HOME favourite Jason Doyle held his nerve to claim a memorable victory in a tense Elite League Riders’ Championship at Leicester.The Lions’ No.1 fended off fellow Grand Prix riders Niels-Kristian Iversen, Maciej Janowski and Troy Batchelor to claim a sensational victory in the first major event of the 2015 campaign.
The fast-starting Australian was amongst the leaders all evening in a tight event as the top riders in British speedway did battle.He narrowly missed out on a place directly in the Grand Final with Iversen edging ahead of him on countback after both finished on 12.When Doyle then took an awkward looking tumble on the opening bend of the semi-final his hopes looked to be in tatters – yet he dusted himself down to claim an unforgettable win.
Poole man Maciej Janowski had looked well set for victory having reeled off four consecutive wins to top the scorechart on 13 points, whilst Iversen continued his spectacular return from the injury which prematurely ended his 2014 campaign. However, it was Doyle who held his nerve in a dramatic Grand Final to cap off a fine showing, and the popular 29 year old was in jubilant mood after giving his early season momentum a major boost.
Said Doyle: “It’s a dream come true to finally win an Elite League Riders’ Championship.“It’s one of the hardest meetings to ride all season, and to beat the guys I did to win the title means a lot to me.“To make a good start in the final and control it from there was a spectacular moment for myself, and it’s a massive boost going into the 2015 season.” The meeting proved a wide-open contest throughout, with nine riders claiming race wins over the course of the evening.Defending Champion Troy Batchelor kept his hopes alive with a classy win in heat 20 to edge into the semi-finals ahead of Chris Holder, Fredrik Lindgren and late call-up Szymon Wozniak.
When Hans Andersen fell whilst comfortably holding second place in the semi-final to gift Batchelor a spot in the Final you sensed it may be his night.Yet it was his Aussie compatriot Doyle who refused to be stopped as he stormed to a well-deserved win whilst Iversen prevailed in a tight scrap with Janowski to edge second place.
ELITE LEAGUE RIDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP, Leicester:Maciej Janowski 13, Niels-Kristian Iversen 12, Jason Doyle 12, Hans Andersen 10, Scott Nicholls 10, Troy Batchelor 9, Chris Holder 8, Fredrik Lindgren 8, Szymon Wozniak 8, Matej Zagar 7, Bjarne Pedersen 6, Kenneth Bjerre 6, Nick Morris 5, Richard Lawson 4, Mikkel Bech 1, Chris Harris 0, Josh Auty (res) 0, Josh Bates (res) 0.SEMI-FINAL: Doyle, Batchelor, Nicholls, Andersen (f/exc)FINAL: Doyle, Iversen, Janowski, Batchelor