Debut as captain ends with an ambulance ride

Mildenhall Stadium, West Row.'Speedway action. ''Pictured; Jack Hargreaves
Mildenhall Stadium, West Row.'Speedway action. ''Pictured; Jack Hargreaves
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JACK Hargreaves is hoping he can put on a captain’s display for the first time this weekend, after his debut as skipper ended in the back of an ambulance.

The 23-year-old spectacularly crashed in the first heat of Sunday’s 47-43 victory over the Buxton Hitmen at West Row, with his motorcycle flipping over on to him.

Although his injuries were no worse than badly-bruised ribs, Hargreaves was withdrawn from the rest of the meeting, but he’s raring to go for Sunday’s reverse fixture at Hi-Edge Raceway (3pm).

“It’s my first time as skipper and number one,” said Hargreaves. “I was hoping to make an impact on Sunday, but it didn’t quite go to plan.

“Hopefully I can do it when we go to Buxton this weekend. I think we can win there because we have a very strong pair of reserves.

“Buxton’s reserves were not so good, so the rest is down to the main body of the team.”

The Tigers’ promoters took a long look at the track after Hargreaves’ first heat fall, which preceded crashes for Lewis Blackbird, Mark Baseby and Dan Halsey — the latter two while leading, like Hargreaves.

However, Mildenhall’s skipper believes the number of accidents was down to the home riders not adapting quickly enough to the conditions, with rain causing parts of the circuit have a lot of grip while other areas were very slick.

And it was this, combined with a broken carburettor, that caused Hargreaves to take a tumble in heat one.

“Something wasn’t quite right and when I came in to the corner the bike didn’t rev, it just drove and spat me off,” he said. “The promotion did a good job on the track considering how it was the night before and earlier in the morning.

“It took us a bit of time to adapt to it because we weren’t used to the conditions.

“Once it slickened out, the boys started to find their form. Buxton just adapted to it quicker than we did.”

The skipper is now faced with a large bill as he requires a new helmet, engine plates and possibly a carburettor, which means he may have to see out the season with just one bike.

“I’ll do anything to make sure I don’t have to pack it in, but I can’t have another crash like that,” added Hargreaves. “It would be good to have more racing and I’d love to get some more guest bookings, but sponsorship is a major thing as well.

“I don’t have any major sponsors, whereas there are riders with really good sponsors behind them.”