Rebels off to a flying start against Redcar
PUBLISHED: 10:56 22 May 2006 | UPDATED: 09:19 24 May 2010
ANOTHER night of top quality racing at the Oak Tree Arena saw Somerset get back to winning ways against a Redcar side that relied too heavily on Gary Havelock and Tomas Suchanek who scored all bar 11 of the Bears points
ANOTHER night of top quality racing at the Oak Tree Arena saw Somerset get back to winning ways against a Redcar side that relied too heavily on Gary Havelock and Tomas Suchanek who scored all bar 11 of the Bears points. The Rebels started like the proverbial train, recording four maximum heat advantages in the first five heats, the pick of these being Heat 2, where Walker and Hargreaves raced wheel to wheel for two laps before Walker gained the advantage, only then for Ben Barker to sweep past Hargreaves on the last bend to follow his team mate across the line.Redcar deployed the tactical ride as early as Heat 6, Havelock using it to good effect in recording the Bear's first heat victory, a feat repeated by Suchanek two races later to bring the visitors to within 10 points. The Rebels, however, powered away again over the next five heats to stretch their advantage to 24 points, but despite their dominance, there was no lack of action, most notably in Heats 11 and 12, when, in the former, Cunningham made a superb outside pass on Havelock to inflict the ex-world champion's second defeat of the night.Not to be out-done, Rebel number seven, Ben Barker, made classic cut back pass on Suchanek in the following race to complete a well deserved paid maximum, his first in the Premier League.Havelock gained revenge for his first heat defeat by Zetterstrom in Heat 13, there being never more than a couple of bike lengths between the two stars over the four laps.If by then the fans thought they had seen it all in this match, they were in for a further treat as Redcar brought Tresarrieu in as a tactical substitute in Heat 14, the Frenchman starting off 15 metres. Although his partner Suchanek stormed into the lead, the Somerset duo of Fry and Walker looked comfortable enough, packing in for the minor places, but they did not allow for the determination of the Redcar Number 2 as he gradually reeled in his opponents, only to sweep pass them on the final bend for second place behind his partner.If ever there was a case of using the tactical rides to good advantage, Redcar showed it with half their points coming from just three heats, those where the double points were on offer. Although Havelock got the better of Zetterstrom again in the nominated race, Somerset had far greater strength in depth than their visitors, every Rebel being paid for at least one heat victory, whereas Redcar did not have the back-up to support their top two, the remaining four riders scoring just 11 points between them.Rebel injury victim, Jamie Smith, is making good progress since breaking his leg in an horrific accident at King's Lynn in March. "Personally, I feel good in myself, but I will not know how the break itself is healing until I return to the hospital on the 18th," explained Jamie from his Peterborough home, "Though the plaster was taken off just a week after my operation, I was not allowed to put any pressure on the leg itself, but have been able to get around with the use of crutches."Stephan Katt, qualified through from last Sunday's European championship qualifier held in Blijham, Holland. In a meeting that was won by Pole Damian Balinski, Katt tied for the final qualifying place with fellow German, Tobias Kroner and Italian Guglielmo Franchetti, all three riders scoring eight points, but the 26-year-old Rebel came good to win the run-off to progress through to the next round.