Chapman targets success over rivals

King's Lynn co-promoter Jonathan Chapman aims to put one over old rivals Rye House in tonight's opening Premier League clash at the Norfolk Arena.Lynn dethroned the Rockets to clinch the title last season after kick starting their trophy march with a Young Shield and KO Cup double over the Hoddesdon outfit in 2005.

King's Lynn co-promoter Jonathan Chapman aims to put one over old rivals Rye House in tonight's opening Premier League clash at the Norfolk Arena.

Lynn dethroned the Rockets to clinch the title last season after kick starting their trophy march with a Young Shield and KO Cup double over the Hoddesdon outfit in 2005.

The Stars will also move top of the early standings with victory after back-to-back away wins at Somerset and Redcar.

“We have a love hate relationship with them,” said Chapman. “We hate them because they are successful like us and tend to moan when they come here about how our track is a ploughed field. But we love them as well because they are a good club who bring through riders the same way as we do. We admire and respect the way they go about things.

“It's amazing how things how panned out over the last few seasons. In years gone by the Premier has been dominated by northern clubs, but that isn't the case now.”

Chapman admits Lynn have little margin for error with only the top four qualifying for end-of-season championship play offs.

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“It might still be very early, but we need to stay in and around that top four,” he said. “Both clubs along with Sheffield are on the charge already. We know it only takes one or two others to come out of the pack and squeeze us out. There's still a long way to go although we've had a superb start. To be in the semis of the Premier Trophy and quarters of the KO Cup maybe puts some more pressure on us. We're bucking the speedway trend where the team who wins everything one year then has to rip up the side and start again.”

Chapman insists Lynn must be ruthless against a Rockets' line up minus inspirational skipper Stuart Robson after his horrific crash at Mildenhall 11 days ago.

Robson is likely to remain in hospital until the summer after suffering a broken pelvis and two broken vertebrae.

“It's the sort of thing that could happen to any team,” said Chapman. “Losing Robbo definitely weakens Rye House because he is a character and great for team spirit. Ray Morton has come in and he knows Lynn so I don't think there will be too much difference points-wise at our place.”

Chapman is well aware of the threat posed by teenage talent Tai Woffinden - a youngster courted by Lynn's promotion during the winter.

“Just about everyone was interested in him,” said Chapman. “Just imagine if he'd have come to King's Lynn - they might as well have given us the title. He felt going to a smaller track would help him further his career. To go from reserve to heat leader shows he has been scoring fantastically well. He's surprised even me in his first full season but he seems to have taken everything in his stride.”

Parade 7.30pm, first race 7.45pm. Admission prices: £12 adults, £8 concessions, £4 for children (aged 12 to 15) with free entry for children aged 11 and under.

Stars: 1 Tomas Topinka, 2 Chris Mills, 3 Daniel Nermark, 4 Trevor Harding, 5 Paul Lee, 6 James Brundle, 7 Simon Lambert.

Rockets: 1 Chris Neath, 2 Ray Morton, 3 Tai Woffinden, 4 Tommy Allen, 5 Steve Boxall, 6 Luke Bowen, Adam Roynan.