Pirates' tactics rob Witches of big win

IPSWICH'S hopes of recording a hefty win over the Pirates from Poole were scuppered by the tactical rider regulation.The visitors capitalised on riding for double points in heats 11 and 12 and reduced the Ipswich victory to eight points in this Elite League fixture at Foxhall Stadium last night.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH'S hopes of recording a hefty win over the Pirates from Poole were scuppered by the tactical rider regulation.

The visitors capitalised on riding for double points in heats 11 and 12 and reduced the Ipswich victory to eight points in this Elite League fixture at Foxhall Stadium last night.

Apart from a 5-1 to Poole in heat five the home team controlled proceedings until Bjarne Pedersen was given the black and white helmet colour in the 11th race.

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Starting from the favoured gate three that produced five of the last six winners, the Dane made an electric start to beat Mark Loram and give the Pirates a 7-2 advantage.

This cut the Ipswich lead that had been 16 points down to nine, and worse was to follow for Ipswich followers in the next race.

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This time it was the turn of Krzysztof Kasprzak to be named tactical rider with the visitors still nine points behind, and the Pole made an equally rapid departure from the tapes to secure another race victory for the visitors.

With Kasprzak's points doubled it was another 7-2 result for the Pirates and Ipswich's lead had been reduced dramatically down to four points with three races left.

They had to redo all their previous hard work, and full marks to the pairing of Loram and Kim Jansson for gaining a maximum heat advantage in race 13 to put Ipswich eight points ahead again.

The tactical rider rule has its critics, and in this case it certainly turned what was looking likely to be a run away victory into a close contest.

Thanks to Loram and Jansson Ipswich managed to win comfortably in the end, but their chances of collecting the aggregate bonus point in the return fixture in Dorset scheduled for August 30 will be up for grabs.

In the last two races Poole managed to draw both heats and they went away from Foxhall Heath satisfied with their night's work having ridden without two of their top riders.

Both Antonio Lindback and Greg Walasek were ill and likely sufferers of a busy schedule that top speedway riders have to endure these days.

The rider replacement facility for Lindback totalled six points, which was a similar score to what the Swede would probably have made while Arena-Essex's Steve Johnston came in for Walasek and managed just four points.

Witches' promoter John Louis criticised riders who possibly suffer from GP-itus before this meeting, and he was to hear from his No. 1 rider Piotr 'Pepe' Protasiewicz yesterday lunchtime that the Pole was unable to fly over to England.

Protasiewicz has a virus, although he is set to ride in tomorrow's Grand Prix qualifier in Sweden where the top three finishers will win places in the 2007 Grand Prix Series.

Rider replacement for Protasiewicz accrued a paid 11 points and this was because of the good all-round work by the Ipswich team.

This was apart from Daniel King who was perhaps suffering from a surfeit of meetings as he also doubles up with Mildenhall in the Premier League and they have been in the midst of a heavy schedule.

Loram top-scored yet again, continuing his fine run of form, while the rest of the team gave him good backing, once skipper Chris Louis had changed his machine after three disappointing rides.

Janssen finished with a flourish, being unbeaten in his final three outings and going home paid for 12 points while Robert Miskowiak could not be faulted as he won two heats and also scored double figures.

Young German Tobi Kroner, with his girlfriend watching, won the reserves race and then featured in a valuable 5-1 with Jansson in heat eight. He failed to score in his last two rides but he has quickly adapted to Elite League speedway and looks a promising prospect.

Poole are in the middle of a busy schedule of five matches in six days and their defeat at home by Reading on Wednesday was good for Ipswich as these teams compete, along with Coventry, to move up into the top four places and get themselves involved in the end-of-season play-off for the title.

Poole ride at Arena-Essex tonight and then Eastbourne tomorrow and Ipswich will be hoping that they suffer two defeats to keep the Witches in a reasonable position.

King suffered a rocker arm problem in his machine when in a 5-1 position with Kroner in heat two on the second lap before Louis was pushed wide on the opening bends of heat five and then slowed on the third circuit while at the back.

#Miskowiak made a rare pass, but it was an impressive one, flying through on the inside of Pedersen on the back straight to win heat six.

Kasprzak was allowed to change a tyre after his first outing because his original was out of shape, but when he shed a chain on the first corner of heat seven it left the Witches in a 4-2 situation to move four points ahead.

Tommy Allen, the young Poole No. 7, and partner Kasprzak were heading to a 3-3 in race nine when Allen went too wide on the last lap and demolished the second bend fence.

Loram and Jansson featured in a 5-1 in race 10 as gate three began to have a big advantage, but then came the tactical rides that put a whole new complexion on the result.

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