King’s Lynn Stars’ teenage ace Robert Lambert finishes third in first British speedway final

Robert Lambert in action during the Belle Vue showcase. Picture: IAN CHARLES

Robert Lambert in action during the Belle Vue showcase. Picture: IAN CHARLES - Credit: ©2016 Ian Charles

King's Lynn Stars' Robert Lambert produced an excellent display of riding to finish third overall in his first British final last night.

Lambert powered his way into the final via the race-off after 16 riders went head-to-head around the National Speedway Stadium in Manchester.

But despite his best efforts, the 18-year-old was unable to continue the momentum when it mattered in the final, finishing behind Craig Cook, runner-up for the third successive year, and eventual winner Danny King.

Lambert, on the outside gate, made a lightning start to the evening to grab the lead in heat three, but an early fall for seven-times champion Scott Nicholls forced a restart with all four riders back.

The Lynn teenager was almost as quick second time around and threatened to force his way to the front again before Leicester's Paul Starke claimed the advantage from the inside berth.

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Starke managed to hold off the close attentions of Lambert to take the chequered flag with Nicholls back in third.

A determined Lambert squeezed his way past Lakeside's Richard Lawson in the first bend of heat eight, but King already had his nose in front and the Coventry Bees rider utilised the grip of the track through the corners to hold on for a comfortable win.

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Going off the inside gate in heat 10, Lambert recorded an easy tapes-to-flag victory as Josh Auty, Jason Garrity and Steve scrapped it out for minor honours in an incident-packed affair behind.

His first victory of the night left him second in standings – a point behind King – going into the final eight heats as the rain began to fall in Manchester.

The youngster, making his debut in the competition, was soon back out in heat 13 and he stormed to the front again to record his second straight success with Richie Worrall and Ben Barker following him over the line.

Lambert had no answer against Belle Vue's Cook in the penultimate heat of the night and another second-place finish gave him a 12-point return from his five outings.

Just when he thought he'd done enough to claim an automatic place in the final, King produced a breathtaking performance in the final heat to knock the Lynn teenager out of the top two placings.

But Lambert made up for that disappointment by jet-propelling his way to victory in the race-off.

Scores: Danny King (Coventry/Ipswich) 13, Craig Cook (Belle Vue/Peterborough) 12, Robert Lambert (King's Lynn/Newcastle) 12, Steve Worrall (Belle Vue/Newcastle) 10, Richard Lawson (Lakeside/Glasgow) 10, Paul Starke (Leicester/Somerset) 10, Scott Nicholls (Belle Vue) 10, Josh Auty (Leicester/Scunthorpe) 8, Richie Worrall (Belle Vue/Glasgow) 7, Simon Stead (Sheffield) 6, Jason Garrity (Coventry/Sheffield) 5, Chris Harris (Coventry) 5, Kyle Howarth (Wolverhampton/Sheffield) 4, Richard Hall (Unattached) 3, Josh Bates (Coventry/Sheffield) 2, Ben Barker (Coventry/Ipswich) 2. Reserve: Charles Wright (Swindon/Somerset) 1.

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