Heat by Heat round up from our Speedway reporter Sheila Bowen
Well here it is… the1st home league match for 2013, re-arranged from last Wednesday, and would you believe it… it was cancelled due to heavy snow covering the track! I can’t remember a colder start to a speedway season than this.
As with all of my match reports I start with the weather forecast … well currently the sun is shining and sitting inside the car it looks like a glorious spring day. But open the door and it’s a totally different story. It’s only 6 degrees C and the bitterly cold wind blasts away any warmth the sun offers. It’s going to be mighty cold when the sun goes down. The wind is so gusty that the centre green scoreboard is removed for fear it would join the bike on the track!
I entered the stadium in an optimistic upbeat mood, we had convincingly beaten Coventry on their track on Friday and took all four points from the meeting, and I could see no reason why we shouldn’t be able to do the same tonight! Coventry have one change to their team, that being the inclusion of Joe Screen in place of the injured Adam Roynan, get well soon Adam!
Brummies off gates 1 & 3 for heat 1.
Heat 1. Not the start required! The tapes go up but only 3 bikes are moving towards the first bend… Jason Doyle having spluttered to a halt without moving more than a couple of yards. Krzysztof Kasprzak flew from the tapes with Chris Harris hot on his back wheel; Aaron Summers in third place. As they entered bend 4 of the 1st lap Chris edges in front of Kasprzak, but holding on to the 1st place was another story! Kasprzak chased hard and was rewarded as he re-passed Chris on the 2nd bend of the 2nd lap, he extended his lead as the race progressed and Chris Harris never had another opportunity to get back into contention. In the meantime, Aaron Summers was looking very sluggish as he just managed to coax his bike over the line to take the all-important 1 point.
Kasprzak, Harris, Summers (Doyle E/F)
Heat 2. Nico Covatti made a great start! Clearly too good in the Referee’s opinion… race stopped as unsatisfactory start, all 4 back. Re-start Joe Screen’s turn to anticipate the tapes… only this time the Referee chose to let it go! saddi1234 Joe Screen, Martin Smolinski, Michal Szczepaniak, Nico Covatti the race order from the tapes. Screen’s rolling start was quickly eaten up as Smolinski passed him out of the 2nd bend lap 1. Covatti in the meantime was chasing hard behind Szczepaniak and managed to ease past him on the 3rd bend of lap 1. The next 3 laps saw no further changes and with a Brummies 4-2 the Bees lead has been replaced with equal scores.
Smolinski, Screen, Covatti, Szczepaniak
Result 4-2 (6-6)
Heat 3. Mateusz Szczepaniak, Grzegorz Zengota, Danny King, Josh Auty… the positions into bend 1 as the Brummie duo missed the gate! Regretfully for Coventry, Mateusz entered bend 4 of the 1st lap in poor shape and fell off! As it became apparent he wouldn’t clear the track in time the race was stopped and Mateusz was excluded from the re-run Re-run Josh and Danny weren’t going to be caught napping for the second time in as they raced into the 1st bend with Zengota trailing in last place. Josh and Danny traded place on the back straight of lap 1, but this was the only position change in the race as they convincingly took the 1st 5-1 of the night and the all-important lead. brumscarf brumscarf
King, Auty, Zengota (Szczepaniak fell ex)
Result 5-1 (11-7)
Heat 4. Nico Covatti 1st out the gate, followed by Scott Nicholls, Ben Barker and Michal Szczepaniak. Nicholls got his wheels in line quicker and passed Covatti out of bend 2, 1st lap. Michal did likewise from the back to pass Ben out of bend 4 lap 1. The race continued without any further changes with Ben well off the pace by the end of the 4 laps. The Bees edging within 2 points again.
Nicholls, Covatti, Szczepaniak, Barker
Result 2-4 (13-11)
Heat 5. From the tapes, King, Kasprzak, Summers, Auty and despite Josh Auty’s efforts he just couldn’t find a way past Summers and the race finished as it started. Danny King was completely unchallenged for a fine win. A shared race and the narrow 2 point lead still intact.
King, Kasprzak, Summers, Auty
Result 3-3 (16-14)
Heat 6. Scott Nicholls, Chris Harris, Joe Screen, Jason Doyle the race order into the 1st bend, but as the come out of the 2nd bend Chris Harris sweeps past Nicholls around the outside to take the lead. Jason Doyle in last place keeps up the pressure on Joe Screen and finally manages the pass out of bend 3 on the 3rd lap. A well earned 4-2 thumbsup1
Harris, Nicholls, Doyle, Screen
Result 4-2 (20-16)
Heat 7. Out of bend 1 of lap 1 Grzegorz Zengota has the lead over Martin Smolinski with Ben Barker in 3rd and Mateusz Szczepaniak in 4th. Smolinski chases hard down the back straight and passes Zengota on the inside on bend 4 of the first lap. The remainder of the race sees no further changes; Ben is out of touch in 3rd place but Szczepaniak completely of the pace at the back. Another 4-2 to stretch the lead by 6 points.
