Edinburgh Monarchs Swedish ace Joel Andersson today opened up on his fight with Eastbourne Eagles rival Alfie Bowtell and just how just lucky he was to avoid serious injury when he was brought down from his bike during the meeting.
Bowtell and Andersson traded blows after the heat 14 crash during the Championship clash at the Arlington Stadium on Saturday, but it was Bowtell’s team-mate Lewis Kerr who narrowly missed the stricken Andersson and saved the Monarchs rider from sustaining what could have been a life-threatening injury.
The Swede confronted Bowtell in the pits after the incident, with both men throwing punches before being pulled away by shocked onlookers. Bowtell was then disqualified from the re-run race, which Andersson went on to win.
In an exclusive interview with the News, Andersson said: “I spoke to Lewis after the meeting had ended and he told me he was so close to hitting my head. Thankfully for me he managed to avoid hitting me.”
Andersson admitted it was a heat-of-the-moment reaction to being knocked off by Bowtell that sparked the punch-up.
Said Andersson: “I was seething at being brought down and Bowtell was annoyed that he crashed, but things like this happen in speedway – but not too often, I’m glad to say.
“It was simply a rush of adrenaline that saw matters boil over, but I was still shocked by his actions to begin with.
“I don’t remember too much about the actual race and how exactly he entered the second bend, except to say that he came in way too tight and was out of control.
“He said that if he had managed to pass me the accident would not have happened, but something went wrong from his point of view.
“It wasn’t his intention to bring me down and I accept this.”
Andersson said when he got up from the track he wanted to ask Bowtell what exactly he was doing, but it all kicked off instead.
He said: “We both still had our helmets on when we squared up, so it wasn’t all that serious. Some guy lay on top of me and pulled me away, but when I got up everyone else was fighting.
“However I spoke to Bowtell afterwards and we both cleared the air and shook hands and that’s the matter finished with.”
Bowtell revealed that his van was vandalised after the meeting, but Andersson added: “I replied to him on Facebook on Sunday and told him I wasn’t responsible and he knows that.
“I can totally understand why some people would think it was me after we were fighting on track in full view of everyone.
“But everything is good and I’m looking forward now to facing Newcastle in the KO Cup at Armadale on Friday.”