Monarchs: Clegg holds no grudges after Riss sent him flying

Losing control: Mark Riss, red cap, looks on after colliding with the stricken Max Clegg. Picture: Ron MacNeillLosing control: Mark Riss, red cap, looks on after colliding with the stricken Max Clegg. Picture: Ron MacNeill
Losing control: Mark Riss, red cap, looks on after colliding with the stricken Max Clegg. Picture: Ron MacNeill
Edinburgh Monarchs' senior reserve star Max Clegg today said he doesn't blame team-mate Mark Riss for bringing him down heavily against Redcar Bears on Friday despite the fact it ruled the Englishman out of the second match against Plymouth Devils in the double-header event at Armadale.

Clegg admits he had a lucky escape when Riss cut across him on the first bend in the penultimate heat which sent both riders sprawling across the track but says he should be fit to face Glasgow Tigers in Friday’s Premier League derby at the Lothian Arena.

Clegg said: “Mark just T-boned me and sent me flying off my bike.

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“It wasn’t intentional and he came across afterwards to say sorry because it was just a racing accident.

“I certainly don’t blame him – these things happen in speedway. Luckily, I escaped with just bruising but I didn’t feel good the following day, I was a bit second hand.

“Unfortunately, I bent a few things on my bike and smashed my racing helmet but it could have been a lot worse.”

Clegg had racked up 14 points, his best-ever Premier League score, before the pile-up, and reflected: “It wasn’t ideal given that I was very happy with how I had ridden before the crash and I was feeling pretty good. And, of course, I couldn’t ride against Plymouth which was very unfortunate.”

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Clegg has already put the incident behind him and is now focusing on continuing his run of fine form as Monarchs close in on the end-of-season play-offs.

He has also been shining for Wolverhampton in the Elite League, picking up a total of 15 points in their live Sky Sports double header against King’s Lynn and Swindon last week.

He said: “I’m pleased with how things are going and I’ve had a few decent meetings lately. It’s always nice to go up to Edinburgh and score good points for them and it was great that we got the two wins on Friday to keep us on course for the play-offs.”

And, despite his unlucky mishap, Clegg singled out Riss for praise, saying: “Mark was really on it on Friday. He was determined and looked very comfortable over both meetings.

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“It’s a smart move by Edinburgh to pair Mark with his brother Erik. They ride together in Germany all the time and know each other so well and I think it’s going to be to our advantage over the final weeks of the season.”

• Monarchs skipper Sam Masters failed in his bid to win a place in next year’s Grand Prix championship series.

The Aussie had travelled to Sweden on Saturday for the Grand Prix Challenge event in Vetlanda in good heart hoping to claim a top-three finish to earn his spot in 2017.

But Masters only scored five points from his five outings and finished out of contention in 11th position.

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Masters was philosophical beforehand admitting he was up against a quality field but vowed to try and qualify next year if he wasn’t successful.

Masters got off to the perfect start by winning his opening ride in heat one but could only collect two more points, both third places, from his remaining rides and that ended his qualifying aspirations.

And while Monarchs supporters will feel disappointment for Masters there is now a slim chance that he could remain at Armadale next season.

Had Masters claimed a podium position he would almost certainly have quit the Premier League to join the Elite League on a full-time basis. However, rumours suggest a merger between the two divisions, with a north and south split, is on the agenda at the Promoters’ conference in a few weeks, so Masters’ time as a Monarch may not yet be up.

Masters’ fellow Australian and former Monarch Max Fricke also didn’t make it through finishing with six points.

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