King’s Lynn’s Robert Lambert became the new British Champion at the National Speedway Stadium on Monday night, after the Stars rider went through the card unbeaten to lift the famous trophy and secure his wildcard spot at this year’s British Grand Prix in Cardiff.
The meeting got off to a bang with the two Dan’s in former British champion Danny King and home track favourite Dan Bewley having a good battle out front – King made a good start as opposed to Bewley, who was left at the back, but he soon cut through the field and was chasing down the back wheel of the Leicester and Ipswich rider but King held on for the opening win.
Robert Lambert who came into the meeting fresh from winning a silver medal with Great Britain at this weekend’s Speedway of Nations final in Poland and it saw Lambert starting with a convincing win and setting the quickest time of the night too, clocking a time of 60.62 in heat two.
Steve Worrall made his return to the shale just six weeks after breaking his leg in a crash for Scunthorpe back in April and was still struggling with his leg during the course of the meeting. Worrall made a good start before Jason Garrity caught him on lap two and would go on to take the victory.
After the track grade, it saw Cookie coming out again, following his disappointing third place in the race before – and he stormed to victory ahead of Richard Lawson. Lambert took his second race win of the night in heat seven- after Steve Worrall once again led, but a lack of fitness hampered his chances and saw both the King’s Lynn man and Rory Schlein coming through for first and second.
Scott Nicholls needed eyes in the back of his head to keep Dan Bewley at bay in heat eight, with the Rye House rider holding on for the win and seeing the home rider just leaving himself with too much to do to get passed. Both Jason Garrity and Danny King picked up their second race wins of the meeting to see them still in contention at the top.
Heat eleven saw Richie Worrall being excluded for his chain breaking on the starting gate, which then led to the son of the former three-time winner of this competition in Andy Smith’s son Jack Smith, taking a reserve ride. Sadly for him though, Jack lasted half a lap before being excluded for bringing down Rory Schlein on the back straight and then saw the Wolverhampton man taking the win in the rerun.
Not long after, the announcement of Steve Worrall being forced to withdraw came out and saw the St.Helens racer really struggling on his return with the effects of his leg injury still causing problems. Two wins on the bounce one after another for Rob Lambert saw him remaining unbeaten in his first four rides and qualifying straight through to the grand final with still a race to be ridden.
Craig Cook then kept his qualifying hopes alive in heat fourteen with a win, before the championship really started to heat up with a three-way battle involving Kyle Howarth, Richard Lawson and Chris Harris fighting for the lead. ‘Bomber’ Harris almost stole victory at the death from Howarth, after he blasting his way around the outside and was just short of the finishing line.
A fifth win in a row for Rob Lambert saw him finish on 15 points from his qualifying heats and was to be joined by Craig Cook who finished on 11 points and saw both riders avoiding the semifinal.
In heat twenty, Dan Bewley needed to win his final race if he was to claim a semifinal berth in the meeting, and it didn’t out well, as not for the first time in the meeting – it saw the Aces and Workington rider last out of the traps but soon powered his way into second behind Josh Auty and saw the two riders trading places before the Cumbrian racer held on to take the win and make it through.
The semifinal line-up saw a Belle Vue ”past and present’ theme to it, with seven times British champion in former Aces captain Scott Nicholls, two former Belle Vue Colts riders in Jason Garrity and Kyle Howarth and the current terraces favourite in Dan Bewley.
Garrity made a good start and led coming off turn two, but Nicholls came by him into first and led the race until Howarth stormed underneath and shoved his opponents wide off turn three to have all four close together. Nicholls regained the lead before coming under pressure from both Garrity and Bewley – to which both went either side of him on the back straight to pass the former Grand Prix man and book their place in the grand final.
Everything seemed to point to a Robert Lambert victory beforehand, so when the tapes went up it saw a shock start for Dan Bewley who hadn’t gated all night and was leading the maximum man off the opening turns. Lambert then passed him down the back straight to move in front before Bewley came up the inside to retake the lead. Craig Cook then got involved and came up the inside of Lambert too but that wasn’t for long, as the King’s Lynn rider blasted by both Cook and Bewley to take the lead and become the British Champion for 2018.
Victory for the the Great Britain rider sees his stock rise following his Under-21 title victory earlier last month and then was followed up with a silver medal as with GB in the Speedway Of Nations and now can add a British Final triumph to his 2018 season.
1. Richard Lawson (Somerset & Lakeside) – 1, 2, 1, 1, 1 = 6
2. Danny King (Leicester & Ipswich) – 3, 0, 3, 1, 1 = 8
3. Rory Schlein (Wolves & Ipswich) – 0, 2, 3, 3, 1 = 9
4. Dan Bewley (Belle Vue & Workington) – 2, 2, 0, 3, 3 = 10 2ND
5. Josh Auty (Scunthorpe) – 1, 1, 2, 1, 2 = 7
6. Lewis Kerr (King’s Lynn & Glasgow) – 0, 1, 2, 2, 0 = 5
7. Robert Lambert (King’s Lynn) – 3, 3, 3, 3, 3 = 15 MAXIMUM WINNER
8. Kyle Howarth (Wolves & Sheffield) – 2, 1, 2, 2, 3 = 10 (Q)
9. Ashley Morris (Wolves & Newcastle) – 1, 0, 1, 1, 0 = 3
10. Chris Harris (Rye House & Glasgow) – 0, 3, 2, 0, 2 = 7
11. Adam Ellis (Swindon & Lakeside) – 3, 0, 0, 0, 0 = 3
12. Scott Nicholls (Rye House & Peterborough) – 2, 3, 1, 2, 2 = 10 (Q)
13. Craig Cook (Belle Vue) – 1, 3, 1, 3, 3 = 11 (QF) 3RD
14. Richie Worrall (Poole & Glasgow) – R, 2, M/(JS – X), 0, 1 = 3
15. Steve Worrall (Belle Vue & Scunthorpe) – 2, 1, 0, (KB – 0, JS – 0) = 3 (Withdrawn)
16. Jason Garrity (Scunthorpe) – 3, 0, 3, 2, 2 = 10 4TH
17. Jack Smith (Sheffield & Belle Vue Colts) – X, 0
18. Kyle Bickley (Workington & Belle Vue Colts) – 0