Battered Pijper must count the true cost of speedway

Theo Pijper
Theo Pijper
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Edinburgh Monarchs’ unsung Dutch star Theo Pijper today admitted he has hit the financial skids after crashing for the third time in two weeks during his side’s comprehensive 61-34 Premier League win over Workington Comets at 
Armadale on Friday.

And family man Pijper, who says he is struggling to make ends meet, is fearful that he will make a big loss at the end of the season unless his fortunes improve. Pijper clattered into the safety fence on the home straight during heat seven of the meeting after Comets’ young reserve Ashley Morris locked up in front of the unlucky ace.

The collision left Pijper’s bike wrecked and his £300 crash helmet was also written off. But more worryingly the spill caused more damage to the broken rib injury he has been carrying following his high-speed tumble in a recent World Longtrack Grand Prix qualifier in Finland.

Pijper today told the Evening News: “I don’t feel too great at the moment, but I’m still here. I was going for the inside line and Ashley looked over and I think he pulled a big locker in front of me.

“I caught his back wheel, but I was lucky that I was able to get off my bike before it hit the fence. It was the last thing I needed to happen. I went into the boards pretty hard and I’m feeling pretty uncomfortable, especially round my shoulder and neck.”

Pijper’s true pain is the high cost he faces in rebuilding his machinery in time for Friday’s clash against top-of-the-table Leicester Lions. “My dirt deflector, wheel, and forks were pretty much all broken, but it’s the loss of my crash helmet which is going to land me with an unexpected bill, all it’s good for now is the bin. I was in the workshop at the weekend with my crew trying to rebuild a second bike again. I had some spare parts lying around which I have tried to straighten out after my last crash.”
Pijper confessed it’s trying to find the money for running repairs which is proving most difficult, he says: “It’s tough, speedway is not a cheap sport and I’ve tried to do my best recently to get plenty of points on the board for the team. But all the money which is coming in, is going straight back out at the moment.

“It’s hard to make ends meet, even the money I spent in preparing for this season hasn’t been recouped, and probably won’t be. I’ve had three crashes in the last fortnight, and I think five in total so far this year. Had they all been my fault, I would have said, okay, it’s up to me to sort things out. But none of them have been down to me. And if I keep going the way I’m going I will definitely make a loss by the end of the season.

“I can’t take a break, if I did I won’t be making any money. I will take things easy this week and rest up, and my wife has told me I don’t have to do too much housework!.” Monarchs co-promoter John Campbell is calling on Monarchs’ supporters to rally round Pijper

“Theo is always Mr Positive and has brushed off suggestions that his rib injuries were causing him any pain.

And he has continued to race and score vital points for us, especially at Somerset and Newcastle. But when I spoke to him after Friday’s meeting he was not his normal self and I can understand why.

“The Longtrack qualifiers are a big part of Theo’s racing calendar, but his first two meetings in this year’s competition have not gone well for him. And his three hefty crashes of late have also drained him physically.

“He’s had a really tough two to three weeks and his head has gone down as low as I can remember.

“I would also ask all our supporters to give him as much encouragement as they can, he needs a boost.”

Heavy rain forced the postponement of Saturday night’s match at Workington.