Aces Win the Battle But Not the War


(Somerset win 92-88 on aggregate)

Belle Vue came agonisingly close to overturning a 14-point deficit against the Somerset Rebels, as the Aces won 50-40 on the night at the National Speedway Stadium, but despite the victory, the Rebels took the tie by four points to advance through to their first Premiership Knockout Cup Final.

Following their disappointing loss down at the Oak Tree Arena last week in the first leg, their grip on their knockout cup was loose and hanging by a thread. The Aces opened the meeting up with a 4-2 advantage from Steve Worrall and Max Fricke to which Worrall recorded the second race win in back to back meetings against the Rebels and on both occasions beat the World Champion in Jason Doyle.

Somerset then answered right back a 5-1 from Jake Allen and Aaron Summers, as the reserves opened up a 16-point lead for the Westcountry side in the tie. Stevie Worrall made it two wins in a row when powered to victory alongside Rohan Tungate to register a 5-1 advantage and make it a 12-point lead, before Aaron Summers did well to block the run of Grand Prix rider Craig Cook in Heat four, as Cook was unable to find a way past the Aussie rider in the race.

The visitors then took two advantages in a row, as Jason Doyle and Nico Covatti rode to a 5-1 before Jack Holder and Jake Allen took a 4-2 to extend their lead in the overall tie by 18-points and move the Aces behind the 8-ball, as the Rebels led on the night 28-26.

Heat 10 saw Max Fricke and Dmitri Berge riding to a 5-1 to up the Aces up 31-29 on the night and trail by 12 overall, with slim hopes still of staying alive in the cup. Another heat victory for the home side saw Cook and Berge reducing the deficit to ten points before the interval came around, as they recorded a 4-2 advantage.

Following the interval, it saw a great race between Berge and Bradley Wilson-Dean in Heat 12 that saw both riders passing each other and see the Aces man looking to have done enough to take the race victory, but instead, it saw Wilson-Dean sneaking around on the final bend to pip him on the line for a 4-2 to the visitors.

A couple of weeks ago when the sides met on television – it saw it going viral online and have had many saying it was the race of the season, but this race may have surpassed it, with no less than ten passes in the race and saw Fricke getting past Doyle on the final bend to take the race win and also have Cook following behind with a last-gasp move up the inside to snatch second place for Belle Vue and pick up a huge 5-1.

With maximum points being picked up in Heat 13, it meant that the home side needed two five-ones to win the tie. Unfortunately, despite a battling effort from the home side with Tungate and Berge holding 5-1 for a couple of laps, it saw Berge unable to hold off a fast Richard Lawson and had the Scottish rider splitting the Aces riders and sealing a finals berth for Somerset in the KO Cup Final.

Belle Vue finished the meeting with a 4-2 race advantage, as Cook and Holder had a good tussle out in front with the Aces man just having enough to beat his opponent. With Belle Vue missing out on defending their cup, they now turn their attention to the first leg of their Playoff Semi Final at home to King’s Lynn on Monday night, with the Aces hope to take a lead down to Norfolk the following week


Belle Vue Aces = 50 (88)
1. Max Fricke — 1, 2, 3, 3, 1 = 10
2. Dan Bewley — R/R (SW – 3 , JBA – R, RT – 3, DiB – 2′ = 8+1)
3. Steve Worrall — 3, 3, 0, 1′, 0 = 7+1
4. Rohan Tungate — 2′, 1, 3, 2, 3 = 11+1
5. Craig Cook — 2, 3, 3, 2′, 3 = 13+1
6. Dimitri Berge — 1, 1′, 0, 2′, 1, 2, 2′ = 9+3
7. Jonas B Andersen (G) — 0, T/(DiB – 1′), R, 0, (DiB – 2) = 0

Somerset Rebels = 40 (92)
1. Jason Doyle — 2, 3, 2, 1 = 8
2. Nico Covatti — 0, 2′, 0, (AS – 0) = 2+1
3. Bradley Wilson-Dean — 1, 1′, 0, 3 = 5+1
4. Richard Lawson — 0, 2, 1, 2, 0 = 5
5. Jack Holder — 0, 3, 3, 0, 2 = 8
6. Jake Allen — 3, 1, 0, 1 = 4
7. Aaron Summers — 2′, 3, 2, 0, 0 = 7+1


Battling Colts Can’t stop Powerful Fen Tigers


(Mildenhall win on Aggregate 68-111)

The curtain came down on the 2018 season for the Belle Vue Colts on Friday night, as they finished on a low note being edged out 47-43 in the second leg of their National League Knockout Cup tie to the runaway leaders in the National League in the Mildenhall Fen Tigers, as for the second time this season the Suffolk side left Manchester with another win this year.

