THERE's further evidence – if any were needed – why Eastbourne Speedway are leaving their traditional Saturday racenight.
Tomorrow they go into action against Ipswich without their new No1, Slovenian, Matej Zagar.
He will be riding in his country's national championships.
Poole's Chris Holder is the guest replacement.
It is a disappointment all round that Zagar is missing the match. He has not quite settled into the groove on the Arlington track and missing matches will not help the cause.
He was brought in to win races but in the first two matches he has stuttered; giving cause for concern on the terraces.
From early summer the Saturday clashes with continental fixtures will be over – the Eagles will be riding on Thursday nights.
Another rider causing furrowed brows is Simon Gustafsson.
The Swede looks a pale shadow of the rider who set the Elite League alight a year ago with some big scores.
His confidence seems low and he endured another poor night in the 45-45 draw against Lakeside on Good Friday.
He took a hefty tumble in his first ride, having gated on a 5-1 with Zagar. He also fell in his first ride in the opening match against Swindon and in the away match at Lakeside.
Lukas Dryml should be back in the team after his rib injury suffered in the Swindon defeat.
Both Gustafsson and Dryml are expected to have a lengthy practise on Saturday before the meeting.
The aim is to rebuild their confidence before the start of a busy spell.
The big bright spot for the Eagles is the form of Dawid Lampart.
The Polish Under 21 rider was a late addition to the line-up but his first two meetings have been a revelation.
Lampart is winning races, looks smooth and in control.
He has former Eagle Dean Barker in his corner in the Arlington pits and there are signs that Dean is instilling some of his knowledge into the Pole – despite the language difficulties.
The other reserve Ricky Kling is also firing in the points: in theory that should mean the Eagles are winning matches. They haven't been because of poor scores at the top of the riding order.
Teams for tomorrow's match at home to Ipswich (7.30pm):
Eastbourne: Chris Holder, Simon Gustafsson, Lukas Dryml, Cameron Woodward, Joonas Kylmakorpi, Ricky Kling, Dawid Lampart. Ipswich: Scott Nicholls, Claus Vissing, Daniel King, Oliver Allen, Robert Miskowiak, Dawid Stachyra, Carl Wilkinson.
There will be a minute's silence before the start of the match against Ipswich to mark the deaths of Kelly Moran and Paul Fry.
English rider Fry was equally at home on speedway and grasstrack.
American Moran came to the Eastbourne team in 1981.
The book, 75 Years of Eastbourne Speedway by Norman Jacobs and Ken Burnett, records:
"His combination of showmanship, spectacular style and sheer class brought him instant popularity and was of the major reasons why Eastbourne was one of the few tracks in the British League in 1981 to report an increased attendance."
He rode for the Eagles the following year but did not return for the 1983 campaign.
Moran was one of a number of American riders who burst into British speedway in the late 1970s to 1980s. Their flamboyance and general outlook helped change the sport forever.
n In the coming week, the Eagles are at Belle Vue on Monday, Ipswich on Thursday and at home next Saturday to Coventry.