ROBERT Lambert kept up his stunning start to the season with a six-ride paid maximum in King’s Lynn’s 51-39 win over Swindon.
Lambert is still unbeaten by an opponent in eleven rides at the Adrian Flux Arena and his latest full house helped the Stars to three league points despite the absence of several regulars.
The British Under-21 Champion received vital support from reserve Lewis Kerr, who piled up 14+3 from seven rides whilst Ty Proctor added 11+1 as the home side recovered from conceding a 5-1 in the opening race.
The Robins couldn’t build on that and were beaten in the league for the first time this season, Nick Morris (11+3) and former Stars rider Troy Batchelor (11) leading their scoring.
King’s Lynn boss Dale Allitt said: “All the boys chipped in although, it was a hard night at times because Swindon are a fabulous team who have had a great start to the season.
“The team really has strength in depth which is why I built it like I did. People have their opinions but we are doing well. We aren’t getting ahead of ourselves though, because there is a long way to go in the season.”
Swindon manager Alun Rossiter said: “We were beaten by the better side and we were carrying too many passengers. We made a few costly mistakes with Toby (Musielak) going around the tapes when the race was stopped and things like that.
“Everyone has written King’s Lynn off and you can see from their performance tonight, they are stronger than what was predicted in the media.
“I never under-estimated them, that’s for sure. I gave them the respect they deserve and they showed what a good team they are.”
SOMERSET established a handy 14-point lead over Poole in their Knockout Cup tie with a 52-38 first leg win at the Oaktree Arena.
Former Pirates rider Jack Holder top-scored against his old club with 12, and all of the Rebels collected at least one paid win in a solid display.
Ex-Rebel Brady Kurtz recovered from a slow start to win his final two rides and ended the meeting with ten points as the visitors battled to remain in touch.
Somerset manager Garry May said: “We fought hard tonight, we knew we needed to build a decent lead and whilst the tie still has a long way to go a double figure lead is a nice one to have.
“We had a few issues with the track early on but the staff listened to what the riders were saying, addressed the matter as best they could and we had a good meeting to enjoy.
“It was pleasing to see Jonas (Jeppesen) pick up his first win and you can see he is figuring out the track more and more, and it’s benefitting him.”
BELLE Vue Colts retuned to winning ways by seeing off Plymouth 55-35 at the National Speedway Stadium.
The reigning champions lost Paul Bowen with a thumb injury after a Heat 6 crash and quickly recovered an early deficit to take control.
The Colts had four riders in double figures with captain Jack Smith scoring 13 backed up by Tom Perry (12), reserve Ben Woodhull (11+2) and Kyle Bickley (10+1).
Adam Roynon was the Devils’ sole race winner, taking the flag in his first two rides to end with 12.
Smith said: “The loss at Eastbourne was tough on the lads and we really wanted to come back strong against Plymouth, and the performance of everyone tonight was just what we wanted.
“It’s a huge boost after a difficult weekend and to be honest, we weren’t as comfortable as we could’ve been early doors particularly with Adam Roynon in such fine form for the visitors.
“Losing Paul was a huge blow. He dislocated his thumb, which was popped back in, and we’re hoping nothing is broken and that he’ll be ok for the next one.”
SHEFFIELD kick off their Championship title defence with the visit of Peterborough to Owlerton tonight (Thursday).
The Tigers hand a seasonal debut to Jan Graversen, who won the title with the club last season and has returned on a 28-day deal to replace the injured Josh Bates.
The visitors are at full strength with Ulrich Ostergaard declared fit after a crash at Berwick last weekend, and have a good record at the South Yorkshire venue in recent years.
Sheffield star Charles Wright said: “We’d done okay covering for Josh with rider replacement but it was putting a lot of pressure on the rest of the team.
“When you’ve got a full team you can focus more on your programmed rides as you know when they’re coming and I think a having a full team will settle us all down even more.
“Peterborough have got some good riders in their team but we’re very confident going into every meeting at Sheffield and we want to start off our league matches with a win.”
Panthers promoter Ged Rathbone said: “We always perform well at Sheffield, although we do know they have been flying around there so far this season.
“Anyone who gets any points whatsoever from Sheffield this year will have to ride really well to do so, and the key will be in keeping one of their top three quiet. That would keep us in with a shout.
“It was good to see Scott (Nicholls) scoring plenty of points on Monday night (for Rye House) – that was pleasing from our point of view, and for Scott like everyone it’s all about getting back into the swing of racing as it’s been so stop-start this year.”
IPSWICH face Lakeside in the KO Cup at Foxhall tonight (Thursday) as the sides meet in a second competition already this season.
The Hammers raced to a 45-44 win in Suffolk last month which secured their place in the Championship Shield semi-finals, and Cup progress is now on the line over the next two nights.
