News from Coventry Bees and Storm
Coventry Buildbase Bees are certainly earning themselves a reputation for being good travellers. Two more wins in the past week puts them back at the top of the Elite League table with maximum points on their travels.
Just five days after the home defeat against Poole, Bees went down to Dorset and in a match which to some extent was a mirror image of the first, shocked Poole by taking all four Elite League Points.
On Monday they then visited Belle Vue, considered a difficult team to beat on their own circuit and came away with another four match points.
Poole 41, Bees 50.
Bees were still without Stuart Robson so brought in Kevin Doolan as a guest while Poole drafted in Richard Lawson for Maciej Janowski who was injured in the first meeting.
Bees could not have wished for a better start with Hans Andersen and Doolan racing to an opening 5-1.
Jason Garrity was excluded for a first turn fall in the next but James Sarjeant won the rerun to keep Bees ahead.
Bees were sharp from the gate and Chris Harris and Danny King registered Bees second maximum of the night in heat three.
Poole hit back in the next with a maximum after Joonas Kylmakorpi had fallen while chasing race leader Kyle Newman.
Bees gating saw them further increase the lead in the next two races to open up a ten-point lead.
It was tactical ride time for the pirates in heat seven and Chris Holder was given the honour. Poole gated and the move looked to be successful. King however had other ideas and split the pairing, relegating Holder to third, giving them just one extra point instead of the expected three.
Heat eight was shared, bringing the halfway score to 28-21 in favour of the Bees.
Poole staged a mini revival starting at heat nine when Kylmakorpi held out Newman for second after Sarjeant had missed out at the tapes.
Heat ten was shared before Poole took successive 4-2’s to get within a single point of Bees, the second of which saw Garrity harshly excluded after a three-man pile up behind Newman.
Harris and Andersen came to the rescue with a heat thirteen 5-1 before Kylmakorpi and King repeated the dose in the next to make sure of the win.
Holder won the final race with Bees holding out North to make sure of all four points.
Once again Bees are proving themselves on the road and already have taken eight points from their two outings.
It was another all round team performance with everyone chipping in with vital points.
Bees’ scorers: Andersen 11(2), Harris 10(1), Doolan 8(2), King 7(1), Sarjeant 6, Kylmakorpi, Garrity 4(1).
Belle Vue 39, Bees 51.
Bees welcomed back Stuart Robson after injury. Their hosts were without Simon Stead who was injured over the weekend and drafted in Josh Grajczonek who faced Bees for the second time in a week.
Bees made a good start with Andersen winning heat one. Robson lost second to Max Fricke but still held out GP star Matej Zagar for third.
Heat two was won by Garrity but Sarjeant could not make up enough ground after being handicapped fifteen metres for a tapes offence.
Heats three and four were shared before Bees recovered from a first bend mix-up to take maximum points and increase the lead to six points.
Andersen and Harris stormed from the gate to take another maximum in heat six and put Bees ten ahead.
Scott Nicholls was given a tactical ride in heat seven but despite Zagar winning the race, Nicholls was effectively blocked out by King and Kylmakorpi so no advantage was gained.
Bees looked looked set for another maximum in heat eight but a good ride by Cook saw him pass Robson for second on the line.
At the halfway stage the score was still a healthy 30-18 to Bees.
Heat nine was restarted with Sarjeant excluded despite looking to be the victim of first bend bunching. Kylmarkopi won the rerun to gain a share of the points.
4-2’s were exchanged in the next two heats, the second of which saw Harris come from third to first for a good win. Bees then repeated the same score in heat twelve after Stefan Nielsen had fallen to give Sarjeant third place.
Harris again went from third to first to win heat thirteen but Andersen was last after briefly passing Zagar.
The Aces took their only maximum win of the night in heat fourteen but it was too late.
Heat fifteen saw both Harris and Nicholls fall in a tight first turn. Andersen led the restart with Harris taking third after Cook retired.
Once again another good all round performance with Garrity being unbeaten from his four starts.
Bees’ scorers: Garrity 12, Harris 11(1), Andersen 10(1), Kylmakorpi 6(2), King 5, Robson 4(1), Sarjeant 3.
Cradley/Birmingham Select 40.
With a number of Cradley riders available for the programmed national League fixture it was a combined team that rode Storm in Sunday’s challenge. In an evenly balanced match it was Storm who came out on top after trailing mid match.
Two 5-1’s in heats nine and ten gave Storm the upper edge and a final heat maximum made the match look easier than it was.
Dan Greenwood impressed for Storm with a fifteen point maximum.
Storm scorers: Dan Greenwood 15, Luke Crang 9(2), Darryl Ritchings 9, Martin Knuckey 7(2), Rob Shuttleworth 4(2), Connor Dwyer 4, Stefan Farnaby 1.
British Under 21 Championship final.
Former Bee Kyle Howarth used his Brandon knowledge to beat Robert Lambert in an exciting final event. After passing Lambert coming out of turn two, he had to do it all over again after Ashley Morris had fallen. Third place went to Bees asset Stefan Nielsen.
This was revenge, for King’s Lynn starlet Lambert had beaten Howarth when they met in the qualifying heats with an equally stunning move, coming out of turn four and going by at the end of the third lap.
2014 Champion Josh Bates finished seventh in the qualifiers, thus missing out on a semi-final place.
GP of Poland
The 2015 Grand Prix series did not get off to a good start with problems with the temporary track laid in the Warsaw National Stadium causing a heat twelve abandonment.
Practice had been cancelled the day before and it was soon obvious on the night that things were not much better. Starting gate problems added to the chaos with some races being started on the green light.
Despite all of this it was a good performance from Bees’ Chris Harris. After an opening third place he used his grass track experience to master the bumpy conditions and record two wins. Once of which saw him pass reigning champion Greg Hancock from the back.
The result was allowed to stand and this leaves Harris second in the rankings, one point behind Matej Zagar.
Bees again face Belle Vue tomorrow night (Friday) and will be hoping to do the double before travelling to Wolverhampton on Monday, hoping to make it four away wins in a row on another track they perform well on.
Friday’s fixture starts at 7.30pm.
Storm are also in action on Sunday in an away fixture at Buxton.