SOMERSET promoter Debbie Hancock says the Rebels’ Australian youngsters should take the positives from their displays in their Under-21 Final over the weekend.Sam Masters scored a 15-point maximum in the qualifying races only to be disqualified after a crash in the Final, whilst Alex Davies dropped just one point but had to be content with third place overall.Hancock said: “I know that both Alex and Sam will be disappointed with the final outcome, probably more so Sam given his exclusion in the Final, but in the cold light of day they both put in excellent performances in dropping just a single point between them, and that being when they met, from their qualifying races so it augurs well for the new season.“As importantly, though, they have both come through the meeting unscathed so it means everyone will be fit and raring to go when we stage our Press and Practice Day on March 16.”


LEICESTER have appointed a new track curator with Gareth Chrabaszcz taking over duties from Glyn Taylor this season.Chrabaszcz followed in his father’s footsteps in track preparation and was responsible for Birmingham’s Perry Barr circuit since their return to the sport in 2007.He said: “I have been to take a look at the track and met the people who I will be working with.“Their enthusiasm and team spirit is infectious and I aim to work closely with the riders and (manager) Jason Attwood to ensure that their requirements are taken into account so that I am able to create a surface that they feel comfortable to race on.”


BERWICK youngster Brenton Barnfield has been rushed to hospital after an horrific crash in the Australian Under-21 Final at Kurri-Kurri.The 18-year-old was placed into intensive care and initially into an induced coma after the accident, although latest reports are positive as Barnfield is breathing on his own and responding as he awaits a radiology report following a CT scan.Berwick boss Ian Rae said: “Obviously when we heard about Kozza (Smith) breaking his thigh just three weeks ago we were devastated, but a broken leg is something that can be quantified, and we know he’s well enough in himself.“But this news about Brenton being in such a bad way after another crash has just flattened us. Right now, so soon after the accident, no-one really knows how things are, especially 12,000 miles away. We’re waiting for news from (mother) Vicki.”


IPSWICH star Taylor Poole has won the Australian Under-21 Championship – holding his nerve to take the honours in a re-started Final.Poole was ahead at the first time of asking only for Sam Masters to fall causing a race stoppage, but Poole also took the lead in the re-run and got the better of Justin Sedgmen in a fierce battle, with Alex Davies third.Poole said: “This is one of the happiest days of my life. The meeting went okay and I made a good first bend in the Final, but it got stopped and I didn’t think it would happen again.“I made another good gate but Sedgy got past, and then I got him back. It’s the first Aussie title I’ve ever won!”


DUDLEY have reported a massive response to tickets going on sale for a special talk-in with former Cradley Heath star and current World Champion Greg Hancock.Hancock, who started his UK career with the Heathens in 1989, will be racing in mid-March meetings at Coventry, Sheffield and Peterborough – and all VIP tickets for his public appearance at The Venue Conference and Banqueting Centre on Dudley High Street have already sold out, with main event tickets still available.Dudley chairman Nigel Pearson said: “This reaction is amazing and just underlines the popularity of Greg.“He doesn’t get chance to get back to the Black Country often because he lives in Sweden, but I had a message from him on Friday night saying how excited he is about coming back to where it all started.”