When there aren't any bikes being slung in a sideways motion, you tend to notice other things that go on in the world.
But is the subject of Harry and Megan are wanting away from the Royal Family really news?
Is it really news that Piers Morgan is ramming his opinion down everyone's throat on the subject? Of course not!
I'll tell you what is news though, we are a little over eight weeks away from hearing the roar of 500cc, single cylinder machines ripsnorting up the tracks in true gladiatorial fashion.
But who's away where? Who's moving, who's shaking and who's looking like history making?
Well ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, you are about to find out exactly that, by way of the annual Mythman Season Preview 2020 Edition, Part one.
Our first destination is Perry Barr where the Birmingham Brummies have built a solid looking septet complete with a nice blend of youth and experience and full of all out racers too. Returning to the side is Jason Garrity, who is all action every time he is out on track and is sure to excite the fans in attendance, providing his van doesn’t break down on the way to Armadale. With that being said he is sure to be ably backed up by Chris Harrris and Thomas H Jonasson; another two all action riders with plenty of international experience between them. James Shanes is another never say die rider that the Brummies fans love and having has his 2019 season curtailed by injuries, he will be keen to kick on in 2020. The same can be said of Ashley Morris, who despite his relatively young years is somewhat of a journeyman of the sport but he has proved on several occasions that with a settled run in a side, he is more than capable of doing a job. Jack Thomas decided to take a break from the sport in 2019 but has decided to make a comeback in 2020 and there is no reason why he can’t be pushing for a spot in the main body of the side as he has all the hallmark of a bright future in the sport. Last but by no means least and completing the side is Italian Paco Castagna, who enjoyed a fine 2019 season despite me predicting he wouldn’t last the year. Paco proved everyone wrong and was one of the shining lights of a tough year for the Brummies and with arguably a stronger team around him, he may well push for a heat leader spot in 2020.
Key Man – Paco Castagna
Predictions – There will be no lack of action at Perry Barr, that is for certain, but the likes of Garrity and James Shanes will have to steer clear of injury if the Brummies are to be up there challenging. That being said there is little doubt that this is a side capable of pushing for the playoffs if they all gel as a unit.
There is a certain familiarity about the Eagles side heading in to 2020 with a number of returnees from their 2019 side. But for me where they differ in 2020 is that they look a far more balanced side than that of last season. Kyle Newman came in to the side during last season having found himself a victim of the merry go round of team changes but once he found his groove he proved to be a solid addition and the Eagles fans will be looking for more of the same from him in 2020. Edward Kennett and Richard Lawson will once again form a formidable looking spearhead for the Eagles and they should ensure that they don’t lose many points at the business end of meetings. They will once again be ably backed up by Lewis Kerr who it seems is a massive favourite down Arlington way. One rider I am pleased to see returning in 2020 is Tom Brennan, who sadly saw his 2019 season ended by horrific injuries after looking set for a big year. The Eagles management have shown faith in Tom and if he can recapture the same form prior to his injury; the Eagles could take some stopping. Drew Kemp was probably a rider that every team in the country was looking to sign and perhaps a move to the proven nurturing ground of Arlington will be just the catalyst to see him take his career to the next level. Completing the all British line up in another highly rated youngster in Jason Edwards, who had a brief stint with the Eagles last season and did enough to earn a spot in 2020.
Key Man – Tom Brennan
Predictions – The Eagles look a very well balanced side and if Tom Brennan can recapture his form and Drew Kemp can find a little more consistency, there is little doubt they will be right up there come the business end of the year, making them among the favourites.
Away up the opposite end of the country now and our old pals the Edinburgh Monarchs, who have put together what I would call an interesting looking side. The heat leader trio of Sam Masters, Richie Worrall and Josh Pickering are arguably capable of keeping meetings close on their own, but they will need back up and I’m not overly sure where that is coming from. However, the Monarchs do have a habit of pulling a rabbit out of hat every now and again and in newcomers Lasse Fredriksen and Kye Thomson, they may well have unearthed a couple of gems. Both come highly recommended and how they adapt to the tight confides of Armadale may have a huge bearing on the Monarchs success and if both of them turn out to be as bad as Jye Etheridge, they are on to a sure fire winner! William Lawson was the subject of a lot of criticism from the Monarchs fans in 2019 but in spite of that he is back for 2020 and will once again be keen to recapture some of his former glory, of which there were glimpses last year. With updated equipment and a new focus, 2020 could see William back in the big time. He will be joined at reserve by James Sarjeant, who has proven he can be a tall scorer when he isn’t taking pictures of the exit of tracks and breaking tapes for the fun of it. A rider who I would say is yet to fulfil his potential; a move to the Monarchs may be all it takes to reignite that fire as it has done for many a rider before.
Key Man – James Sarjeant
Predictions – The Monarchs are somewhat of an unknown quantity with two newcomers in their ranks, however that heat leader trio with potentially high scoring reserves may be enough to allow the new guys to find their feet. Anyone would be a fool to write the Monarchs off though.
A little further up the M8 and the Glasgow Tigers have once again raised a few eyebrows with their line up. Surely the return of Craig Cook will surprise absolutely nobody and he will once again be expected to score the bucket loads of points we have become accustomed to. There is probably very little surprise in seeing the return of Connor Bailey and Sam Jensen either with both having shown flashes of brilliance during their 2019 spells with the club. The rest of the line up though? Well the signing of Broc Nicol may well prove to be a master stroke as he is a rider on the up and one of America’s brighter prospects. In truth, he is another rider whose phone will have been red hot at the end of last season and he won’t have been short of offers. He is joined by fellow American Ricky Wells who will be keen to build upon a poor 2019 by his own standards, having seen his average drop considerably with Edinburgh last season. The final two names on the team sheet for me were a surprise, with Ulrich Ostergaard and Justin Sedgeman completing the line up. While still a tough customer, Ostergaard’s best days are arguably behind him but he is still a rider happy to bang elbows for four laps and he will revel in the conditions at Glasgow. Sedgeman on the other hand is a signing that has me scratching my head. He had a brilliant season with Edinburgh a number of years ago but simply hasn’t shown anything like that since, however perhaps reuniting with Craig Cook will see him recapture that magic, but time will tell.
Key Man – Justin Sedgeman
Predictions – Last season I questioned the wisdom of signing Rasmus Jensen and he had a tremendous season and Glasgow almost won the league, which shows what little I know! However the signing of Nicol may well prove to be a very astute piece of business and Ricky Wells won’t have the pressure of being at number one. If Justin Sedgeman and Ulrich Ostergaard can recapture even some of the old magic, then the Tigers will be right up there again...but that's a big if.
Stay tuned for part two coming soon...
Of course if you wish to agree, or disagree with the Mythman, have an idea for a feature, or you simply want to chew the fat over all things speedway, you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch via the JB Speedway Media Facebook page. If your compliments, or indeed gripes can be contained to limited characters, you can send me a tweet @Mythman666.
Until next time...and there will be a next time.
Right I’ll hae’tae gan