Ipswich operate rider-replacement for the injured Nico Covatti whilst Max Clegg stands in for Zach Wajtknecht at reserve for the Hammers following his crash in the British Under-21 Final on Tuesday.
Witches manager Ritchie Hawkins said: “We need to be confident at our own track and we want teams to know that we are a very good team. We need a good string of results and then teams will feel like that.
“Lakeside will come full of confidence having had two good results against us already this year but we need to be a lot better this time.
“I never put a points target on the first leg but obviously the bigger lead we can take the better. I think we will be a lot better at Lakeside than last time but we need to be a lot better at Foxhall too.”
Lakeside star Adam Ellis said: “Obviously it was a bit of a shocker for the team at Berwick, it was disappointing for me to miss out.
“I think not having Richard (Lawson) and myself was a blow. It might have been OK if Ulrich (Ostergaard) hadn’t got hurt but that’s the way it goes in speedway.
“We have a good team here this season and if we can stay fit we can definitely challenge for all the trophies really.”
REDCAR host Scunthorpe in the Championship Shield tonight (Thursday) in a match crucial to the Scorpions’ hopes of progression.
The visitors need to win both of their last two matches – they race at home to Newcastle next Friday – to have a chance of overhauling Sheffield at the top of the group.
The Bears, meanwhile, are looking to bounce back from their home defeat to the Tigers last week, and boss Jitendra Duffill says there must be a big improvement from his side.
He said: “Without wanting to state the obvious, there were some areas of concern last week, and the team and myself had some very honest discussions between us after the meeting.
“We know our performance wasn’t good enough and we need to see some vast improvements this week. We can do better and we had proved that the week before against a Newcastle side that have done very well since we beat them.”
Scunthorpe bring in Ricky Wells as a guest for the injured Steve Worrall, and promoter Rob Godfrey said: “Our away point earned at Newcastle could prove to be crucial. We certainly fared better at Brough Park than Sheffield, who suffered a heavy defeat there.
“We go into the meeting at Redcar knowing that we have to win it. We do have a couple of former Bears in Jason Garrity, who was there just last year, and Josh Auty, and we know the importance of winning the meeting.”
THE Isle of Wight have called on their former rider Mark Baseby to step in for tonight’s (Thursday) home clash with Mildenhall.
The sides meet in the National Trophy and Baseby comes in for regular Warriors No.1 Ben Morley, who is racing for his Championship club Lakeside.
The home side hand a debut to new signing Shaun Tedham at reserve, whilst Adam Portwood returns from illness.
Promoter Barry Bishop said: “The Fen Tigers have built a quality outfit including lots of young British talent, not to mention the brilliant Danny Ayres.
“However, they have fallen foul of the poor weather at the start of the season and Thursday will be their first team fixture. With the Warriors bringing in Shaun Tedham, could it be our night? One thing is for sure, it will be a cracker.”
SPEEDWAY Riders’ Benevolent Fund chiefs have thanked supporters following Tuesday’s collection at the British Under-21 Final.
A total of £626 was raised at Berwick with Ben Fund secretary Paul Ackroyd carrying out the collection along with the Bandits’ club mascot, whilst son Craig refereed the meeting!
He said: “Thanks to everyone who contributed and to the Berwick promotion. As you know we have not had our usual Bonanza meeting yet this year so we need to take every opportunity to boost the funds for the benefit of our injured riders.”
THURSDAY MAY 3:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Sheffield v Peterborough 7.30
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP 1st round 1st leg: Ipswich v Lakeside 7.30
CHAMPIONSHIP SHIELD: Redcar v Scunthorpe 7.30
NATIONAL TROPHY: Isle of Wight v Mildenhall 7pm
FRIDAY MAY 4:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Edinburgh v Peterborough 7.30, Glasgow v Sheffield 7.30, Scunthorpe v Redcar 7.30
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP 1st round 2nd leg: Lakeside v Ipswich 8pm
CHAMPIONSHIP SHIELD: Workington v Berwick 7.30
NATIONAL TROPHY: Plymouth v Mildenhall 7.15
SATURDAY MAY 5:
CHAMPIONSHIP SHIELD: Berwick v Workington 7pm
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Stoke v Belle Vue 7pm
NATIONAL TROPHY: Eastbourne v Isle of Wight 7.30
Results Wednesday May 2, 2018
King’s Lynn 51 (Robert Lambert 17+1)
Swindon 39 (Nick Morris 11+3)
Premiership points: King’s Lynn 3 Swindon 0
PREMIERSHIP KO CUP Q/F 1st leg
Somerset 52 (Jack Holder 12)
Poole 38 (Brady Kurtz 10)
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE
Belle Vue 55 (Jack Smith 13)
Plymouth 35 (Adam Roynon 12)