Edinburgh Monarchs rider Max Clegg today revealed how lucky he was to escape what could have been a horrifying crash with Berwick Bandits ace Jye Etheridge at Armadale last week.
The pair were dicing at the back during heat nine of a match Monarchs won 53-39 when Etheridge suddenly lost control and careered into the safety fence on the fourth bend.
Clegg explained: “Speedway bikes can be violent machines and it all happened in a split second.
“I was trying different lines to get past and none of them were working. I then tried the outside and suddenly saw Jye lift and his bike shot right across me. Luckily it missed me – it could have been nasty had it hit me.
“It all happened so quickly and there is not a lot you can do about it when it happens like that.
“It is so hard to bring the bike under control. I was lucky really and just thankful I missed it all.”
Clegg, speaking ahead of tonight’s Championship clash with Newcastle Diamonds at home, is just glad he is in one piece because while Newcastle are not in play-off contention yet, they do have an enviable record round Armadale.
The Diamonds suffered a shock 54-39 defeat at Scunthorpe Scorpions a week ago which may have dealt their qualification hopes a fatal blow, although they bounced back from that reverse with a narrow 46-44 victory over Ipswich Witches on Sunday.
Said Clegg: “They’re a tough side Newcastle and they have a lot of riders who ride Armadale well. We have just got to keep doing what we’ve done in the past. It won’t be easy, but I think we can get the win.”
Clegg added: “Their main danger man is Ludvig Lindgren. He guested for Edinburgh a couple of times last season and did extremely well and is definitely the rider to watch. We cannot take anything for granted – we have to be sharp from the off. If I can make some starts, I’ll be all right.”
Monarchs’ victory over Berwick seven days ago wasn’t as one sided as some had predicted and credit to the Bandits for making a decent fight of it.
Said Clegg: “You never know what is going to happen. People were expecting us to perhaps score 60 ... it didn’t work out that way.
“But we got the win and that was important.
“I still think the Edinburgh team this season is awesome and we all have plenty of laughs one and off the track.”
While Monarchs emphasise the importance of staying unbeaten at home, more success on the road could make life a bit easier as things are becoming congested in the race for a top four play-off spot.
Clegg said: “I need to sort my away performances out for sure – that is obvious. When I do then I can play a bigger part in the away fixtures.”
The 20-year-old starting to enjoy his speedway again having moved into the team proper for a second time. “When I started off this season I couldn’t buy a point. I was struggling and it got me down a little,” he admitted. “I then dropped down to reserve and my first meeting in that role was away to Newcastle in May and I scored 14 points and that set me up to be honest.
“Now I’m back in the side again I’m still scoring. I’ve had four meetings now being in the team again and I have scored more than my average. And I scored paid nine against Berwick.
“I’m enjoying my racing once more and of course confidence plays a big part. I was down and stressing over things. Now I have picked myself up and racing is fun again.
“Speedway has suddenly become easier and lot more enjoyable. I just need to make some starts and try my best out on track.
“That would make winning races a whole lot easier for me.”
Monarchs have no match at Armadale next Friday (July 21). All Championship teams are competing in the Pairs showpiece at Somerset, with Monarchs skipper Sam Masters looking for his first win since 2014 with new partner Erik Riss.