Fast Fridays Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds
1273 High Street
USA vs The World
Fast Fridays Speedway
October 7, 2016
From Gary Roberts
YouTube Video - Thanks to Anthony Bernardi
Herewith the results of the USA vs the world.
The one thing the world team had going for them was a world class team manager - me.
Unfortunately our #1 star rider was feeling a bit shitty all evening, which limited him to only 3 rides. At that point we were 10 points ahead and I was getting ready to crack out the champagne.
Then reality hit.
He couldn't ride any more and we were victim of the rules. I couldn't put in a substitute unless we were 6 points down, so he was missing from his last 3 rides, which meant a zero score.
So basically we lost. I really believe we had a superb team, but there it was.
We played out Joker at the right time with the right person, a Danish kid called Mikkel Michelsen, who actually beat Janniro, but with a 5 man team, verses a 6 man team, there was no way to win.
I did however add a new mega-achievement to my resume. Michael Max, who has been one of my lifetime heroes, announced his retirement from speedway and awarded me the honor of being his last time team manager. I am still reveling in the glory.
That's it for the season. On into the cultural vacuum. Dunno how I will survive. Merry Xmas.
Fast Friday’s Motorcycle Speedway
Gold Country Fairgrounds
USA vs. The World
By Michael Kirby (Story & Photos)
AUBURN, CALIFORNIA, October 7, 2016
In a meeting that was too close to call all evening the USA avenged their last year’s loss to The World by winning the 16th annual USA vs. The World meeting 58-55 Friday night. The event closed the 2016 Fast Fridays Motorcycle Speedway season at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn in grand style. The near capacity crowd welcomed the European riders that came thousands of miles to compete in the annual international grudge match. The annual event that has closed the Fast Fridays season since began in 2001 has the USA winning 11 meetings and The World winning five times in 2002,2003,2005, 2006 and 2015.
Representing The World this year was Peter Karlsson of Sweden, Mikael Max of Sweden, Peter Ljung of Sweden, Joonas Kylmakorpi of Finland, Mikkel Michelsen of Denmark. Broc Nicol of the USA rounded out the World team. All of the European riders are professional racers recruited by Fast Friday’s owner David Joiner to travel to Auburn for the annual meeting.
The USA team was made up of the top Fast Friday’s season point’s finishers, and with the exception of one rider was the same team that was defeated last year. This year’s team was led by seven time national speedway champion Billy Janniro. Also, Fast Fridays top season point’s finisher Bart Bast, who has ridden in all 16 USA vs. The World contests. Also representing America was Bryan Yarrow, Luke Becker, Tommy Hedden and Charlie Venegas. Trashed pretty good last year 55-48 this year’s USA team was out to bring back an American win.
The meeting was all scratch team racing with the team members paired racing in 18 heats. The team with the most points at the end of the evening would be the winner. Three points for a win, two points for second place, one point for third and zero for a fourth place finish. Insertion of a Joker when a team was ten points or more down kept the action exciting and enabled a team behind in points to get back in the game fast with a strategic move.
The score stayed very close and after two rounds (six races) which included a crash involving Becker and Nicol and an engine failure for Mikael Max the score was The World 19 and the USA 17 points. The World scored great races in round three by the team of Michelsen and Nicol, and Ljung and Kylmakorpi each grabbing first and second place finishes and a combined ten points, along with another three points from Karlsson and Max extending The World’s lead to 32-22. Down 10 points allowed the USA to insert a Joker which they did substituting Janniro for Yarrow in the tenth race. Janniro came through picking up double points for his first place finish and at the end of 12 races the score was 38-37 giving the USA a slim one point lead.
Unfortunately for The World team Kylmakorpi who had two first place finishes and a second place finish with eight points in just three races became ill and could not continue racing. In race 14 and ten points down The World used their Joker with Michelsen who capitalized also with a win and doubled his points for that race coming within three points of the USA. The teams stayed within a few points of each other with both teams giving it their all but the USA team could see a win and prevailed with first place finishes for Janniro and Bast in their final rides. “We started out a little slow but we picked it up toward the end, I think we are all a little surprised we got back in it, said USA team member Bart Bast. “Billy (Janniro) pulled off the Joker and that really helped.” Peter Karlsson who returned for a second time this year and was part of last year’s winning World team said, “It was good to come here again and have a go at it, we didn’t manage to win this year but it was very close, I feel sorry for Joonas (Kylmakorpi) who sick, he came a long way and could not finish the race.”