With the Colts facing insurmountable 39-point deficit to make up from the first leg down in West Row, it saw the Fen Tigers opening up the second leg in much of the same way they did in the first leg with a 5-1 through Drew Kemp and Danny Phillips as Ben Woodhull pushed them to the end but couldn’t get by.

Paul Bowen pulled off a brilliant pass in the reserves race to beat Matt Marson as the man dubbed the ‘Pieman’ at the N.S.S, saw the Belle Vue man refusing to come off the outside line and on lap 3 saw him generating the speed and flew by Marson down the back straight to take the win, while Kean Dicken held third from Sam Bebee for a 4-2 to the Colts.

Drew Kemp and Colts Jack Smith raced each other four times in the meeting and saw Kemp taking the first of their four duels in the meeting. In Heat 6 it saw both Mildenhall reserves suffering from bike problems, as firstly, Marson had his bike ceasing up as soon as the bike got out on the track and was excluded under the two minutes rule. Bebee then came in to replace his fellow reserve and saw his bike packing up on the gate just as tapes flew up and luckily for the visitors they had Kemp riding to an easy win.

In Heat 7, it saw the Colts picking up a 5-1 with Smith and Bowen combining to take maximum points. Bowen, then came out in the following race and saw him leading the race until Danny Phillips passed him on turn two of lap 2 and then saw the Colts man trying to blast his way around the outside of Phillips but saw him hitting the deck and gift a 4-2 to the Fen Tigers.

Kemp and Smith battled out front again in Heat 9, as the Mildenhall man made it four wins in a row and the second over Smith in the match. As a result of a drawn heat, it meant that the visitors booked their place in the KO Cup final with nine races gone and saw the most anti-climactic announcement of the meeting, while the scores were level at 27-27 all on the night.

Fen Tigers Jordan Jenkins picked up two race wins in a row after a tough opening lap against Jon Armstrong and Ben Woodhull saw him overcoming both take the victory and in Heat 11, saw a very mature ride to keep Jack Smith behind him with a brilliant ride.

Belle Vue’s number four Joe Lawlor suffered an unfortunate blow in his ride in Heat 12, as a great battle with him and Matt Marson saw Lawlor getting a puncture towards the final lap and saw Marson coming under him to make the pass for victory and see Tom Woolley picking up his only point of the night as the visitors took a 4-2 advantage.

Jon Armstrong who was guesting from Coventry, saw him making a great gate in Heat 13 until Kemp again got the bike hooked up and passed Armstrong to lead. Jack Smith then passed Phillips and Armstrong in one more and saw the Colts captain looking to chase down the Tigers man for the third time and was forced to settle for second place again for three races in a row.

In Heat 14, it saw a great race involving all four riders, as the Tigers duo of Marson and Jenkins both gate ahead of Lawlor before he then split the pair on the first bend and with a 4-2 looking likely, it then saw Paul Bowen coming from nowhere to pass Marson on the opening bend of the final lap to see a shared heat.

In the final race of the night, it saw Jack Smith finally managing to beat the impressive Drew Kemp and avoid a clean sweep of race wins against him. Smith had made the gate initially before the Mildenhall man took the lead on the first bend of lap 2 and then saw Smith forcing him wide on the last bend of the same lap and then had the Belle Vue man holding firm for a win and have Joe Lawlor trying his best to catch Jenkins, but sadly couldn’t generate the speed.

Mildenhall managed to hold on for a victory and see them recording a second 47-43 victory over the Colts this season at the National Speedway Stadium and followed their win earlier at the start of August.


Belle Vue Colts = 43 (68)

1. Jon Armstrong (G) – 0, 2, 1′, 1′ = 4+2
2. Ben Woodhull – 1, 1′, 1′, 2, 2 = 7+2
3. Tom Perry R/R
4. Joe Lawlor – 2, 2, 1′, 2, 2, 0 = 9+1
5. Jack Smith – 2, 3, 2, 2, 2, 3 = 14
6. Paul Bowen – 3, 1′, 2′, 0, 0, 1′ = 7+3
7. Kean Dicken – 1, 1′, X, 0 = 2+1

Mildenhall Fen Tigers = 47 (111)

1. Danny Ayres R/R
2. Danny Philips (G) – 2′, 3, 3, 1, 0 = 9+1
3. Tom Woolley (G) – 0, 0, 0, 0, 1 = 1
4. Jordan Jenkins – 3, 1, 3, 3, 3, 1′ = 14+1
5. Drew Kemp – 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 2 = 17
6. Matt Marson – 2, X, 0, 3, 0 = 5
7. Sam Bebee – 0, 0, EF, 1, RS = 1


Colts keep their slim Playoffs hopes alive


Friday night saw the defending National League champions in the Belle Vue Colts keeping their hopes alive of making the playoffs after recording a 58-32 win over the Isle of Wight Warriors in their final home meeting of the regular season at the National Speedway Stadium.

