Edinburgh Monarchs are aiming to reclaim the Premier League speedway Pairs Championship at Somerset’s Oaktree Arena tonight following a nightmare defence of their title last season.
After skipper Sam Masters and Max Fricke swept to glory two years ago, Masters and new partner Kevin Wolbert were hot favourites to repeat that success in 2015. But when two of Wolbert’s engines went missing prior to the event their chances hit the skids.
Wolbert was forced to ride Masters’ second bike but did not pick up a point until his last ride which proved too little too late.
Wolbert should have been alongside Masters again this evening but was injured in a German league match last weekend. Wolbert was not seriously hurt in the meeting which was abandoned early due to a high level of incidents. He said: “I did want to ride in the Pairs if only to improve my poor record in the event. But it is important that I’m fit for Edinburgh’s league and cup matches next week.”
Californian ace Ryan Fisher will now partner Masters and Wolbert added: “I think Sam and Ryan will do a good job down at Somerset especially as Ryan is starting to find some form right now.”
Fisher is certainly motoring at the moment after finding double-figure returns hard to come by of late. He was back to his top scoring best in the SkySports televised derby clash against Glasgow Tigers at Ashfield last week.
Fisher who was pumped up for the clash which Monarchs lost 51-39, stormed to a brilliant 14 points and was beaten just once by Tigers Argentinian reserve Fernando Garcia.
And two days later at Armadale Fisher was on the money once more with 11 points against Berwick Bandits. Fisher revealed: “I haven’t been that happy lately with how my engines have been doing and it’s been costing me points which hasn’t been great for myself or the team.
“But now they are responding a whole lot better and I believe I now have the machinery to do a good job down at Somerset.”
Monarchs team manager Alex Harkess said: “Kevin will be fine for next week his withdrawal is only a precaution. He was having to come back to the UK just for the Pairs and whilst he was happy to do that, he’s not that unhappy now that he’s not!
“But Ryan is an excellent replacement because he is a man very much in form. He’s happy with his engines and if mechanically he’s fine he’ll do all right for us, that’s the bottom line.”
Masters signed for Swedish top-tier (Elitserien) team Lejonen Lions on Tuesday.
Group A: Glasgow, Workington, Somerset, Newcastle, Peterborough.
Group B: Sheffield, Ipswich (holders), Edinburgh, Rye House, Plymouth.