Airfence probably saved Bjerre’s life – Simmons

IPSWICH Witches teenage star, Lasse Bjerre, has the Leicester speedway airfence to thank for possibly saving his life – so says Witches team boss Pete Simmons.

IPSWICH Witches teenage star, Lasse Bjerre, has the Leicester speedway airfence to thank for possibly saving his life – so says Witches team boss Pete Simmons.

Bjerre is today recovering at home with no more than severe bruising, after a sickening final heat accident curtailed the Suffolk side’s meeting with the Lions on Saturday.

With the scores level, Bjerre and Leicester’s Kauko Nieminen got tangled up going into the first turn, with both riders hurtling towards the air fence as throttles stuck open.

The impact was horrendous, with Bjerre’s bike a write-off, the front wheel forced back towards the engine, and the fear was Bjerre had broken his thigh, although initially, and with adrenalin pumping, the young Dane got to his feet.

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However, he was taken to Leicester hospital, a situation that caused the abandonment of the meeting with no paramedic cover available, where x-rays revealed no break, although he could be out for a week or two.

“It was one of those crashes you don’t want to run over and see what the result of it is,” Simmons said.

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“I’m convinced the air fence saved Lasse’s life. Both he and Nieminen were flat out as they headed towards it.

“I think Lasse being so small helped, his body absorbed the impact, he’s not all arms and legs. So we ended up with just a draw and two points, but I’d rather have that than four points and Lasse out for the season.”

Indeed, the Witches will have targeted the full four points from this fixture. But with captain Kevin Doolan netting just three points from the No.1 slot, it was always going to be difficult.

In the end the Witches were indebetted to reserve Chris Mills, Taylor Poole and Bjerre for some sterling efforts throughout the night.

“Kevin is going through a bad run right now, where everything he tries seems to go wrong,” Simmons added.

“He gets himself stuck in traffic, he’s behind Taylor (Poole) at times and helps him along. Of course we know he should be scoring more and he looked fast enough on Saturday. But blowing his best engine in his third ride didn’t help.”

Poole got the visitors off to the perfect start with a fine win from gate two and a new Leicester track record to boot, with Doolan picking up third place.

Hart made a good start in the reserves race to record a solid win, however it was to be the last points he scored all night, with partner Mills falling on turn two.

Morten Risager and Jan Graversen had a fine battle during heat three, with the Ipswich man, who is still easing himself in after his finger injury, passing the Lions man for victory. The ‘Sackers’ Witches had a two-point lead and it was extended to four when Bjerre won his first race of the night, with Mills gaining third, after Ashley Morris had been excluded for bringing down Mills in the first staging of the heat.

Wins for Nieminen and Henning Bager for the Lions kept the scores close, as the Witches just couldn’t pull away enough to start to put a grip on the meeting.

Engine problems for both Graversen in heat 10, when he had gated on a 5-1 maximum with Nieminen and Doolan in heat 11, evened things out, but it was still nip and tuck as the meeting came down to the wire.

Ilya Bondarenko had endured a difficult evening, but it was his springing into action that ultimately saved his side a point.

First he beat Poole in heat 12, when all the smart money was on the young Ipswich Aussie, then he won what proved to be the final heat of the night - heat 14 - to keep level the scores up.

Bjerre had won heat 13 in between, but with Doolan at the back, still the Witches couldn’t put space significant space between themselves and their hosts.

The scene was set for a dramatic finale, but in the end it was Nieminen and Bjerre’s accident that ended the night and the scores level.

BJERRE will be OUT of Thursday night’s meeting with Leicester at Foxhall, with rider replacement likely to be used in his absence. Bjerre should be back for the July 21 KO Cup clash with Newport.

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