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Track Talk: Rare return as Tai back on home shale

By Nigel Pearson | Speedway | Published:

Tai Woffinden makes a rare appearance on a British track tonight when he represents Great Britain in the Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations in Manchester.

Tai Woffinden

The triple World Champion, who remains a firm favourite with Wolverhampton fans after his successful time at Monmore, partners Craig Cook and Robert Lambert at Belle Vue’s National Speedway Stadium.

It will be one of only two outings on a UK track this year for Woffinden, who races in the lucrative Polish and Swedish Leagues and will also be defending his world title. It continues to be a source of disappointment that we have a British World Champion who doesn’t ride for a British club.

But the truth is, the money isn’t there to tempt him away from either Poland or Sweden. Since the loss of the Sky Sports millions from the sport, promoters at all levels have to watch their pennies more than ever before.

I’m excited about watching him tonight and he will be at Cardiff for what is the penultimate Grand Prix of the season in September. GB will face competition from Australia and Denmark tonight and those are the three nations I expect to go through to Russia in July for the two-day final. If you’re not heading to Manchester – tickets are still available today – then you can join us on BT Sport from 7pm.

Wolverhampton are back in action at Monmore on Monday when King’s Lynn visit – and Scott Nicholls stays! Scott, who has won the hearts of Parrys International Wolves fans with his slick style, was snapped up on the eve of the season as a stand-in for injured Swede Jacob Thorssell.

But Thorssell has been back on a bike in Poland and Wolves bosses have held talks with him after his wrist injury.

I understand he doesn’t feel ready for the more technical and demanding UK tracks just yet – but when he does there is a decision to be made.

And there’s still concern over Nick Morris who is yet to make his debut after suffering a broken wrist in Poland – he’s just returned to the UK from Australia but I understand he is still a couple of weeks away from fitness.

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Cradley have made a great start to the season, haven’t they?

Last Monday they took the lead for the first time in the meeting against Mildenhall in the very last race when Max Clegg and Tom Brennan passed the previously unbeaten Danny Ayres. The footage of that race has had thousands of hits and I loved the reaction of the crowd. It’s why we brought the club back into league racing. And at the Isle of Wight on Thursday the boys put in a solid all-round display to win 49-41 in the first leg of our cup tie. Hopefully we can finish the job when they visit Monmore on Monday week, May 20.

Speaking of Cradley, it was the great Bruce Penhall’s birthday yesterday. ‘Juicy Brucey’ was a heart-throb in the 80s and provided great entertainment on the track with his flamboyant style.

I was stunned when I realised he turned 62! He still looks 20 years younger, the lucky man!

Nigel Pearson

By Nigel Pearson
Columnist - @nigelpearson

Sports broadcaster/writer specialising in Football, Darts and Speedway for Sky Sports, IMG, BT Sport and talkSPORT.

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