Speedway: Big match boost for Monarchs

Max Fricke
Max Fricke
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Edinburgh Monarchs have been awarded the first semi-final of the British speedway Championship which will take place at Armadale Stadium on Friday, April 19. It will be the biggest meeting staged at 
the West Lothian venue since the British Under-21 Final in 2000.

Because of this major event the Scottish Open Championship has been pushed back until August 2 and will once again be sponsored by David Harrison Motors. And Monarchs are expected to have two competitors in the semi-final, No. 1 Craig Cook and skipper Derek Sneddon. Cook, who finished fifth in last season’s British Final, will be strongly fancied to win the meeting irrespective of who else is in it.

The mere participation of Cook will guarantee a bumper attendance and it’s a huge coup for Monarchs to have been handed such an important fixture. Sheffield Tigers will host the second semi-final.

Meanwhile, Monarchs’ new teenage sensation Max Fricke is still celebrating after capturing the Australian Under-21 crown at the Kurri-Kurri raceway.

It’s a remarkable triumph for the 16-year-old novice who has less than a year’s experience under his belt riding 500cc 

He is the youngest champion in 25 years and had to do it the hard way. Coming from last to first in the Grand Final against three more vastly experienced rivals, Alex Davies, Justin Sedgmen and Taylor Poole.

Fricke said: “I never dreamed I would actually win, it’s turned out so perfect for me.

“I didn’t even make the gate, I was last out of the starts, but going into turns three and four of the second last lap I was third, and when I came out of the corner I was in front! I didn’t know where my rivals had gone, I thought they had crashed.”

Fricke added: “The track wasn’t too bad, the inside line was a bit slick and wasn’t really working for anybody all night. However it was working in the final which was good for me.”

Fricke took the time to pay tribute to the support in the pits from his Monarchs team-mate Sam Masters. “It was great to have Sam keep an eye on me, and now I can’t wait to get over to the UK.”