Wightlink Islanders meeting was curtailed last night following a horror smash in heat 13 involving Islanders skipper Nick Simmons and Heathens new recruit Kyle Newman.
Simmons in the form of his life said, “I’m ok with all things considered, a bit sore, I’ll be riding in the NLRC tomorrow. I’m not injured enough to warrant not riding in my eyes, I’ll go to Rye House and do my best.” Thankfully no bones were broken for either rider although they are battered, bruised and sore from the crash, they were both very lucky.
It was Newmans’ first meeting back with the Heathens’ as cover for injured skipper Jon Armstrong, he was released at 2.00am from hospital after receiving the all clear.
Heat 1 saw Newman grabbed a fast start and was neck and neck with Simmons around the first turns but pulled out the lead going into the 3rd turn when Simmons stormed around the outside and into the lead exiting the 4th turn to share the heat points.
The Heathens took the lead for the only time during the meeting with reserve Darryl Ritchings taking the win from Islanders reserve Luke Chessell who initially led the race until the 2nd lap, Danny Stoneman was 3rd for the midland club. Rob Smith and Paul Starke pounded in the first of three 5-1 advantages in heat 3 while in heat 4 Danny Warwick had it all his own way in the re-run heat after Chessell demolished the starting tapes for a shared heat to maintain a 2 point advantage for the Islanders.
Heat 5 was pulled back for an unsatisfactory start after Smith flew from the gate somehow managing to not touch the tapes, in the re-run Newman made no mistake pegging the Islanders pair for another shared heat. Simmons paired up with Gary Cottham in heat 6 for the Islanders second 5-1 of the meeting giving a 6 point advantage. Two shared heats followed with Warwick again away at the front with the heathens pair tucked in the minor places. Cottham followed up with a heat 8 win over the Heathens.
Heat 10 saw the Islanders open up the advantage to 10 points with their third 5-1 of the meeting, Smith and Starke again pegged back the Heathens while Tom Perry split Simmons and Cottham in heat 10 with the Islanders moving 12 up.
Newman was brought in by Heathens team manager for a tactical ride in heat 11, he didn’t disappoint the travelling Heathens supporters with a cracking race storming away for the win over Warwick to narrow the Islanders advantage to 7 points. Smith took the flag in heat 12 from Perry and Chessell for a heat advantage putting the Islanders 9 points up.
Warwick made the start in heat 13, Simmons in 2nd spot holding off the challenge of Newman on the first lap until Newman clipped Simmons rear wheel exiting the 4th turn the fastest part of the track which resulted in a heavy horrific crash into the home straight safety fence smashing 4 posts and taking out the electrics. The medics were quick on the scene treating both Simmons and Newman for sometime before Simmons was able to walk back to the pits. Newman meanwhile underwent lengthier treatment before being transported to hospital for further checkups where he underwent x-rays.
Co-promoter Chris Hunt said, “Accidents are accidents, you don’t like to apportion any blame I just hope both Nick and Kyle are ok, it was a nasty crash.”
Injured Islander John Resch was a welcome visitor to the Island and was presented with a cheque for £250 by the supporters club who had been busy raising funds following his horror smash in May at Mildenhall which resulted in a titanium road being inserted into his broken thigh, “Everything is going well, the physio is going good, I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone at the Island for what they have done for me and all the cards and everything. I’d like to ride again but I would rather wait until the rod is out before I go racing, It’s quite frustrating not riding, I can’t wait to get back on a bike,” commented Resch. Co-promoter Chris Hunt added, “It was a good performance tonight, Dudley were a little bit weak but it showed what we can do. I would of been disappointed if we didn’t pick up 3 points tonight so the result is about what I was expecting as we know Dudley are a bit vulnerable at the moment.” Simmons speaking from his workshop added, “The bike and helmet are wrecked, the front wheel is buckled, hopefully the forks and frame can be straightened, my kevlars are damaged so there is a lot of work and expense to get the bike back ready to race.”