Jesper back with a bang
JESPER B Jensen made a commanding return to the Ipswich speedway scene as the Evening Star Witches stretched their winning home run to six matches.The 29-year-old top scored with a paid 13-point return and quickly re-bonded with home fans at Foxhall Stadium last night.
By Elvin King
JESPER B Jensen made a commanding return to the Ipswich speedway scene as the Evening Star Witches stretched their winning home run to six matches.
The 29-year-old top scored with a paid 13-point return and quickly re-bonded with home fans at Foxhall Stadium last night. His performance bodes well for a successful time with the Witches as replacement for the injured Mark Loram.
In 2004 Jensen enjoyed a high-scoring campaign with Ipswich - and it is obvious from his manner that he is pleased to be back.
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On the longest day of the year Ipswich looked like making short work of Lakeside Hammers - until the visitors threw in a shock 8-1 in heat 11.
Lakeside only managed one other heat advantages on a fast track that did not provide too many passes - yet they were still very much in the contest until the second from last race.
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With Lakeside set to sign Grand Prix rider Andreas Jonsson next week, Ipswich were strong enough to take advantage of a side that will be considerably strengthen when the Swede arrives.
Skipper Chris Louis is the one remaining Brit in the Ipswich side, but fans will not mind that as long as their heroes continue their good home form - and move up the table.
Jensen's first race back for the Witches saw the Dane fly from the outside gate in fine style to take the chequered flag by some distance from Adam Shields; a rider who has guested in place of Loram four times at Foxhall this season.
Such was Jensen's speed that he clocked the fastest time of the season at the Suffolk track. The home side continued their good start when Tobi Kroner held off Lubos Tomicek on the first bend to take the chequered flag. Marcin Rempala kept ahead of visiting captain Paul Hurry to take third place. The Witches used the rider replacement facility to replace Zibi Suchecki, who suffered slight concussion in a Polish Championship meeting on Wednesday. This accrued seven points.
Hammers' top average rider Krzysztof Kasprzak was missing for the visitors after suffering a fall in the same Polish meeting - and his place was taken by Eastbourne's Davey Watt.
Rempala took Suchecki's ride in race three, but it was Watt who claimed three points with a lightning start - with Louis chasing but failing to seriously threaten.
Robert Miskowiak kept up his good work from the Witches last meeting a fortnight ago - when he scorched to a 15-point maximum - by making the best start to win heat four and maintain Ipswich's four point lead. The third successive drawn race followed with Shields having the speed to go round the outside of Louis as the riders came out of the second bend.
Kim Jansson looked like becoming the fourth rider in six races to take the chequered flag from the outside gate. But after a magnificent three and a half laps he had one of the lapses Ipswich fans hoped he had overcome.
He spun round and off and a 5-1 position for Ipswich turned into another 3-3 with Jensen showing he has lost none of his Foxhall track knowledge with a superb third and fourth bend to pass Kylmakorpi.
There was another pass in the next race, when Leigh Lanham went beyond a hesitant Marcin Rempala down the back straight on the final circuit to grab third place. For the second race running Ipswich had let valuable points slip out of their grasp. But they were in more determined mood in heat eight, when Jansson and Kroner made the first bend in the lead against Tomicek and an out-of-sorts Henning Bager. They held their positions with some comfort to put the home team into a handy eight point lead at the interval. Louis and Miskowiak banged in another 5-1 in race nine as the Hammers appeared to be wilting on a warm night on the heath, but guest Watt made the most of a smart start to win heat nine and diminish Ipswich hopes of a strong finish to grab an unlikely aggregate bonus point.
Shields rode as a tactical rider in the next heat - his score counting double as long as he beat an opponent. And Lakeside claimed their first heat advantage of the night, and a bumper one it was too with Shields winning well and Tomicek - replacing Bager - holding off Miskowiak for second place.
The 8-1 put the visitors back in the meeting at a stroke, and gained more ground in the following race when Watt shot from the tapes, and Tomicek forced his way beyond Kroner on the fourth turn.