about 40 minutes out of Townsville (South East from memory) and it has hosted many prestige events over the years.
No doubt there will be plenty of people willing to lend a hand so hopefully the roar of engines won’t be too far away!

• It’s been another winter of action on a number of tracks around the country and Kurri Kurri celebrated the end of their off season competition over the long weekend with the party continuing long into the night.
Speedway is nothing without its volunteers and Campo and his loyal band of helpers have managed to convert a vacant piece of land into one of Australia’s premier bike speedways.
The amount of work involved can never be truly measured, suffice to say it would be tens of thousands of volunteer man hours.
The awards for the season’s best have been handed out and the recipients are as follows.
Before I go any further – congratulations to all of you!

2016 Senior Club Champion – Josh Pickering
Runner- up – Zaine Kennedy
3rd. Alan MacDonald
4th. Ben Cook

2016 Junior Sidecar Club Champions – Kyle Rolla & Adam Botham

2016 B Grade Club Champion – Tony Phillips

2016 Junior Club Champion – (=) Jack Miles & Maurice Brown 71pts
3rd. Aiden Phillips
4th. Keynan Rew

2016 250cc Junior Club Champion – Mathew Gilmore
Runner up – Isaac Hawes
3rd. Mitch Cluff
4th. Declan Kennedy

Most Improved Senior – Matt Pickering (Josh’s cousin)

Most Improved Juniors – Nate Simpson & Jackson Harris

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