Monday May 28, 2018
A sparkling performance by a resurgent Edward Kennett tipped the balance in the “BP Mitchell” Rockets’ favour as they held off King’s Lynn 49-41 in their A10 SGB Premiership battle at Rye House on Bank Holiday Monday night in front of the BT Sport cameras.

The former World Cup Lion and Cardiff Wildcard was unbeaten in his programmed rides, before having to settle for third spot in the nominated race, to finish on paid 14. He was joined in double figures by Scott Nicholls (10+1), with Aaron Summers (8) supplying two race wins – including another “obligatory” success in Heat 1 - and Krzysztof Kasprzak (7) a further two, with the returning Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen (8) bookending his own evening with wins.

There were only two 5-1s all night, and Kennett featured in both of them. The first saw him follow home Kasprzak in Heat 9, with former Rye star Robert Lambert all over his back wheel for much of the race, as the Rockets pulled clear to 32-22.

The second came when Kennett powered inside Thomas Jorgensen off the fourth bend of the third lap to join NBJ at the front in Heat 14 for the high-five that wrapped up the match in the Hertfordshire club’s favour – at 46-38 – with a race to spare, and although Lambert took the finale, Scott Nicholls and Kennett kept themselves clear of Ty Proctor to prevent the visitors from taking home a consolation match point.

Lambert finished the match with a superb 17 from seven rides for the visitors, a total that included a terrific pass of NBJ for victory in Heat 7. The 20 year old was given excellent support by Lewis Kerr, whose paid 10 total would have been higher but for a last bend tumble when holding second spot behind Nicholls.

It was Kennett, however, who ultimately proved the difference maker, saying afterwards that “On a personal level, it was nice for me for come out as my old self again. I’ve been lacking a little bit of confidence, but I am starting to put the knee injury (from a grasstrack incident a month ago) behind me now. I have started to wear a knee brace, which I am beginning to get used to now. It has been little things like that, and also having to start riding slightly differently in terms of my style.

“Obviously, I am not riding as much as I would like to (as a Premiership-only rider currently), but I am hoping that that will change in the next week or so. Fingers crossed that I can get more bike time.

“I’m really pleased with the way all the boys rode. It was a good result for us; we had a good win earlier against Swindon last Wednesday, and the track was a little bit different and, I think, helped us.”

The Rockets endured another mid-match mini-wobble at home before pulling clear again in the closing stages. What does Kennett put that unwanted “trademark” down to? “I honestly don’t know! As long as we pull it back in the end, it doesn’t really matter. I know that a few of the boys dipped temporarily; it was maybe down to having different starting positions. But if we were to click through the whole meeting, I think that it would be much more one-sided.”

Finally, on his thoughts about the forthcoming British Final at Belle Vue on June 11th: “I’ve got nothing to prove to anyone, so I am just going to go out there like I did at Sheffield (in the Semi-Final round). I can still beat top riders when I want to, so if I can go to Manchester with the same head that I took to Sheffield….. You know, it’s just six races from going to Cardiff and being British Champion.”

“BP Mitchell” Rockets:
Edward Kennett 11+3 (5 rides), Scott Nicholls 10+1 (5), Aaron Summers 8 (4), Nicolaj Busk Jakobsen 8 (5), Krzysztof Kasprzak 7 (4), Chris Harris 4+1 (4), Max Clegg 1 (3).

King’s Lynn:
Robert Lambert 17 (7 rides), Lewis Kerr 9+1 (6), Ty Proctor 8+1 (6), Michael Palm Toft 5+1 (5), Kasper Andersen 1+1 (3), Thomas Jorgensen 1 (3), Niels-Kristian Iversen R/R.

Match Points: Rye House 3 King’s Lynn 0