CHRIS Harris was left picking out the positives from a disappointing performance at the British Grand Prix in Cardiff on Saturday night, but feels the safe track conditions took away much of the excitement for speedway fans, writes Observer Speedway reporter Robin Allen.
The in-form Bees skipper managed to score just five points at the showpiece event at the Millennium Stadium in the Welsh capital.
The Brit was brimming full of confidence heading into the event following a series of impressive Elite League displays in recent weeks, but Harris was caught out by the track conditions.
The temporary track in Cardiff has had its critics in recent years and Harris believes although organisers made a safe track to ride with no ruts or holes, the racing was not very entertaining for the paying public.
“The track felt good in practice, I felt fast and we thought we had the setup but by the time we got to the meeting we struggled,” said Harris.
“It had changed quite a lot and it caught us out completely, I just couldn’t find anything that I was happy with.
“I think the track was good, there we no holes appearing which was good. But as far as the racing goes, I don’t think the overall meeting was as exciting as it could have been.
“The public want four riders racing; they don’t want you to just make the gate and pulling away.
“Obviously there was a few good heats on the night but I think they could of evened up the starts, put a bit more material on the outside so it wasn’t hard and watering the track more would of made a better meeting considering how smooth it was.”
Harris also feels he was not helped by being drawn on the worst gates for three of his five rides but is determined to continue his fight for a top eight place.
“I didn’t have the best gates with having gate four in heat one; which was the worst gate and then I had gate three and four again later on. It would of been nice to have had two rides off gate one but that’s how the draw was and we had to get on with it.
“I left Cardiff disappointed with the performance and the points but when you look at it, we are only six points off the top eight and you just have to look at riders like Chris Holder; he was behind me going into this round and now he’s shot up the standings.
“I just need to do the same and keep fighting for the top eight.”
And after being in such great form leading into his home Grand Prix, the rider commonly known as ‘Bomber’ wanted to set the record straight on why he chose to use his Brian Andersen engines at Cardiff over the Gerhard GTR, which he had used to great success in the World Cup and British Final.
He added: “I went into the British Grand Prix on the back of three good results.
“I used three engines over that time and scored well in the qualifier and the meeting before that I rode for Coventry I scored a hat full of points. I then followed that up with a paid-maximum at Wolverhampton.
“I didn’t want to just practice on the GTR because you don’t get long to practice with just having four, two-minute runs and you don’t get a lot of time to change anything. We definitely still want to be using them and be testing some.
Harris added: “There’s nothing wrong with the GTR because it’s a brilliant engine, I don’t want people thinking I didn’t want it because that’s not the case. I just want to learn more about them so I know how to set them up.
“I spoke to Marcel and team last weekend at Cardiff and they were very understanding about what I was saying, and they want to work with me as much as I want to work with them in developing engines as well.”