Robins up and running
ROBINS boss Alun Rossiter got the answers he wanted from certain members of his side during last night’s comfortable 57-36 victory over an under-power Belle Vue Aces side.
After losses to Lakeside and Coventry in their opening two league fixtures, in which a number of riders failed to hit their targets, the Robins clicked last night as every member of the side, aside from debutant Dan Greenwood, managed heat wins in a meeting which truly gets Alun Rossiter’s men off and running in 2014.
Simon Gustafsson and Nick Morris led the way with 11+2 and were backed up well by the rest of the top five, while Steve Worrall fired in 9+1 from reserve despite failing to beat twin brother Richie in either of their two meetings.
The Aces were hit hard by poor nights from star duo Matej Zagar (4) and Craig Cook (3+1) due to mechanical problems, with only the older Worrall and former Robins number one Scott Nicholls offering any resistance with 10 and nine respectively.
Rossiter was pleased with his side’s display in general, and was especially happy to see riders other than top two Troy Batchelor and Peter Kildemand weighing in with some big points on a night when injured rider Darryl Ritchings was remembered by the home crowd with a collection prior to the start of the meeting.
“It was much better from the boys and we dug in deep and put in a solid performance all the way down through the team,” he said. “I was pleased with all aspects of the team really and it was good to see every rider perform well.
“We’ve always said if we give this team some confidence we will grow and that’s what happened tonight.
“Dan (Greenwood) struggled with the track a little but he was getting there in the end after seeing the track for the first time tonight. We did some work with him at the end and gave him some tips which really should help.
“I asked for a bit more from Nicolai and I got it tonight and plenty of riders showed some good improvement during the meeting. There’s still more to come though from all of them and we don’t want them to stop here.”
The Robins got off to the perfect start as Kildemand jumped out the gate and was joined in the first corner by Klindt who held off Zagar for what would eventually result in a home maximum, with Zagar checking his machine throughout.
Steve Worrall showed exactly why he has so many people excited at the start of this season with an electric start followed by a solid ride to win the first reserves heat, but Greenwood didn’t find things so easy on his first Blunsdon outing as he slipped off before remounting and finishing the race.
Cook, who along with Zagar only had one bike in the pits, suffered mechanical problems which allowed both Morris and Batchelor through for a maximum which put the hosts firmly in control of the contest, before Gustafsson provided the fourth home winner on the trot as he held off Michael Palm Toft to claim the points in a shared heat.
Kildemand continued his stunning start to the meeting with an easy victory in his second outing, with all the action coming in the battle for second place as Morris pushed Nicholls all the way before just missing out on the run to the line.
Cook was forced off 15 metres after missing the original staging of heat six and couldn’t make an impact in the restaging, while there was heartbreak for Robins captain Batchelor who did all the hard work to beat Zagar before suffering mechanical issues of his own which saw him finish third.
Aces boss Jason Attwood threw in his first tactical ride in for heat seven and saw it pay dividends as Richie Worrall beat Klindt and his brother Steve into second and third, before Nicholls took the Aces third heat victory on the trot with a success over Batchelor.
Worrall made a lightning jump off the outside to come over the rest of the field and pick up his second victory of the night in heat nine, with the Robins picking up a surprise point in the final corner after Greenwood, who was trailing by a distance, passed Sarjeant after the young reserve slipped.
The Aces gated on a 5-1 with Kildemand chasing Cook hard in second and, as is so often the way with the Robins number one, he chased that little bit too hard and found himself under the air fence on the entrance to turn three. The Dane walked away from the crash after the race was awarded, but the Aces were more than back in the contest with five heats to go.
All four riders made the first corner of heat 11 together, with Morris the one to hit the deck, and after the quartet were all invited back it was the young Aussie who made it there first to be joined by Batchelor for the pairing’s second 5-1 of the evening as Zagar retired.
Klindt made his best start of the season to earn his first victory of the campaign over Palm Toft in heat 12, before the two minute warning got the better of the Aces again Zagar failed to appear at the tapes. Reserve Sarjeant replaced him and, after initially doing well to hold off Cook, Morris backed up Kildemand for a 5-1 which win secured the victory.
All the points were secured after Gustafsson romped to victory in the penultimate heat of the night, with Richie winning the second battle of the Worrall brothers, before Morris and Gustafsson punctuated the victory with a 5-1 in the last.