SPEEDWAY by Alan Goodman
News from Coventry Buildbase Bees and Coventry Storm
An exciting meeting at Brandon on Monday saw Bees well known comeback efforts fail them, although after a shocking start which saw them trail by sixteen points after five races they pulled things back to eventually lose by just a solitary point.
Bees 46, King’s Lynn 47
Bees brought in club asset Ben Barker as a short term replacement for the injured Jason Garrity. The visitors welcomed the return from injury of Rory Schlein and utilised rider replacement for Robert Lambert, absent through a clash of dates.
Barker did not make the best of starts on his return, falling on the first turn of heat one. In the rerun Krzysztof Kasprzak was beaten by Niels Kristian Iversen. This was probably the expected outcome but what followed next was not.
The reserves were outgated in heat two and Iversen, replacing Lambert won heat three from Danny King with Chris Harris struggling with machine problems.
Two more visiting 5-1’s left Bees trailing by 23-7 after just five heats.
Josh Bates made the start to heat six and led Iversen for two laps before the Dane went by to record his third race win of the night.
It was now tactical time for Bees and despite his poor first ride Harris was given the ride. Although beaten from the tapes both Harris and Kasprzak fought their way past Schlein to record an 8-1 maximum win and trigger off a Bees revival.
Heat nine was a disappointment for Bees. Bates and James Sarjeant led heat eight before Sarjeant fell on the third turn. He appeared to be clearing the track before the referee stopped the race. In the rerun the visitors grasped their second chance and led from the start leaving the halfway score at 32-19.
Barker was now getting back into Elite League routine and pulled out all the stops to pass Lewis Rose to win heat nine.
King won heat ten from the tapes with Harris forcing his way past Iversen to record another maximum and put Bees back in the hunt.
Barker and Kasprzak used turn two to good advantage and record the second maximum on the trot.
Nikolaj Jacobsen led heat twelve but the persistent Kacper Woryna took the lead at the end of the third lap. Barker took third after Rose fell and Bees were now just three behind.
Kasprzak won a good heat thirteen but Harris had to concede second to Iversen.
With the deficit now just a solitary point the visitors hit back in the penultimate race with Batchelor beating Bates and with King at the back, Bees now needed full points from the final race.
This was not without incident as Iversen looped on the first turn with Kasprzak coming down after taking avoiding action. With Iversen excluded Bees now saw their chance. Unfortunately it was Batchelor who led from the start and although Kasprzak eventually got by Harris could not follow. This left the final score at 47-46 to the visitors.
Bees are well known for their comebacks but this was just a step too far. All of the team gave of their best and Kasprzak in particular had an excellent meeting. At the end of the day it was the reserve positions that made the different with Bees, usually strong in this department, being outscored by 17-5 by the visitors.
Bees’ scorers; Kasprzak 13(1), Harris 10(1), Barker, King 6(1), Bates 6, Woryna 4, Sarjeant 1(1).
British Grand Prix
After an encouraging rostrum place in the previous round, Chris Harris was hoping for another good performance before his home crowd in Cardiff. It was not to be as he could only manage a solitary point and almost certainly ruled himself out of a place in next year’s competition. He was regularly off the pace and his only point came in a rerun heat six in which Peter Kildemand was excluded.
Bees’ other representative Danny King had a better evening. After two zero’s he sorted things out and finished up with seven points from his last three outings and missed out on a semi final place by a single point. His last race especially brought British fans to their feet when he rode his favourite outside line to record his first ever Grand Prix race win.
The meeting was won by Antonio Lindback with Tai Woffinden second and Bartosz Zmarzlik, who should perhaps consider himself slightly fortunate after twice being reinstated in heat one after falls, in third.
Bees have another attractive fixture tomorrow (Friday) when they host Poole in an Elite League match. Poole has a strong side which includes Chris holder, Bjarne Pedersen and former Bees number one Hans Andersen. The meeting starts at 7.30 p.m.
The teams meet again at Poole on Wednesday.