King's Lynn Stars rider Riss fears no UK speedway in 2020
King’s Lynn Stars racer Erik Riss has said he believes there will be no UK speedway action at all this season.
The German rider’s comments echo concerns voiced by the Minors and Brady Stars, despite the partial easing of coronavirus restrictions.
Although leisure venues such as pubs, restaurants and cinemas will be allowed to re-open from next Saturday, July 4, there is no indication yet of when fans might be able to start returning to sporting arenas.
The former world long track champion has based himself back in Germany, where he continues to practise on a makeshift track at his parents’ home while the Covid-19 pandemic rages throughout Europe.
Asked by the Lynn News whether we will see Premiership top flight speedway for Lynn after July, Riss replied: “I can’t see it, to be honest.
“I can’t see anything in the UK this year, but that’s my personal opinion based on what I see.”
Although his family is safe, the 24 year-old has had some personal experience of the virus.
Riss, who just missed out on maximums last season with Lynn, top-scoring twice with 14 points against local rivals Ipswich, said: “I know two people who have had it. One guy hadn’t even been feeling bad - he had not got tested - he came back from a ski resort in Austria.
“He came back, felt a bit ill, got tested and it was positive. He felt ill but didn’t feel much.”
The Memmingen-born ace feels grateful he is healthy and working for his father, Gerd: “I don’t feel it’s affected me much. I’m busy with work,” remarked Riss.
“I’m just in contact with mum and dad, my brother (Mark, also a speedway professional) and grandma - they’re okay.”
His fiancée Maddie had to return to her Australian home and the couple were forced apart from their Middlesbrough base by the pandemic.
About the restrictions in Germany, he added: “It’s kind of the same here with the age: they say those over 70 have to be careful. My gran stayed at home for a month and didn’t go out of the house.”
Some club owners have expressed the hope that racing could begin in August, following the government’s announcement on Tuesday.
Organisers of the British Superbike Championship have already announced plans to run a shortened programme of meetings from early August.
But Stars boss Keith ‘Buster’ Chapman is still cautious.
He said: “We have to consider other things, like travel for our German guys and Robert (Lambert) in Poland, including the cost of air travel.
“All these things have to be looked at to make a season possible.”