The meeting started with a race win for guest rider Danny Ayers, as the Mildenhall man replaced Alfie Bowtell for the Warriors and beat Colts guest rider in Ben Wilson from Buxton and faced a surprising challenge from Ben Woodhull to take the victory.

A 4-2 from Belle Vue reserves Paul Bowen and Kean Dicken saw the host edging ahead in the meeting, and was followed up in the followed race with a 5-1 from Joe Lawlor and Tom Perry, as both Colts found a way passed Scott Campos for maximum points.

It then saw two race advantages for the home side which was sandwiched between a second race win for Danny Ayers, as the hosts led 19-11 with five heats gone.

Belle Vue then extended their lead with back to back 5-1’s in Heats 6 and 7 before the Warriors hit back with their only race advantage of the night in Heat 8.

Firstly, Ben Woodhull pulled a wheelie from tapes and saw him out of the race with Kean Dicken forced to repel the Warriors duo of Danno Verge and Shaun Tedham. Dicken seemed to have everything in order until a gap appeared and allowed Verge to dive up the inside on the final bend of lap 3 and see a 4-2.

Belle Vue then banged in a couple of 4-2 race advantages with Ben Wilson flying around the outside of Scott Campos in Heat 10, while Ayers made it three straight wins as he lowered the colours of Colts captain Jack Smith in Heat 11. In Heat 12 it saw Tom Perry going from third to first, as he blasted his way around the fence to pass teammate Kean Dicken and Scott Campos for a 4-2, to give the home side a twenty-point lead at 46-26.

Heat 13 then saw the two guest riders in Ben Wilson and Danny Ayres swapping places on the opening bends, before Jack Smith came on the outside and clipped Ayres back wheel down the back straight and moved to the front, with the Colts captain having a tiger on his tail in Ayres chasing him down, but saw Smith able to hold him off.

After the race, it saw Ayres making his feelings known to Smith and turning his bike into Smith, with more handbags heading to the pits. Back to the racing, and Joe Lawlor and Paul Bowen made it 55-29 thanks to a fourth 5-1 for the home side in Heat 14 and the night was rounded off with 3-3 after Ayres claimed his fourth race win of the night to finish on 14-points for his troubles.

It sees the victory keeping the champions in the top four for now, with Birmingham, Eastbourne and Coventry all with matches in hand on Belle Vue. The Colts round off their league campaign away this Monday night at Kent Kings and where victory may still not be enough to help them qualify to the end of season playoffs.

Next Friday sees the Colts final home fixture of the 2018 season, for now at least, as they take on the Mildenhall Fen Tigers in the second leg of their Knockout Cup, with the Colts facing a 39-points deficit from their hammering down at West Row last month.

Belle Vue Colts : 58 
1. Ben Wilson (G) — 1′, 3, 3, 1 = 8+1
2. Ben Woodhull — 2, 2′, F = 4+1
3. Tom Perry — 2′, 1′, 3, 3, 1′ = 10+3
4. Joe Lawlor — 3, 2, 1, 3 = 9
5. Jack Smith — 3, 3, 2, 3, 2 = 13
6. Paul Bowen — 3, 2′, 1′, 2′ = 8+3
7. Kean Dicken — 1, 1, 2, 1, 1 = 6

Isle Of Wight Warriors : 32 
1. Danny Ayres (G) — 3, 3, 3, 2, 3 = 14
2. Danno Verge — 0, 0, 3, 0 = 3
3. Scott Campos — 1, 1, 2, 2, 0 = 6
4. Chris Widman — 0, 0, 0, 1 = 1
5. Jason Edwards (G) — 2, 1, 2, 0 = 5
6. Dale Lamb (G) — 2, 0, 0, 0 = 2
7. Shaun Tedham — 0, 0, 1, 0 = 1

Captain Fricke leads Aces into Playoffs


The Belle Vue Aces made it four successive seasons in a row that the Manchester side has reached the end of season playoffs, thanks to a 48-42 points win over fellow qualifiers in the Somerset Rebels at the National Speedway Stadium on Wednesday night.

Aces team manager Mark Lemon spoke prior to the meeting about wanting his side to secure victory at home and not have to try and get the points they needed down at Swindon the following evening.

It saw the home side getting off a good start, following a 4-2 race advantage, courtesy of Stevie Worrall holding off the World Champion in Jason Doyle and his teammate Max Fricke taking third.

