The OTA bathed in sunshine for the entire meeting is a sight to behold and last night temperatures soared into the 70’s which was a real treat. Brent Knoll looked a treat as a spectacular back drop, blue clear skies with seagulls regularly circling overhead.
Despite (for the OTA) the lack of passing, I counted only 7 or 8 passes, it was a tense, exciting meeting and yet another last heat decider.
Iversen was in a class of his own. Although matched from the gate a couple of times, his drive and speed over that 15 metres or so into the first turn was the telling point. Not once was he led out of the first and second turns the whole evening. Once in front he settled into the fastest line with ease. It always seems that when a rider is fast and comfortable with the track, they look like they are settling back into an armchair. Iversen epitomised that view last night.
The Stars fully deserved their point and looked threatening throughout. With Palm-Toft at reserve and British Champion Robert Lambert in the form of his life, for the first time this season a home loss looked a possibility after heat 13.
However, Doyle swapped to his second bike for the clash of the big guns in heat 15 and looked much quicker. At one point he came within a whisker of Iversen’s back wheel on the home straight of lap 3, but had to settle for second best to the flying Dane. Holder kept Lambert at bay to ensure a draw.
Holder himself was lucky to avoid injury after rearing alarmingly coming out of turn 2 in heat 4. He did his level best to keep the front wheel down, but instead crashed heavily into the back straight fence. His machine catapulted into the air along side him, narrowly missing him and the following riders. As the red lights came on, Palm-Toft, hot in pursuit of Nico Covatti at the time, clipped the Rebel’s new signing’s rear wheel which sent him spectacularly into the home straight fence. For a second or two there lay two stricken riders on the track and one really did fear for both men. However, what seems to be so typical of speedway riders, both were up and walking back to the pits within minutes. One can’t help comparing what we are seeing on the TV currently with professional footballers in the World Cup hitting the deck at the slightest contact to these steely riders, many of which are very slightly built. Doyle described the reason Holder was up and on his feet so quickly as “he bounces easily!’
Once again new signing Claus Vissing looked very poor. Some derision from some supporters on the back straight was heard as the Dane finished last again in his final ride. Patience wears thin these days, and one wonders if his time is almost up after only a couple of meetings. Garry May will have been watching carefully.
Finally a mention for Covatti who is a thrilling addition to the team. He showed his gating skills last night but his remarkable pass of Jorgensen in heat 14 after losing ground initially on the Dane and then hunting him down and passing him on the 4th bend to join Lawson up front not only won him race of the night, but rider of the night also.