King’s Lynn Stars face a stern test of their Elite League credentials at Lakeside
- Credit: IAN BURT
King's Lynn Stars' record-breaking winning streak is on the line in Friday's Elite League top-of-the-table clash at Lakeside.
Rob Lyon's side have reeled off 14 successive victories, suffered only one defeat and taken points from all 17 Elite League fixtures ahead the latest trip to Essex.
The Stars are the only team to have beaten the Hammers on their own soil this season, but Lynn are without three key men. Heat leader Kenneth Bjerre misses out as he prepares to compete on Saturday in a 2015 Grand Prix qualification meeting with seven-time British champion Scott Nicholls deputising after picking up eight points the last time he rode the Hammers' circuit.
Young Dane Nicklas Porsing also misses the fixture to race in his home country. Compatriot Jan Graversen steps into the team at number two and Lewis Kerr remains sidelined after his recent crash so in-form reserve Lewis Blackbird guests.
Niels-Kristian Iversen will be a key man for the visitors again after a 21-point maximum in May's thrilling 47-45 win at the Arena Essex Raceway but the Dane, speaking to the official British speedway site, insists there is no secret to the club's stunning run.
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'I've been asked a few times about what is the secret to our success,' he said. 'The simple answer is that there isn't one. We just have a good team full of riders who have been going well and that's all there is to it. We've managed to keep on winning despite having injuries and the odd off-night. When one rider is out or another struggles, the other guys just step up. Rory (Schlein) has been a really good captain and takes the job very seriously. He spends a lot of time talking to the other guys and making sure that the spirit in the team is good.
'Records are great and being top of the league is brilliant, but it is what happens at the end of the season that matters. The play-offs are still a long way away and we saw what happened to Birmingham last season. They were the top team in the standings, but then got steam-rollered in the grand final. We just have to keep doing what we're doing and make sure we are in the best possible form when September and October come around.
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'The support we get has always been great. There isn't a lot of top sport in King's Lynn so it would mean a lot to the whole town if we could win the title.'
Lynn go into Friday's meeting 14 points clear and with a match in hand on the Hammers at the top of the summit.
• Lakeside Hammers
1. Davey Watt, 2. Richard Lawson, 3. Mikkel Bech, 4. Ben Barker, 5. Peter Karlsson, 6. Ben Morley, 7. Adam Ellis
• King's Lynn Stars
1. Niels-Kristian Iversen, 2. Jan Graversen, 3. Rory Schlein, 4. Robert Lambert, 5. Scott Nicholls, 6. Lewis Blackbird, 7. Lewis Rose