King’s Lynn 48, Belle Vue 42
King's Lynn surged to a maiden Elite League home win of the season in a rollercoaster meeting against Belle Vue tonight at the Norfolk Arena.
Rob Lyon's men looked to be in control when Danish grand prix ace Kenneth Bjerre completed his third race win in heat ten but two late maximums for the dogged visitors cut the hosts' lead to four points.
Mads Korneliussen anchored a cool max in the penultimate tour to seal victory, but Rory Schlein denied Lynn all three league points when he passed the Dane in the finale.
Buster Chapman and his track staff had to work overtime in a 25 minute pre-race delay to the action to prepare the wet surface after persistent rain across the area during the day.
Kenneth Bjerre and Chris Harris went to the tapes side-by-side in heat one for a heavyweight grand prix duel that firmly underlined top class speedway was back at Lynn. Bjerre rocketed into turn one with club stalwart Tomas Topinka diving into the Dane's slipstream but Harris poured on the power down the back straight to split the home duo – Aces' team mate Charlie Gjedde spinning out on a sticky turn three.
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Kozza Smith returned to bite the hand which used to feed with a win in the reserves when Filip Sitera slid out of shape around the tricky top end following a frighteningly tight first bend tussle between Smith and the Stars' duo.
Korneliussen head-butted the tapes in heat four in a bid for a stunning start to his evening shift after impressing at Kirkmanshulme Lane. Stars' team boss Rob Lyon opted to track reserve Sitera instead of sending the Dane off 15 metres in the re-run. Patrick Hougaard looked a cut above for the visitors after his faultless four-ride maximum on home shale in the north west – Sitera and Olly Allen cut adrift with Ricky Kling trundling across the line.
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Smith delivered his trademark 'box office' entertainment in heat four with a persistent joust against former ally Lasse Bjerre. Lynn's young Dane dug in with a mature defensive line to repel Smith's probing inside look behind compatriot Niels-Kristian Iversen for the first Stars' home maximum of the campaign to move Lynn six clear.
'Bomber' Harris hit the shale in another no-holds-barred first corner collision after Korneliussen flew across from gate four. The clearly-winded British number one hauled himself to his feet after some minor treatment trackside from waiting paramedics.
The Cornishman re-asserted his authority in the re-run with a powerful drive into turn one but Korneliussen kept the Aces' top gun honest with Allen too quick for the wayward Gjedde.
Bjerre missed the break in the next but still headed the Belle Vue pair down the back straight. Tomasz Piszcz's slip in front of the pits gifted Topinka third although the Czech had to coast around on his sickly machine a long way behind the main action.
Hougaard maintained his 100% start to the Elite season in heat seven but Iversen and Sitera squared off the race to preserve the hosts' healthy lead.
Topinka's travails showed little sign of easing in the next with the Czech's challenge over before the end of the opening lap. Smith and Lasse Bjerre renewed acquaintances again but this time the Aussie had enough in the tank to hang on with both men struggling to master the difficult surface.
Allen played hardball with Schlein exiting the final turn to foil the ex-Coventry man's attempts to pinch a mid-meeting flag after gliding around Korneliussen on the previous lap. Piszcz bowed out early for his third pointless tour of the night.
Lyon continued to shuffle his pack to harness Kenneth Bjerre with his younger sibling in an intriguing match up against impressive compatriot Hougaard and Smith. Lynn's grand prix star dived across Hougaard to end the Dane's winning hot streak but Smith again had the better of his growing rivalry with Lasse Bjerre to keep Belle Vue in touch.
The over-worked Smith's third flag of the night cut Lynn's lead in half with Harris the perfect bodyguard patrolling the inside to thwart Iversen's attempted assault. Lyon's men hit back in kind to cancel out the Aces' maximum – Lasse Bjerre offering solid support to Allen after Smith's luck ran out when he was forced into a last minute change of wheels at the start line.
Kenneth Bjerre and Harris re-opposed again in heat 13 but the Dane was left at the gate as Harris and Schlein pounced to drag the result back into the melting pot. Step forward Korneliussen and Lasse Bjerre with a fourth consecutive maximum in a topsy turvy end to the meeting to seal the win, before Belle Vue salvaged a point in the finale.
• Stars: K Bjerre 11, Topinka 2, Allen 9+1, Korneliussen 6, Iversen 7, L Bjerre 9+4, Sitera 4+2.
• Aces: Harris 13+1, Gjedde 1, Kling 0, Hougaard 9, Schlein 7+1, Piszcz 0, Smith 12+1.