ROCKETS TRUMPED BY ACES IN LAST HEAT THRILLER
Wednesday June 14, 2017
The BMR Rockets led from the opening moments until the final four laps of their SGB Premiership battle against Belle Vue, only to be sucker-punched by a 5-1 in Heat 15 as the Aces left Rye House on a high with a 46-44 victory on Wednesday night.

It was the Rockets who took early control, with an emphatic maximum from Edward Kennett and Stuart Robson over Steve Worrall and World U-21 Champion Max Fricke in Heat 1 giving them the best possible start, and a dramatic swoop from guest Danny King to pass Brady Kurtz and win Heat 3 elevating the advantage to six points.

With the two sides twice exchanging 4-2s, the margin remained at six heading into a dramatic Heat 9 that saw King keep newly announced British World Cup captain Craig Cook at bay in a battle of last year’s British one-two. Although no one realised it at the time, fast rising Dan Bewley’s third place ahead of Ricky Wells was the start of the ultimate pendulum swing.

Justin Sedgmen, who until that stage had managed just a single point, suddenly turned on the gas to win Heat 10 from Kennett and Robson, and then Fricke and Worrall headed home Scott Nicholls and Rob Branford, to bring the Manchester side to within two points, at 34-32. The next three races were all drawn, with Sedgmen claiming his second victory in Heat 14, before Cook – in perfect form bar his Heat 9 defeat – and guest Brady Kurtz broke the Rockets’ hearts with a last race 5-1 over the hard-chasing Robson and Kennett to lead for the first and only time in the match…. but also at the only time it really mattered.

A statistic of nine different race winners between the sides – four for Rye and five for Belle Vue - emphasised the balanced nature of the match, with Robson claiming one of those heats en route to a top-scoring 9+2. Speaking afterwards, he said, “We’re obviously disappointed with the result – it’s never good to lose, especially at home – but we all tried. You can’t blame anyone; we all gave 100% all the way through the meeting, and that is all you can ask for really. No one gave up until the chequered flag in Heat 15.

“From a personal perspective, I’m fully fit again now (after my crash at Sheffield in the British Semi-Final). When I was originally injured, I couldn’t do any kind of training for a while because I hurt my knee and ankle, which didn’t help at all. I did lose quite a lot of fitness in a couple of weeks, but then I managed to get back in the gym and do a couple of classes, and also get back on an enduro bike – and that helped a lot. I felt good on the bike tonight.”

BMR Rockets:
Stuart Robson 9+2 (5 rides), Edward Kennett 8+1 (5 rides), Danny King (guest) 8+1 (4), Scott Nicholls 6+1 (4), Ellis Perks 6+1 (5), Ricky Wells 6 (4), Robert Branford 1+1 (3).

Belle Vue:
Craig Cook 14 (5 rides), Brady Kurtz (guest) 10+1 (5), Justin Sedgmen 7 (4), Steve Worrall 5+1 (4), Max Fricke 5 (4), Dan Bewley 4+1 (4), Jack Smith 1 (4).

Match Points: Rye House 0 Belle Vue 3

The BMR Rockets are on the road tomorrow (Thursday) night as they head to Swindon in the SGB Premiership gunning for revenge for their earlier Knock-Out Cup exit against the Wiltshire side. With Chris Harris absent through his Grand Prix Qualifier commitment, the Rockets have called on six season Robin and 2014 Elite League Riders’ Champion Troy Batchelor as guest coverage, but otherwise field an unchanged side.

Swindon are yet to win at home in the league, but have gained two away victories, at Somerset and Poole. The Robins have named James Sarjeant as their guest for Dany Gappmaier, who is also involved in GPQ action, with Jason Doyle making his first appearance since winning Saturday’s Czech Grand Prix

Says Robbo of the fixture, “We had a good guest in Danny (King) tonight – we’ve got to say thank-you to him for that – and a good guest again in Troy at Swindon. Batch has been on some pretty good form lately, and hopefully he can continue that form for us.

“We’re looking to go down there and win. Especially losing points tonight at home, we really do need to pick up some away points now. It’s crucial to keep ourselves in contention for the Play-Offs.”

BMR Rockets:

Troy Batchelor (guest), Rob Braford, Edward Kennett (captain), Scott Nicholls, Ellis Perks, Stuart Robson, Ricky Wells

Swindon:

David Bellego, Jason Doyle (captain), Adam Ellis, Nick Morris, James Sarjeant (guest), Zach Wajtknecht, Bradley Wilson-Dean