Big year of speedway ahead for David Howe - top scorer with the Scunthorpe Scorpions
The 2013 speedway season will be important for the Henderson Insurance Scunthorpe Scorpions all-time leading scorer David Howe – in more ways than one.
Not only is the 30-year-old looking to put an injury-wrecked 2012 season behind him, but he also stages his testimonial at the Eddie Wright Raceway on Sunday, March 24th (3pm).
Howe was due to return to competitive action at the Christmas Cracker event at Somerset last Friday, but the weather put paid to that meeting. He had been looking forward to completing that meeting, so that: “People think of me as a speedway rider, rather than an injured speedway rider.”
It all started to go wrong for Howe in 2012 in mid-April, when he crashed in a grasstrack meeting in Worcester, suffering a frightening fall that saw him run over.
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Attempts to return later in the season were blighted by further injury. In all, Howe made just nine official appearances for the Scorpions during the season.
Howe now considers himself to be fully fit as far as speedway is concerned.
He says: “My left arm is 100% better; that was the second injury.
“I think my right arm - the one I hurt at Worcester - is maybe as good as it is going to get. Basically it’s fine to ride to speedway. Whether it fully heals, I don’t know. I did quite a bit of nerve damage. I no longer have any actual pain; more of a weird feeling in my arm.
“I have to avoid any heavy lifting, but it doesn’t affect me riding a bike. I have practised at Scunthorpe with no dramas at all. I’m as fit as I can be.”
He also reveals he was close to making a surprise return to the Scorpions for the play-offs last season. He was present at the majority of the play-offs meetings – but in a non-riding advisory capacity.
“I practiced towards the end of the season and it wasn’t too bad”, explains Howe.
“I did contemplate coming back for the play-offs. But then I realised that I was doing it just for selfish reasons – just to be part of it. The team might have been able to carry me. But how guilty would I have felt if I had rode, scored two or three points, and we lost the league by one or two points?
“I was very proud at what the lads achieved in winning the Premier League. I was pleased for the riders, management and everyone associated with the club.
“It was weird and a bit strange, because I didn’t really feel part of it – certainly not on the riding side. I don’t feel I deserve any of the credit for that win; the boys who rode deserve all the credit.”
Howe heads into his fifth successive season riding the Scorpions in 2013.
He adds: “2013 is a big season for me in so many ways.
“Of course, it’s my testimonial year. I’m building a nice, strong line-up of riders that I’ve had a connection with. Every rider that I’ve asked has ‘yes’ straight away, because they are guys I have known.
“I’ve put roots down at Scunthorpe, and I think it’s a meeting that the fans will enjoy. The fans will get a chance to see some riders from the Elite League and other places they don’t get to see much, and I hope they’ll come and support the meeting.
“It’s nice that my testimonial meeting starts the year at Scunthorpe, because I can get it done and dusted and out of the way, and then concentrate my efforts on riding for the Scorpions.
“I want to get back to where I was before my injury. I think that there is going to be good and healthy competition between myself and Josh (Auty) for the No 1 spot. I enjoy riding at No 1, and going out in Heat 1 and leading the team, and I want that number back, just as I’m sure Josh wants to keep it.
"That healthy competition can only be good for the team.”