TIM Stone, Newport speedway promoter, has launched a stinging attack on those who have attacked ill rider Michael Coles.

Stone, in his programme notes for yesterday's home Premier League thriller with Newcastle which ended 45-45, said:

"A few people on the Internet have put the boot into Michael. The man is suffering big time, but that doesn't matter to some. Because he is not scoring he must be fair game for personal attacks.

"Let's not forget the Michael who has guested for us many times and given good service to British speedway. I wish him well.

"I do not believe those who continually criticise, seemingly for the sake of it, without any other outlook on life, can influence events, but not, I hasten to add, to an end that they may have thought."

Stone has once again turned to former rider Chris Neath to guest in their two Premier Trophy meetings with the Isle of Wight this week. Neath, who now rides for Rye House, steps in for the injured Craig Watson.

The first meeting is on the island tomorrow night, with the return at the Hayley Stadium on Wednesday night - a rare evening meeting other than the Friday night prior to the British Grand Prix extravaganza in Cardiff.

Neath scored eight points from four rides for Rye House in their 57-36 home win over Workington on Saturday night.

Chris Harris will ride in place of Watson for the league meeting at Sheffield on Thursday, and he'll be on parade for the two meetings against Reading in the Knock-out Cup next Sunday and Monday.

Wasps moved into eighth place following their home draw with Newcastle yesterday, the visitors now second to Rye House.

Tony Atkin, Wasps skipper, said: "It was a superb meeting and I am obviously pleased with my own performance."

Atkin, who gathered a paid 14 points from seven rides, added: "There was only one race where I slipped up and didn't score. I am feeling and looking the way I was riding two years ago."

And he had a word of encouragement for Dane Kristian Lund, who is struggling for points, while fellow countryman Mads Korneliussen continues to enjoy life, finishing with 11 points from five rides.

Atkin added: "We will get Kristian going. He is struggling a bit, but he is a good rider and we'll sort him out. He is going through what I experienced at the start of the season. I have every confidence in him."

l A collection will be taken during the Wales Open speedway meeting on June 12 for injured star Craig Watson, who is recovering from a shattered right ankle.