Claus Vissing is hoping his brand new motor can help him power Edinburgh Monarchs into this season’s Premier League Knockout Cup final against Rye House Rockets.
To get there, Monarchs must win their semi-final replay against Somerset Rebels, beginning with tonight’s first leg at the Oak Tree Arena. Vissing, a former Somerset rider, is under some pressure to pull out all the stops at his old track to give the Capital speedway outfit a fighting chance in Friday’s home leg at Armadale.
The Dane, who has toiled to put solid points on the board recently, says he is upbeat about recapturing his form after trying out his engine during Derek Sneddon’s Testimonial meeting last Friday. He said: “It gave me the opportunity to test out a few things and it all seemed to work out fine for me. I got out of the starts a lot quicker, which is always a good thing, and I’m quite confident now about my form as we head into the play-offs.”
Somerset are probably the best team in the country at the moment and their top three of Jason Doyle, Josh Grajczonek, and Nick Morris, provides them with strong building blocks at the top end which eases the pressure to a degree on the rest of their side. Vissing knows a stiff test awaits Monarchs, but points out: “We have already won at Somerset this year and we only went down by eight points in the original semi final. We need to go down there in a positive mood and see if we can pull out another win. Providing we are all on our top game we should be able to score enough points to give us the opportunity to go through on aggregate on Friday. We know Somerset so well now and both legs look too close to call.”
No. 1 Craig Cook, who continues to be a shining light for Monarchs, said: “This is a huge meeting. We need to show that we are capable of producing the goods now to the same degree we were doing in the middle of the season. But Somerset are a top side, and so are we on our day, if all the guys ride to their capabilities, we have a good chance of getting to the final.”
Meanwhile, Monarchs have been paired against Ipswich Witches and Workington Comets in the Premier League play-offs, with their first match at Workington on Saturday.
It will form a double-header with Monday’s postponed league fixture going ahead after the play-off clash. Workington visit Armadale for the return on Friday, September 27, with Monarchs tackling Ipswich on Thursday, October 3 before hosting the Witches 24 hours later.