Saturday October 10, 2015
Sam Masters and Rob Branford finished top of the deck in the Pair of Aces event that closed out the 2015 season at Rye House on Saturday night.

The duo’s 20 points left them a decisive 3 clear of meeting runners-up Luke Bowen and Kyle Hughes, with Danny King and Luke Priest claiming third spot on 16.

For Masters, the Aces provided a second pairs success at the Hertfordshire venue after his 2014 victory alongside Justin Sedgmen in Luke Bowen’s Testimonial meeting, and he has also won the Premier League Pairs title with Edinburgh. He said, “I always enjoy riding in a pairs event, it’s good fun and it was all good racing.”

Masters has a huge date coming up later this month, when he rides in the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, of which he said, “I’ve got a few pretty important meetings (in the Premier League Play-Off Final) before I do that, but it’s hard to keep it out of the back of your head. It’s everyone’s dream to ride in a GP, and hopefully I can do myself proud.”

For partner Branford, it was a great way to round off his season leading the Restart Raiders. “It was awesome. It’s always fun to ride at Rye House, and I was lucky to have Sam with me tonight to guide me through, but it was a good, fun night.”

The meeting was marred by injury to Davey Watt, who hit the third bend air fence at speed after falling during a battle with Chris Harris in Heat 1, and was then collected by the Danyon Hume’s machine despite the latter laying his bike down. After two separate and extensive delays for treatment, Watt was taken to hospital complaining of pain in his lower back and right shoulder.

Back to the positives, however, and Edward Kennett was the undoubted individual star of the show, reeling off five straight wins for a fifteen point maximum. The Restart Rockets’ No.1 was then the unsurprising recipient of the Mr Rocket rider of the year award that was presented after the final race.

After collecting the award for the second straight season, the Rockets captain said, “This has been one of my most consistent years, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

“I just want to thank all the fans who have been here every week cheering us all on. It hasn’t been a good year for the team, but you’ve stuck by us and we appreciate that. Also, I just want to say a big thankyou to the new promotion, to my dad (former rider Dave Kennett), who has been here every week for me as mechanic, and to Martin Hagon.”

And, to a big cheer from the crowd, Kennett finished by saying: “A few weeks ago, I spoke to the local paper and got a little bit deviant by saying that I wasn’t sure what I was doing next season – but I’ll be back next year!”

Alfie Bowtell received the annual Mr Raider award to cap off an excellent first campaign in the National League after transitioning into Speedway from Motocross. The 18 year old admitted that “I didn’t really know what to expect at the beginning of the year. It’s been hard, but I’ve enjoyed every moment. I couldn’t have done it without the team, though. It’s been a great side, and they’ve helped me loads.”

Rye House team manager John Sampford announced the winner of the Sampford Trophy awarded in memory of his parents, who were both avid Rockets supporters, to the most entertaining Rocket of the year. Recipient Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen was not able to be present at the Aces meeting, but Sampford explained the reasons behind his nomination. “Nikolaj is tall and rangy, and because of that it is more difficult to race a bike, but he makes it look quite spectacular. He’s done a lot of passing here this year, and that’s why he’s won the entertainment award.”

Pits Marshal Steve Webb presented additional trophies to “Mr Invincible” (Edward Kennett), “Mr Newcomer” (Alfie Bowtell) and “Mr Comeback”, (Kyle Hughes), prior to the fireworks display that formally brought down the curtain on the 2015 season.

Finally, Team BMR would like to echo Edward Kennett’s comments by offering a huge thankyou to all Rye House supporters for your continued backing throughout 2015. Have a great Christmas and a prosperous New Year, and we look forward to seeing you back at Rye House next Spring.

Pair of Aces result:

1 Sam Masters 13+1/Rob Branford 7+2 = 20
2 Luke Bowen 10+1/Kyle Hughes 7+4 = 17
3 Danny King 12/Luke Priest 4+3 = 16
4= Edward Kennett 15 (max)/Alfie Bowtell 0 = 15
4= Chris Harris 11/George Hunter 4+2 = 15
6 Davey Watt (fns)/Danyon Hume 5/Sam Woods (res) 2+1 = 7