Edinburgh Monarchs speedway bosses have selected Sam Masters and Max Fricke to lead their assault on the Premier League Pairs Championship at Somerset’s Oak Tree Arena on Friday, July 11.
Monarchs No.1 Craig Cook would normally have been an automatic pick, but the 27-year-old made a special request to ride in the British Grand Prix practice session in Cardiff which takes place at the same time.
Cook, who is the wildcard entrant for the Welsh showpiece 24 hours later, has been excused Pairs duty.
A Monarchs spokesman said: “All Monarchs supporters and the management of the club would agree that the correct place for Craig to be is in Cardiff.
“However, we still believe that Sam and Max are strong contenders for the crown.”
The Monarchs duo are in a qualifying group containing Plymouth, Sheffield, Berwick and Somerset. A top-two finish will guarantee their passage to the semi-final stage.
Masters is especially keen to do well at the track of his former team, who controversially released him in 2012.
“I’ve got a few things to prove,” he said. “I’m certainly looking forward to going back just to show them what they have been missing!”
And Fricke is currently in fine form. The young Aussie, who recently scored his first 15-point maximum for the Capital club, guested for Plymouth Devils at Glasgow Tigers on Sunday and picked up a paid 16-point haul, which earned Plymouth a point despite going down 46-44.
With Monarchs due at Glasgow this weekend, Fricke’s star turn augurs well as Monarchs could be going for a Premier League record-breaking 24th unbeaten match in a row if they defeat Redcar Bears on Thursday and Friday this week.