It’s a good night for Morten Risager at his testimonial meeting at Foxhall as the new speedway season revs into action at Ipswich. But Rory Schlein take the honours, Risager is second, Scott Nicholls third

A good night for Morten Risager

A good night for Morten Risager - Credit: Picture: Stephen Waller

The speedway season at Foxhall Heath got off to a fine start with a thoroughly enjoyable testimonial meeting for Witches star Morten Risager.

And although the popular Dane didn’t win his own testimonial meeting, a good-sized crowd enjoyed the spectacle of 23 competitive races, as well as a ‘blast from the past’ of match races involving former Danish star Brian Andersen, current Witches director of speedway Chris Louis and former Witch Jeremy Doncaster.

At the end of the night, it was King’s Lynn’s Rory Schlein who took the honours in the final, with Risager coming second and former Witches favourite Scott Nicholls third.

But for Witches fans there was a chance to see their new arrivals for 2014, Gino Manzares and Richie Worrall, both showing up well, while Rohan Tungate raced through the heats to a 15-point maximum, before coming fourth in the final.

An enjoyable night then, with the Witches set to take to the track on Thursday for their first competitive meeting of the season against Rye House Rockets.

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But Saturday night was all about Risager, the 26-year-old Witches man who started his career as a fledgling 16-year-old with Coventry back in 2004.

He will be pleased the weather stayed kind and the crowd went home thoroughly entertained ¬– a good night for a rider who has put British speedway first, second and third on his calendar list.

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In the heats and before the semi-finals Nicolai Klindt flew to a fast time in heat one and Witches new-boy Manzares passed Taylor Poole on lap two, looking comfortable on his way to a third place in his opening ride.

Risager rode a great outside line to pass the fast-starting Nicholls in heat four, while Klindt and Nicholls had a real ding-dong tussle in heat six, as the Dane passed Nicholls with the seven-times British champion trying everything to re-pass, but without success.

World No.3 Niels-Kristian Iversen looked impressive as he sped to victory in heat eight and Tungate made it three wins out of three with another fast start in heat 11.

The racing was coming thick and fast and the crowd were lapping it up, although there were hearts in mouths at the end of heat 13 as Witches skipper Ritchie Hawkins and former Witch Poole crashed heavily as the pair went over the finish line together.

New Witches No.1 Worrall won his first-ever race as an Ipswich rider in an exciting heat 15, with Leigh Lanham pushing him all the way.

Iversen suffered engine failure as his bike left the tapes in heat 16 and Tungate made it a full five-ride maximum after victory in heat 18.

Heat 19 was a corker with early leader Worrall being gobbled up, first by Danny King, then Risager with little being asked or given as the fierce racing continued.

Lanham finished with an impressive win over Nicholls, Iversen and Bjerre.

The semi-finals saw Tungate and Risager finish first and second in the first semi, before Klindt blew his chance by going through the tapes in semi-final two, Nicholls and Schlein progressing.

The final saw Schlein, off gate four make a great first and second turn, while the unbeaten Tungate didn’t get away well.

Risager passed both Tungate and on the final bend Nicholls.

A fine finale to an enjoyable opener to the speedway season at Foxhall.

Heat details

1 Klindt, Hawkins, Iversen, Worrall 58.8

2 Schlein, Lanham, Manzares, Poole (f) 60.2

3 Tungate, King, Kroner, Bjerre 60.6

4 Risager, Nicholls, Hansen, Heeps 59.9

5 Tungate, Risager, Hawkins, Lanham 59.9

6 Klindt, Nicholls, Schlein, Kroner 59.0

7 Bjerre, Worrall, Poole, Heeps 59.7

8 Iversen, King, Manzares, Hansen 59.0

9 Schlein, Hansen, Hawkins, Bjerre 59.7

10 King, Lanham, Klindt, Heeps 60.4

11 Tungate, Worrall, Manzares, Nicholls 59.5

12 Risager, Iversen, Poole, Kroner 59.9

13 King, Nicholls, Hawkins, Poole 60.1

14 Bjerre, Klindt, Risager, Manzares 60.0

15 Worrall, Lanham, Kroner, Hansen 61.3

16 Tungate, Schlein, Heeps, Iversen (ef) 59.8

17 Hawkins, Manzares, Heeps, Kroner 59.1

18 Tungate, Klindt, Heeps, Campos 59.9

19 King, Risager, Schlein, Worrall 60.9

20 Lanham, Nicholls, Iversen, Bjerre 60.3

Individual scorers from heats: R Tungate 15, D King 13, N Klindt 11, M Risager 11, R Schlein 10, L Lanham 9, R Hawkins 8, S Nicholls 8, R Worrall 7, N Kristian-Iversen 7, K Bjerre 6, G Manzares 5, K Hansen 4, C Heeps 2, T Kroner 2, T Poole 2. Res. S Campos 0.

Semi-final one: Tungate, Risager, Lanham, Hawkins 60.2

Semi-final two: Nicholls, Schlein, King, Klindt (15m) 60.0

FINAL: Schlein, Risager, Nicholls, Tungate 60.7

Special challenge matches

1 C Louis, 2 B Andersen, 3 J Doncaster 61.7

2 B Andersen, 2 C Louis, 3 J Doncaster 61.2

3 C Louis beat B Andersen 60.5

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