Elite League: Leicester Lions 42, King’s Lynn Stars 47
- Credit: IAN BURT
The Stars registered win number 14 of the season and extended their lead at the top of the Elite League to 13 points at Leicester.
Lynn went into this fixture against the lowly Lions without Robert Lambert, on Great Britain under-21 duty and Kenneth Bjerre in action in the GP Qualifiers at Berwick (eventually postponed). Rob Lyon chose to use rider replacement for Bjerre and brought in Kevin Doolan for Lambert.
The tactics worked in the first case as Niels-Kristian Iversen and Rory Schlein both took six rides each and bagged 14 points, plus bonus points. Leicester really suffered from Jason Doyle being missing, as veteran Peter Karlsson came in at number one and only collected four points from as many rides.
On a fast slick track the Stars' number one Iversen shot out of the gate in the first heat to break the Leicester track record in a time of 60.06. After two shared heats it was the Lions who went ahead with a 5-1 but a fellow max from Nicklas Porsing and Lewis Kerr and another from Schlein and Doolan in heat five gave the Stars the lead which they were never to lose. In heat six Iversen shaved another whole second off the track record (59-06) to become the first rider to ever break the 60-second mark.
Schlein and Iversen combined to register a 5-1 in heat 10 and similarly in heat 13 to give the Stars a seemingly unassailable 44-34 lead with two races to go. However, in heat 14 Doolan's engine failed on the line and as he pushed onto the centre green Kerr dumped Lasse Bjerre into the air-fence on the first bend. The race was stopped and Kerr excluded for the second time in the match leaving the Lions to ride to a 5-0 and reduce the deficit to five points.
The Stars then needed at least a 4-2 in the last race to take all four league points on offer. That didn't happen though as ex-Star Mads Korneliussen triumphed making it 3-3 to ensure the Stars only took home three points for their 12th consecutive victory.
Leicester:- M Korneliussen (5 races) 13, S. Stead (5) 7+1, L Bjerre (4) 5+1, M Clegg (5) 5+1, K Hansen (4) 4+1, J Bates (3) 4, P Karlsson (4) 4.
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Lynn:- N-K Iversen (6) 14+2, R Schlein (6) 14+1, N Porsing (5) 6, L Kerr (5) 5+2, L. Rose (3) 4+2, K Doolan (5) 4+1.
Robert Lambert and GB came agonisingly close to booking an U21 world cup final place. But they finished just three points behind Czech Republic and Australia. Lynn's 16-year-old scored six points.