The final score was 58-55 but in an excellent night of racing and international camaraderie the riders on both teams left the track with handshakes and hugs, there were no winners or losers on this night.
In an emotional moment during the opening coin toss, Mikael Max of Sweden announced that this evening would be his last as a professional speedway rider and he would be retiring from the sport after a 27 year stellar professional career. After race 17 his last, the boys gathered to give Max a ceremonial toss in the air and Max took one last lap around the track as Fast Fridays fans gave him one last cheer. Well done Mikael Max.
2016 USA vs. The World Results
USA 58 The World 55
Series Total USA 11 wins/The World 5 wins
Billy Janniro 2 3 3 (3+3) 2 2 3-21
Bart Bast 3 0 1 1 3 3 -11
Tommy Hedden 2 3 0 3 2 2 -11
Charlie Venegas 1 1 1 1 0 1-6
Luke Becker 0 0 0 3 1 1 -5
Bryan Yarrow 1 1 0 0 2 0-4
The World 55
Mikkel Michelsen 3 2 2 2 3+3 2-17
Peter Ljung 1 3 2 1 0 3-10
Mikael Max 0 2 2 2 1 2-9
Joonas Kylmakorpi 3 2 3-8
Peter Karlsson 2 0 1 0 3 0-6
Broc Nicol 0 1 3 0 0 1-5
||Danish rider Mikkel Michelsen was the high points scorer for The World team with 17 points.
The 2016 USA vs. The World teams before the racing began Friday evening.
The World (left-right) Broc Nicol, Mikael Max, Joonas Kylmakorpi, Peter Karlsson, Mikkel Michelsen, Peter Ljung
USA-Tommy Hedden, Billy Janniro, Bryan Yarrow, Charlie Venegas, Luke Becker and Bart Bast.
||Team USA celebrates their 2016 USA vs. The World win. (left-right) Bryan Yarrow, Tommy Hedden, Charlie Venegas, Billy Janniro, Bart Bast and Luke Becker.
||Bart Bast (near) gets ready for the start of race 16. Bast has been in all of the 16 USA vs. The World meets since 2001. Bast scored 11 points in Friday night’s contest.
||Swedish rider Mikael Max takes his last lap around the Fast Fridays track waving to the crowd after his final race. Max announced earlier in the evening that he was retiring from a 27 year international professional speedway racing career.
||Charlie Venegas racked up six points for the USA team on a borrowed bike (Casey Cornilsen).
From the Editor:
USA vs World - Fast Fridays
2001 Nov 1 - USA 88 World 59
Bobby Hedden High Scorer 18 pts
Note: Fast Fridays hosted a USA vs The World in what is believed to be the first ever Speedway event to be held in Northern California in November.
It is also believed to be the first USA vs The World to be held in the US since August 25 & 27, 1988 at Baylands.
2002 Nov 1 - USA 91 World 44
Three way tie for high Points Billy Hammill, Ryan Fisher, Bart Bast
2003 Nov 1 - USA 66 World 66
Bobby Hedden won run off with Steve Johnston
Bryan Yarrow High Scorer 14 pts
2004 Oct 30 - USA 77 World 70
Bobby Hedden High Scorer 17 pts
2005 Oct 28 - USA 60 World 87
Jason Crump High Scorer 18 pts
2006 Oct 27 - USA 64 World 86
Jason Crump High Scorer 18 pts
2007 Oct 24 - USA 63 World 48
Lubos Tomicek High Scorer 19 pts
2008 Oct 24 - USA 56 World 52
Martin Smolinski High Scorer 14 pts
2009 Oct 9 - USA 65 World 46
Martin Smolinski High Scorer 18 pts
2010 Oct 29 - USA 60 World 48
Martin Smolinski High Scorer 19 pts
2011 Oct 14 - USA 56 World 53
Martin Smolinski High Scorer 16 pts
2012 Oct 12 - USA 57 World 54
Charlie Venegas High Scorer 18 pts
2013 Oct 11 - USA 61 World 50
Billy Janniro High Scorer 18 pts
2014 Oct 10 - USA 55 World 53
Lewis Bridger High Scorer 15 pts
2015 Oct 9 - USA 48 World 63
Billy Janniro High Scorer 20 pts
2016 Oct 9 - USA 58 World 55
Billy Janniro High Scorer 21 pts