Kevin WOLBERT hasn’t always lived up to his No 1 status for Edinburgh Monarchs this season, but no one could accuse the German star of falling down on the job at Redcar Bears last night.
Wolbert was in sparkling form, but even his 16-point total couldn’t prevent the capital speedway outfit from going down to a heavy 54-39 Premier League defeat against the Teesiders.
The Bears were pretty much in control of this match from the off and Monarchs found it a bit of a struggle to compile a reasonable level of heat advantages as their hosts stormed into a rapid 32-16 lead.
This prompted Monarchs to give Wolbert a tactical outing in heat 11 and he didn’t disappoint as he doubled his points on his way to defeating Bears top scorer Aaron Summers, and Adam Roynon.
Wolbert won three races in total, including the heat 15 finale against Ty Proctor and Robert Branford, but even in the two races he didn’t win he came from the back to snatch second place on both occasions.
“I’m on an engine I crashed with last season,” said Wolbert, “but it seems to be going pretty well for me just now. I’m quite happy with the way I’m riding at the moment.”
Finnish ace Kalle Katajisto, who has endured some harsh stick of late, scored six points but was deserving of more as he was involved in the thick of the action and his meritorious second place behind Wolbert in the 11th race allowed Monarchs to record a big 7-2 advantage.
Katajisto won his opening ride against Bears veteran ace Gary Havelock, who didn’t make life easy for his Monarchs rival – giving him a hefty nudge before the chequered flag came into view.
And Havelock was also over physical against Monarchs reserve Kyle Howarth in the penultimate race. The Monarchs youngster was very unhappy at Havelock’s behaviour and had words with the former England international after the race.
Andrew Tully weighed in with nine points, which included a couple of wins, but he was left at the tapes in the last heat and scored nothing.
However, Craig Cook had another meeting he’ll want to quickly forget about. The Cumbrian racer managed just four points and failed to win a race – and he’ll be as disappointed as anybody over his display.
Monarchs recruited Dudley Heathens’ rider Tom Perry to replace the injured Byron Bekker, but Perry toiled and didn’t score.
Redcar: Summers 13, Proctor 12, Branford 10, Roynon 7, Havelock 6, Juul 6.
Monarchs: Wolbert 16, Tully 9, Katajisto 6, Howarth 4, Cook 4, Perry 0.