Crown Edition - ENHANCED
Lakeside go down a storm at Cradley
Lakeside’sMarino Jankulovski (15) and Steve Burton (9) sprung one of the biggest surprises in the history of the Pairs competition by winning the SL25 final at Cradley, the Aces duo only the second from outside of the top flight to lift the trophy in 20 years! Burton looked back to his SL14 and 15 World Championship winning best as he played the perfect back-up role to Jankulovski, who started the meeting with three perfect gates, and when he’s out it front there’s little hope of catching him. Burton successfully fought off SL24 GP stars Klaus Bonhof and Sergey Guerk to pick up second places in the Aces opening two races, while his determination saw him claim a vital point in heat ten, the 33 year old chasing down and passing Sebastian Blasiak. With 14 points out of a 15 in the bag the rest were now playing catch-up, amongst them Eastbourne, who inflicted Jankulovski’s first defeat in heat 12, Tom Countess ruining another perfect start from the Swedish Champion by switching to the inside on the first bend and powering by. Again though Burton picked up the pieces, he snapping at the heels of Eddie Myhill for three laps before getting his reward on the fourth when the world number two went wide, a 3-3, Lakeside still the team to beat. Their advantage slipped when conceding a 4-2 to the hosts in heat 15, and it was Cradley that would go in front in the final three races later when they picked up a 5-1 in heat 18 against Southampton, however Lakeside and their promoter Trevor Walker weren’t to be denied, the Aces returning to claim a 5-1 over Purton in heat 20 and the silverware.
Tobias Schneider (6+1) has provided most of the headlines on Timperley’s return to the top flight, however it was the performance of number one Akos Fekete (15) which provided the club with their first away points of the league season, in a 44-46 victory at fellow newly promoted side, Bullbridge. A consistent top performer in recent seasons Fekete does his job without fanfare, but in scoring his first maximum of the campaign he can’t avoid the limelight, with his victories over the Bandits top two of Alexandr Danishevskiy (12) and Tom Toivonen (11+2) in heats 13 and 15 clinching the win. At the change of averages Fekete gets a new mark of 10.88, nearly a point better than his start of season GSA and one that is second only in the top flight to Sergey Guerk (11.03).
A first away win of the season has taken Harringay into the second spot in the division two standings and leaves connections contemplating the possibly of a second successive promotion season. Two Jean Zunters (12)/Dean Hesley (7+2) 5-1’s in the space of four heats turned a tight meeting at Stone Cross the way of the Racers, a two point lead after the second of those in heat ten became four when Zunters returned to win heat 12 in a 4-2, the visitors advantage was doubled again in heat 14 as Hasley and reserve Solt Poli (6+1) clinched the points with the side’s third heat maximum of the meeting. A 5-1 for the hosts in the decider provided consolation for them and limited Harringay’s success to four points. Dave Lewis’s side end the week a point adrift of leaders Wroughton in the standings, the Meerkats going clear after holding new Pairs champions Lakeside to a draw on their travels, Morgan Gudmundsson (13+1) continuing his great start to the season with four wins including one over teen sensation Jordan Baker (11) in a last heat decider. 31 year old Gudmundsson has seen his GSA jump 2.32 points at the change to a career high 10.14, the biggest improver over the first six weeks though is his fellow Swede Thomas Forsman, the 19 year old—who rides for Birkenhead—more than doubling his average to 6.67.
Division three leaders Preston remain unbeaten in the league in SL25, with home and away wins in their latest fixtures taking them two points clear of Cradley. Despite their strong performances the Bobbins top seven remain under the 47 point limit at the first GSA change, careful team selection has seen to that, Attila Hamori (8.55 CMA)—absent from the club’s 47-43 home win over Loughborough—the third rider to be rested from their side in the opening six weeks. Hamori was earlier paid for eight in the Lancashire side’s four point win at Coleshill, a meeting in which Jonathan Kingsford finished with figures of 8+1 at reserve. Cradley meanwhile moved into the promotion places with a 42-48 victory at Broadstairs, their strong top four—led by SL16 and 20 World Champion Thomas Klemmensen (13)—all racing to heat victories as the Storm extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to five meetings. Elsewhere in division three there were mixed fortunes for Wolverton, a 43-47 win at Stepps for the Wolves was followed by a two point home defeat with the visit of Coleshill, the second conceded despite a hat-trick of race wins from second string Alexey Akimov (12+1).