Smolinski, Zengota, Barker, Szczepaniak
Result 4-2 (24-18)
Heat 8. Michal Szczepaniak makes a superb gate but all to no avail as in the space of bend 1 and 2 of the 1st lap he is passed by Jason Doyle in a 3rd to 1st place sweep around the outside, quickly followed by Nico Covatti to take up a Brummie 5-1 position for the entire race with a large gap opening up between the Brummies in 1 & 2 and the Bees in 3 & 4. brumscarf brumscarf
Doyle, Covatti, Szczepaniak, Summers
Result 5-1 (29-19)
Heat 9. Having fallen to a 10 point deficit Coventry use their 1st tactical ride of the night and elect Scott Nicholls to wear the black & white helmet for the potential to gain double points by finishing ahead of a Brummie rider. Danny King once again emerges in the lead out of bend 2 of the 1st lap, Scott Nicholls in 2nd, Josh Auty in 3rd and Joe Screen in last place. And that is precisely how the race ends. Nicholls does double his points from 2 to 4 for his team but with Brummies taking 1st & 3rd positions the score is tied on 4 all and no advantage is gained from the tactical ride… in fact in ensuring damage limitation in the race Danny achieved the fasted time of the night! clap1
King, Nicholls, Auty, Screen
Result 4-4 (33-23)
Heat 10. Now the yellow and white helmet colours are difficult to distinguish at the best of times, and nigh on impossible when the night falls, but in a momentary lack of concentration I lost track of which was which in this race. So… here’s my only way of summing up the race! From the tapes… Bees rider in first place, Jason Doyle in 2nd, Chris Harris in 3rd, Bees rider in 4th, out of bend 4 1st lap Jason passes Bees rider to take up 1st place. A lap later Chris Harris moves past Bees rider to take up 2nd place behind Jason. The race is completed with a fantastic 5-1 to the Brummies and in my euphoria of this win I still didn’t have a clue which Coventry rider was which until the race result was announced! See result below.
Doyle, Harris, Szczepaniak, Zengota
Result 5-1 (38-24)
Heat 11. Having now fallen behind by more than the 12 points required to enable the second tactical ride Coventry elected to have Krzysztof Kasprzak don the black and white helmet. Ben Barker put his two previous rides well and truly out of his mind as he roared out of bend 2 lap 1 in a commanding lead, ably followed by Martin Smolinski, with Kasprzak in 3rd and Summers in last place. What then followed was a master-class of team riding! Ben taking a wide outside line and Martin the inside line for the entire race, moving in and out where needed, thereby preventing Kasprzak even the smallest opportunity to break up the ensuing, magnificent 5-1! brumscarf brumscarf
Barker, Smolinski, Kasprzak, Summers
Result 5-1 (43-25)
Heat 12. Joe Screen once again fast out of the tapes, followed by Danny King, Grzegorz Zengota and Nico Covatti. But as they head down the back straight of the 1st lap a faster moving Zengota passes Danny King and then Screen to take up the lead. Danny pushes hard behind Screen for the next two laps and takes the opportunity to pass him on bend 3 of the 3rd lap and snatches a potential 5-1 from the Bees grasp!
Zengota, King, Screen, Covatti
Result 2-4 (45-29)
Heat 13. Kasprzak was the sharpest out the gate, Ben Barker in 2nd Scott Nicholls in 3rd and Chris Harris in 4th. Ben snuck past Kasprzak on the inside of bend 2. As 3 riders speed down the back straight Chris Harris in last place splutter to a halt, he managed to coax the bike back to life again but never got back in touch with the other riders, trailing in last place for the rest of the race. But Ben’s win made sure the Bees didn’t benefit from Chris’s woes.
Barker, Kasprzak, Nicholls, Harris
Result 3-3 (48-32)
Heat 14. Martin Smolinski once again makes a brilliant start and the positions out of bend 2 are… Martin Smolinski, Michal Szczepaniak, Martin Szczepaniak, Josh Auty. Josh gave everything he could in an attempt to better his last place position but never looked like doing so. The race was completed with no changes in position and as Martin crossed the line he had a very impressive lead over the rest of the pack to complete the 4th shared heat of the night.
Smolinski, Szczepaniak, Szczepaniak, Auty
Result 3-3 (51-35)
Heat 15. Nominated riders: Martin Smolinski, Danny King, Grzegorz Zengota
Martin Smolinski and Krzysztof Kasprzak are wheel to wheel into bend 1 & 2 of the 1st lap but it’s Martin Smolinski that edges ahead down the back straight, behind them Danny King is in 3rd and Zengota bringing up the rear. This is also the result of the final race of the night.
Smolinski, Kasprzak, King, Zengota
Result 4-2 (55-37)
Meeting summary What a night! What a start to the season… two league matches against Coventry and 2 maximum point wins! Could I ask for more? Well being a demanding person… yes! My wish list… Ben to sort out his slow starts to the meetings and Josh to put on his ‘gating head’! But having said that… I really shouldn’t complain, 1 or 2 riders having an ‘off night’ is being compensated by the ‘in form riders’, but… if the whole team hits the sort of form Martin is in at the present, all at the same time, there is a team out there heading for one heck of a beating! Martin quite deservedly named as rider of the night. Oh yes, one more thing to add to the above wish list… some WARMER weather please, and soon!