Somerset’s Schlein crowned British champion
PUBLISHED: 08:54 29 September 2020 | UPDATED: 08:54 29 September 2020
Somerset Rebels captain Rory Schlein was crowned the 2020 British champion on Monday.
In heavy conditions on a track made wet by rain in the last 90 minutes before the tapes went up on the behind closed doors meeting, Schlein topped the scorechart after the 20 programmed heats with 12 points.
Two race wins and three second places saw him outpoint former Rebels Richard Lawson and Richie Worrall, as well as fellow Australian Jason Crump, to be seeded firectly into the final.
Crump negotiated the semi-final, but Worrall lost control on the final turn to allow brother Steve to take the last spot.
Schlein then did all the hard work from the gate to edge out Lawson in the grand final, as Crump took the third spot on the podium, and said: “This is a feather in my cap. I never won the Aussie Champs but I can go home now and they can never take my name off the trophy.
“It was an interesting first corner in the final. Me and Rich were elbow to elbow and I just knew I had to get into the dirt line first.
“I must give a big shout out to my engine tuner ‘Johnsy’ (Peter Johns) as the bike was pulling well. I can’t say any of us really enjoyed the conditions but it has just been such a frustrating season that we all wanted to ride.”
Schlein’s scheduled 2020 teammates Ben Barker and Josh Bates scored eight and two points respectively, putting in some brave efforts, but Bates was plagued by two opening retirements.
Due to the cancellation of the domestic season, Schlein has shelved plans to retire from UK racing and is all set to be back in Somerset’s colours in 2021 when he will start as the first non-British rider to be British champion since Ivan Mauger won his fourth such crown in 1972.
Result: 1 R Schlein 12+3, 2 R Lawson 11+2, 3 J Crump 11+3+1, 4 S Worrall 10+2+0.
Others: C Harris 10+1; R Worrall 11; D Kemp 8; D King 8; B Barker 8; L Kerr 7; P Starke 7; J Auty 5; T Brennan 5; D Thompson 3; J Bates 2; J Thompson 2; B Woodhull 0.
Heat 1: Kerr, King, Kemp, Woodhull, Harris (exc 2 mins)
Heat 2: R Worrall, Auty, S Worrall, Bates (ret).
Heat 3: Lawson, Crump, Brennan, J Thompson.
Heat 4: Starke, Schlein, Barker, D Thompson.
Heat 5: Crump, Barker, S Worrall, Kerr.
Heat 6: Kemp, D Thompson, J Thompson, Auty (ret).
Heat 7: Lawson, King, R Worrall, Starke.
Heat 8: Schlein, Harris, Brennan, Bates (ret).
Heat 9: Lawson, Schlein, Auty, Kerr.
Heat 10: S Worrall, Starke, Kemp, Brennan.
Heat 11: Crump, Bates, D Thompson, King.
Heat 12: R Worrall, Harris, Barker, J Thompson.
Heat 13: R Worrall, Brennan, Kerr, D Thompson.
Heat 14: Kemp, Barker, Lawson, Bates.
Heat 15: S Worrall, Schlein, King, J Thompson.
Heat 16: Harris, Auty, Crump, Starke.
Heat 17: Kerr, Starke, J Thompson, Bates.
Heat 18: Schlein, Crump, R Worrall, Kemp.
Heat 19: King, Barker, Brennan, Auty.
Heat 20: Harris, S Worrall, Lawson, D Thompson.
Semi-final: Crump, S Worrall, Harris, R Worrall (fell).
Final: Schlein, Lawson, Crump, S Worrall.
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