Edinburgh Monarchs skipper Sam Masters today spoke of his delight at being crowned Australian speedway champion for the first time at the weekend after finishing runner-up in the four-round event for the past two years.
Masters was trailing overall leader Justin Sedgmen by three points going into the deciding round at Kurri-Kurri in New South Wales but the 25-year-old turned in a dazzling display during the qualifying heats to overturn that deficit and shut the door on his former Monarchs team-mate, who rated Kurri-Kurri as one of his favourite circuits.
Sedgmen was still the only rider who could deny Masters but his failure to win the ‘B’ Final extinguished his hopes of glory despite trying everything he knew to pass race winner Nick Morris.
And it was just as well that Masters had the crown wrapped up by then because he made a complete mess of the ‘A’ Final and finished last in the race.
Not that Masters cared, he was already home and hosed and had three points to spare in the final standings, finishing with 58 points with Sedgmen second on 55.
Davey Watt, who won the opening round in Adelaide in great style and led the championship at the halfway mark, had to settle for third spot overall, ending his campaign with 50 points.
Masters said: “I’m so stoked to have finally won the Australian title after being runner-up for the last two years, I was getting sick of that.
“It’s been such a tough last ten days since the competition began and to come out on top at the end of it all at last is a day I’ll never forget.”
An Edinburgh Monarchs spokesman said: “Everybody here at the club sends our congratulations to Sam on his well deserved success. And nobody will begrudge him the title after being a bridesmaid for the last two years.”
Monarchs’ new signing Josh Pickering picked up two points at his home track of Kurri-Kurri and finished 14th overall. But he wasn’t disgraced and the 2017 championship boasted one of the toughest and competitive fields in a long time.