Photo: by Ian Charles
BELLE Vue roared to a stunning 54-36 win at Peterborough to complete an emphatic double over the reigning Premiership champions.
Skipper Brady Kurtz made it back-to-back maximums over the Panthers as he went through the card with 14+1, and even the Aces’ lowest scorers all collected six points.
Michael Palm Toft scored 11+1 for the home side but they were blown out of contention in the first half of the meeting when the visitors produced a hugely impressive display.
Kurtz said: “We expected to come away with something from this meeting, but I don’t think any of us thought we would win this big at Peterborough.
“The thought was there that they could and would turn things around and come out firing, but our whole team was just so fired up and were exceptional to get this result.
“It’s really encouraging to see the back of those early season meetings and to have a team that has gelled very well and can put in a strong shift to get the job done.”
Panthers boss Rob Lyon said: “We had a chat in the changing room with the boys afterwards. It’s tough to take obviously, but as the saying goes we’ve got to sit down, regroup and get it right for the next match.
“It’s pretty obvious that starts were an issue, but if you look at the first eight races we lost by 16 points, and the last seven we lost by two.
“I don’t think the track had anything to do with it. Maybe it caught us out a bit early on, but it’s the same for both teams, Belle Vue attacked it and were sharper from the tapes, and that was the difference.”
IPSWICH shocked Wolverhampton with a 48-42 win at Monmore Green to make it two successive victories at the start of the Premiership campaign.
Jason Doyle led the charge for the Witches, who produced a solid all-round effort in the Black Country, with the former World Champion winning his first four rides to score 13 points.
Wolves struggled to cover for the injured Ryan Douglas, who was out with a neck injury, and their only mild consolation was a 5-1 from Sam Masters (11+1) and Nick Morris (10+2) in Heat 15 to deny the visitors the fourth league point.
Witches boss Ritchie Hawkins said: “We leave Wolves really happy, and we have started the campaign with two wins out of two. “I don’t think many people will win at Wolves this year; I can’t see them losing many at home, so to get three points is a massive bonus.
“Doyley was terrific, he wasn’t making starts and was passing and providing some great racing. Right through the team we performed, down at reserve Starkey (Paul Starke) was superb and six of our seven riders won races, so we had a team of race winners.”
Wolves manager Peter Adams said: “Obviously we were weakened with Dougy being absent because he’s been in fantastic form.
“So we had that to contend with, Sam has got a dose of the flu or something so that restricted him a bit, so it was a tough night.
“Ipswich acquitted themselves very well though, and this must be one of their best performances on the road for a long time.”
OXFORD continue a busy period with three Championship matches in four days when they visit Plymouth tonight (Tuesday).
The Cheetahs were beaten at Leicester on Saturday, but skipper Scott Nicholls is confident they can gain points from trips to the Coliseum and then Scunthorpe on Friday, along with a home match against Redcar on Wednesday.
He said: “Plymouth are an exceptionally strong team, particularly at home. Like us, they’ve got a nice mix of experience and youth which can be dangerous when everyone hits good form.
“It’s a unique track and one which can take some adjusting to, but we’re looking forward to the challenge and will travel to the coast in good spirits.
“This is an important week for us. Saturday wasn’t a good night for us, and we’ve quickly put that result to bed.”
The Cheetahs bring in Nathan Stoneman at No.7 with Josh Macdonald back on the sidelines, whilst the Gladiators have Paul Starke guesting at No.1 and Ben Morley and Richard Andrews come in at reserve.
*LIVE STREAMING: British Speedway Network https://watch.britishspeedway.co.uk .
TUESDAY MAY 10:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Plymouth v Oxford 7pm
WEDNESDAY MAY 11:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Oxford v Redcar 7.30, Poole v Newcastle 7.30
FRIDAY MAY 13:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Edinburgh v Leicester 7.30, Redcar v Poole 7.30, Scunthorpe v Oxford 7.30