Speedway motorbikes are unlike your conventional road bikes; for starters, they don’t have brakes! They have one gear and a 500 cc engine that runs on methanol fuel. They can accelerate at excessive speeds of up to 60 mph, which is faster than an F1 car!
The racing circuit is oval and is usually 300 metres in total. The bikes race in an counterclockwise direction and to get safely around the bends, riders have to skid.
Races, or meetings as they are known, are usually held every other week at most tracks around the country and have 15 heats. You will find two teams racing against each other and each team consists of seven riders. Only two riders from each team will race at the same time and each win earns the team three points, second place brings two points and third one point – the loser gets no points! The more points a team has, the closer they get to moving up the league, just like in football.
The following is how the league points scoring system works:
- Home loss – nil points
- Home draw – one point
- Home win between one and six points – two points
- Home win by seven or more points – three points
- Away loss by seven or more points – nil points
- Away loss by six or less points – one point
- Away draw – two points
- Away win between one and six points – three points
- Away win by seven or more points – four points
What makes a team?
Each team is made up of seven riders, each having a number. Team members one, two, three, four and five can ride in any order, as decided by the team manager. Team members six and seven are the reserves. The reserves must be the two riders with the lowest average scores in the team.
Each team will have its own colours, but the home team will always have blue and red helmets and the away team black and yellow or yellow and white helmets. The riders will wear Kevlar racing suits to protect them against any falls. The suits are usually custom-made and incorporate sponsor logos. Riders also have special boots designed for racing. The boots have a special steel toe that the rider puts onto the track when cornering. In addition to the helmet, the riders also wear goggles to protect their faces and eyes.
Andrew Stevens takes a look at the popular sport of speedway Racing, writing here for Club Promoto.