With the team being in place much earlier than usual Coventry Buildbase fans have had a long wait before they can see the team in action.
The wait was proved worthwhile on Friday when they scored a resounding 56-39 victory over local rivals Birmingham. This result actually flattered the visitors for Bees could well have topped the sixty point mark had it not been for a couple of unfortunate incidents when well placed. Bees were without Kenni Larsen who is still waiting medical clearance from the wrist injury sustained at the tail end of last season. Jason Bunyan was also absent after his Brandonapolis crash. The visitors were missing Ben Barker who was required by Plymouth.
Bees 56 Birmingham 39
Birmingham had beaten Wolverhampton the previous night so a tight match was expected. As it was Bees took up the running from the start with Aaron Summers riding unchallenged to provide Bees first race winner of the 2012 season. Behind him Chris Harris was sluggish away but was in second place by the time he reached the back straight. Martin Smolinski put him under pressure in the early stages but Harris drew away in the latter stages.
Bees’ new reserve pairing of Adam Roynon and Henning Bager had few problems in establishing the second 5-1 of the night in heat two.
A third was very much on the cards in heat three before leader Summers broke a footrest and the end of lap one and had to withdraw.
Bager made the start to heat four and a superb cutback to go between the two visitors on the second turn by Scott Nicholls gave Bees their third maximum and a mini rout looked on the cards.
Edward Kennett won a shared heat five from Bjarne Pedersen and Smolinski who just held off a last bend challenge from Roynon.
Once again Bees were soon in command in heat six and Summers and Harris took maximum points over a disappointing Sebastian Ulamek.
Nicholls made the start to heat seven. Roynon used the inside line to good effect and went from fourth to second in one fell swoop. Unfortunately a fourth bend mistake saw him almost hit the fence and was once again at the back and he pulled out on the next lap.
Summers won his third in heat eight with Bager holding off an early challenge from Smolinski to take third place. At the halfway stage Bees led by a comfortable 33 points to 15.
A processional heat nine saw Bees increase their lead by another four points and in the next Birmingham introduced their first tactical ride. Danny King was given the black and white helmet and did not disappoint, comfortably beating Summers and Harris to record both the visitor’s first race and heat win.
Bjarne Pedersen was given the second tactical in the next heat but could not emulate his team mate and had to settle for second behind Nicholls and with Roynon in third no heat advantage was gained.
King won his next race in heat twelve. Kennett gradually reeled him only to overcook it on and take a nasty tumble on the bottom bend, fortunately without injury.
Nicholls won heat thirteen with Pedersen taking second place from Harris in the battle of GP riders.
Roynon led heat fourteen from the start with Bager taking third from Magnus Karlsson the end of lap three.
The visitors took a consolation maximum in the final heat after a slight tangle between Harris and Summers allowed King and Pedersen to get away. The final result however was comprehensive enough for Bees.
It was all positives as far as Bees were concerned with each member recording at least seven points. Nicholls showed his spell away has not diminished his Brandon skills while partner Summers showed why Bees recruited him again after his 2010 efforts. Kennett could well have had a maximum and the reserves easily outscored their opponents by seventeen points to five. Apart from King and Pedersen the visitors were disappointing.
Bees scorer’s: Nicholls 13(2), Summers 11(1), Bager 9(1), Kennett 9, Harris 7(2), Roynon 7.
Bee’s race three Midland Cup matches over the weekend. They go to Birmingham tonight (Thurs) and face Wolverhampton at Brandon on Friday visit Monmore Green on Monday for the return.
With the first GP taking place in New Zealand on Saturday all three teams will be without their number one riders and have agreed to use rider replacement in their place. Bees will also be without reserve Jason Bunyan who has earned the NZ wildcard.
It was hoped Bees would have a more settled side this season but if Larsen is still not fit they will only have three available riders for Birmingham. Apart from Harris and Bunyan the fixture list for Thursday sees Summers, Roynon and Leigh Lanham all required for their Premier League clubs.
The situation of doubling up pair Summers and Lanham is looking to cause long term problems for Bees. When the team was put together Summers rode on Thursday for Redcar while Lanham rode at Newport on Saturday. Newport have since closed and after a short spell at another Saturday track, Rye House, Lanham has now joined Ipswich who also ride on Thursday. With four winnable away fixtures scheduled for Thursdays this situation must quickly be addressed by the Bees management.
Friday’s match starts at the usual time of 8pm.
There are still places on the coach for Poole on Good Friday. The coach leaves at 3pm and the cost is £18 and £16 concessions. Bookings can be made at the kiosk in Speed Square or by telephoning (01788) 562132.