Skipper Kev roars to spectacular Bordernapolis win
1st Kevin Doolan (Berwick)
2nd Aaron Summers (Berwick)
3rd Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen (Berwick)
4th Matthew Wethers (Newcastle)
(Photo Credit: TazMcD Photography)
Berwick Bandits opened their 2019 season last night at Shielfield Park with their annual individual championship - the Bordernapolis starring 16 top riders including the seven Bandits.
All seven home riders featured in the opening two heats, Aaron Summers took the first heat from the gate as did Coty Garcia in Heat Two despite a massive challenge from Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen before Danny Ayres took Heat Three well from the gate but behind Newcastle's Matthew Wethers and James Sarjeant had a huge scrap for the second place, just nicked on the finish line by Wethers, while Theo Pijper took the fourth reminding the Bandits what they were missing in 2019.
After Heat Eight Summers remained unbeaten on six points as had Theo Pijper who's gating was still as sharp as ever, taking him to the front clear of the crowd with ease while Doolan tucked in with five points after a great win in Heat six while again Wethers was in the thick of it again in the seventh taking a fine second place.
Garcia flew away to take Heat Nine well ahead of Summers in another battle of the Bandits, to progress both on to eight points while Doolan took a second win in Heat 10 to also total eight at this point while Dany Gappmaier took his first win of the night from the gate in Heat 11, however Heat 12 came to a sudden halt when Josh MacDonald clashed with Ayers off bend two, the pair coming down hard, but for Ayres it resulted in an ambulance trip to the medical room with a leg injury, as MacDonald was excluded from the re-run won by Leon Flint in spectacular fashion, passing Gappmaier round the outside of bend four on the opening lap, and held his three points to the end.
With one qualification race left each Summers and Doolan topping the charts on 11 points each, with Pijper on 10 and Garcia on nine, the semi finals lined up with Summers blasting the first apart to take another solid victory, and then joined in the final by Wethers who continued his good steady night.
Semi two saw a great battle between home-boys Busk Jakobsen and Doolan with the Dane taking the flag over his captain, but put went Etheridge and Garcia who missed his first gate of the night.
Onto the final which line up with Summers, Wethers, Busk Jakobsen and Doolan, going into the first bend it was Summers who led Doolan as Wethers and Busk Jakobsen at the rear, and it all looked clear cut until Doolan hit the gas on the third bend of the last lap to power up and fly sensationally round Summers coming up to the tape to win the Bordernapolis title for 2019 in a superb end to the night for the good-sized, but very cold crowd to raise the roof.
Winner Doolan was suitably delighted afterwards, saying: "Yeah it was a cold, cold night tonight, and it was our opening meeting, but the action out there tonight was hot as it comes! The racing was great and it only sets us up for a top season for the Bandits. All the guys rode their hearts out tonight and we cannot wait for the season to get underway proper! Bring it on!"
Individual Riders' Qualification Score Chart (Programme order)
Aaron Summers 3,3,2,3,3 = 14
Kevin Doolan 2,3,3,3,3 = 14
Dany Gappmaier 1,1,3,2,2 = 9
Jye Etheridge 0,2,2,3,0 = 7
Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen 2,2,R,3,3 = 10
Coty Garcia 3,2,3,1,3 = 12
Leon Flint 1,0,3,0,2 = 6
Luke Ruddick 0,1,0,1,1 = 3
James Sarjeant 1,1,2,0,1 = 5
Danny Ayres 3,0,FN,N,N = 3 withdrawn injured
Nico Covatti 0,3,1,2,1 = 7
Josh MacDonald 1,0,Fx,N,N = 1 withdrawn injured
Kyle Bickley 0,1,1,1,1 = 4
Theo Pijper 3,3,2,2,2 = 12
Ty Proctor 2,R,R,N,N = 2 withdrawn mechanical
Reserve: Kieran Douglas 1,1,0,0 = 2