With all the matches between the Aces and the Rebels this season being highly competitive meetings, it came as no surprise that the sides negated each other early on, as three successive drawn heats saw the hosts lead 13-11.

Heat 5 saw the away side getting out on a 5-1 through Doyle and Bradley Wilson-Dean, but Belle Vue’s Rohan Tungate managed to split the pairing and see a 4-2 instead.

The Aces then responded with two straight 4-2 race victories in Heats 6 and 7, as they opened up a four-point lead. Heat 9 then saw a good race developing between Rohan Tungate and Jack Holder of the Rebels, as the two Aussie riders were tussling for second place and saw Worrall again taking the win. Sadly for the Aces, Tungate suffered a bike problem on lap 3 and brought an end to his race.

Max Fricke rode to his second race win in Heat 10, as the Belle Vue captain forced his way up the inside of Richard Lawson to take the lead and have his Aces teammate in reserve Dmitri Berge grabbing a point back in third for a 4-2.

In the next heat, it saw Berge making a great start from the gate and was joined by Craig Cook who ran wide to the fence and effectively stopped the momentum of his partner and that allowed Doyle and Wilson-Dean to come through into second and third for a 3-3.

Somerset then sent out Jason Doyle again in Heat 12 as a tactical substitute, to which the Australian took the race win thanks to his partner in Jake Allen holding up the Aces pairing of Worrall and Berge to slow the race down until the Rebels man swooped round to lead before Worrall took second and stopped a 5-1 for the away side.

As the riders came to tapes for Heat 13, it saw perhaps the race of the season by many, as Craig Cook battled with both Somerset riders in Jack Holder and Jason Doyle – for which was Doyle third race in a row – and saw the three of them passing and re-passing each for the whole race.

As the riders entered the final bend, it seemed for all the world that the Rebels had done enough to stop Cook and would score a maximum 5-1 for the visiting side, but that was until Belle Vue’s Max Fricke blasted his way around the outside of them all to steal the win by half a bike length and have a shared heat.

The Aces now needed just a 3-3 in the penultimate race to see them booking their place in the postseason playoffs. However, Belle Vue kept their fans in suspense and saw Richard Lawson taking his second win of the night for the Rebels, on way to finishing with ten points for the evening as part of a 4-2 to set up a tense finale at 43-41.

Surely the home side wouldn’t let this opportunity slip now, could they? For the last heat decider, it saw a repeat of all four riders from their classic race of just two races previous and have Swindon fans hoping that the Rebels could do them a favour and beat the Aces and see a shootout for determining the fourth spot the next night.

As the tapes went up, it saw Craig Cook making the gate ahead of Jason Doyle, but the world number one soon passed Cook for the lead and on the final bend of lap 3 saw the Somerset man getting some extra drive and riding into the air fence and falling off on his shoulder.

It was an unfortunate way to bring the meeting to a close, after what had been such a competitive and entertaining nights’ action served up from the N.S.S track once again.

Doyle was able to get up and walk back to the pits under his steam as the Aussie was excluded and saw the referee awarding a 5-1 to the Aces and see them qualifying for the Premiership play-offs.

Shortly after the final race was concluded, it saw the announcement that the Aces would take on the only side that they have failed to beat in the league, both home and away, in the King’s Lynn Stars. On paper, it seems straightforward for the Stars, as they are clear red-hot favourites to take the title.

Belle Vue Aces = 48 

1. Max Fricke – 1, 3, 3, 3, 2′ = 12+1
2. R/R for Dan Bewley – (SW – 3, MR – 1, RT – 3, DiB – 1 = 8)
3. Steve Worrall – 3, 1′, 0, 3, 2 = 9+1
4. Rohan Tungate – 2, 2, 3, 0, 2 = 9
5. Craig Cook – 1′, 3, 3, 0, 3 = 10+1
6. Dimitri Berge – 3, 2, 1, 1, 0, 0, 0 = 7
7. Mark Riss – 0, (DiB – 2), 1, 0, (DiB – 0) = 1

Somerset Rebels = 42 

1. Jason Doyle – 2, 3, 2, 3, 2, F/X = 12
2. Bradley Wilson-Dean – 0, 1, 2, 1′ = 4+1
3. Nico Covatti – 0, 0, 0, (JD – 3) = 0
4. Richard Lawson – 3, 2, 2, 3 = 10
5. Jack Holder – 3, 2, 2, 1′, 1 = 9+1
6. Jake Allen – 1′, 0, 1′, 1, 1 = 4+2
7. Aaron Summers – 2, 0, 1′, (JA – 1) = 3+1