Edinburgh Monarchs travel to Plymouth Devils on Premier League speedway duty tonight looking to make club history by winning their 11th match on the bounce since the season roared off in March.
Australian star Sam Masters has his own reason to help Monarchs reach this milestone after admitting his five-point total in the capital side’s 48-43 victory at Scunthorpe Scorpions on Monday was a below-par performance by him.
But in mitigation the straight-talking rider said: “I hate the Scunthorpe track with a passion, it’s my most hated circuit in the world. I wasn’t happy with just scoring five points, but I suppose given my dislike of Scunthorpe, it wasn’t that bad for me.
“But all the other boys did their bit and it was an awesome result for us and especially for Cookie (Craig Cook) who scored a brilliant 15-point maximum and made it look so easy, which he is doing everywhere.”
Yet Monarchs were given a fright after squandering an early ten-point lead and Masters insists the fact that nobody allowed his head to go down during Scunthorpe’s mini fightback, illustrates precisely the strong backbone of this current squad.
Said Masters: “We have been hitting every team hard straight away this season. And I think that is why we have won all of our matches so far. We are doing so well over the first five or six heats.”
Masters is not in the least pedantic about statistics and maintains Monarchs’ priority is to defeat Plymouth first before etching their names into the record books. “It will be good to get the win and I think we have a decent chance of doing it,” he said
“I like the Plymouth circuit, it’s quite small and I have always done pretty well down there. I have enjoyed some pretty good meetings, but there is not much passing going on, so hopefully I will have my gating boots well laced up and can make a few good starts.”
Plymouth co-boss Ashley Taylor, whose team lost their opening league match at Scunthorpe, says: “It is important we make a good start to our home programme, but it will not be easy. You need only look at Edinburgh’s League Cup qualifying run to see what a strong side they have. They haven’t lost yet and their win at Scunthorpe was an excellent result. We will need to be at our best to beat them.”
Monarchs will be using the rider replacement facility for Fricke, who is competing in a World Under-21 qualifying round at Leicester Stadium where he hopes to secure one of four places at stake for the three rounds of the championship final later in the year.