STARS SLIDE FOR RICO
Friday 28th September 2012, 00:01
World champion Greg Hancock hailed Lee Richardson “a credit to the sport” as he leads a galaxy of stars into the British legend’s memorial meeting at Lakeside tonight.
Grand Prix frontrunners Chris Holder and Nicki Pedersen take to the track, along with SGP rivals Jason Crump, Andreas Jonsson and Chris Harris.
The likes of Double World Under-21 champion Darcy Ward, British No.1 Scott Nicholls, Lakeside star Peter Karlsson, Aussie international Rory Schlein and Team GB’s Danny King and Lewis Bridger will also race to raise money to support Rico’s wife Emma and their sons Joshua, Jake and Jenson.
Tickets cost a minimum donation of £10 for adults and £1 for under-16s and the action gets underway at 8pm following a junior meeting, which starts at 6.45pm.
Hancock was the first man asked by Hammers boss Jon Cook to take part in the meeting and wasted no time in accepting the invite to make a rare British appearance.
"He gave it 100 percent. He was always very professional, showed up looking good with great equipment. He was a credit to the sport."
- Greg Hancock
He said: “The least we can do is support someone who did exactly the same for a lot of other people too. He was a good guy, a good person, a family man and a respected racer on the scene.
“Lee was World Under-21 champion and maybe it didn’t pan out as well in the Grand Prix, but he had some good runs. I think his career can always be looked back on as being successful.
“He gave it 100 percent. He was always very professional, showed up looking good with great equipment. He was a credit to the sport.”
Holder admits he is still struggling to take in the events of May 13, which saw Rico lose his life in a crash at Wroclaw.
He said: “We never forget about Lee and all the times we’ve seen him and raced against him. It’s still hard to believe what happened this year happened.
“But there are a lot of top riders coming over to do this meeting and it’s to show our respect to him and his family. He’ll never be forgotten.
“I always got on well with him. He always had time to talk and stuff like that. You always remember the time you spent with him at the airports and hotels when there was a group of us there at the same time.
“When someone like that is gone all of a sudden, it’s a weird feeling and it’s not very nice. I didn’t have a bad word to say about him. He was a great guy and I’m sure he’ll get what he deserves on Friday.”
Holder may have been the opposite side of the fierce Anglo-Aussie rivalry. But he says Richardson was always Britain’s most consistent competitor at home and abroad.
“As a rider, he was really good,” the SGP series leader said. “He was World Under-21 champion when he was younger and he was Britain’s most consistent guy.
“A lot of the boys were up and down, but he was always scoring a lot of points when he was in Sweden and Poland, which is not easy to do.
“He was such a good gater. When you were racing him, there was no doubt he was going to be in front of you and you’d be trying to pass him and have a pretty good race with him. He was a really clever rider.”
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- 19/06: SUNDSTROM'S SGP LIFELINE
- 19/06: KK'S DANISH DEAL
- 18/06: CHAMP PIPS PEDERSEN FOR PIRATES
- 18/06: HOLDER HANGING ON TO EMIL
- Play18/06: TAI'S RIDE
- 17/06: TOP THREE FOR TAI?
- 17/06: MIDDLO'S TEAM GB CHALLENGE
- 17/06: SGP QUALIFICATION DRAW