2017 World Speedway Champion Jason Doyle made Belle Vue history on Monday night after winning an incredible fourth victory in the club’s prestigious Peter Craven Memorial meeting.
No rider in the event’s 56-year history has ever stood atop the podium four times, until the Ipswich racer battled through the 6-rider final and stormed to victory at the National Speedway Stadium.
Despite the weather postponement from March 20, this year’s Peter Craven Memorial boasted a star-studded line up of national and international superstars of the sport.
The six ATPI Aces riders were each tipped as major contenders for the title, with Dan Bewley, Charles Wright, and Brady Kurtz up there as favourites to take the victory.
And Grand Prix regulars Doyle, Robert Lambert and Max Fricke were also heavily favoured, but the night equally had its surprises amongst the field.
Danish dynamo Niels-Kristian Iversen unexpectedly burst onto the scene and booked his place in the Grand Final, along with Kurtz and Doyle after an impressive string of qualifying heats.
Things got even more tense as the riders lined up for the 5-rider last-chance semi-final, with Bewley, Lambert and Wright earning their chance for a shot at the historic trophy.
But it was all about Doyle after the tapes rose for the final time and he charged to victory relatively unchallenged, with Lambert taking second and Bewley third.
Doyle said: “This was an amazing night for myself and to go down in history as having won this very special meeting four times is something that will always be close to my heart.
“Sometimes I can come to Belle Vue and be amazing, other times I come here and get smoked. This track especially can make you feel very vulnerable if you don’t have speed.
“But tonight, I felt pretty good. I made a lot of changes over the winter, which is why I went back to Australia. I sold all my old stuff and basically bought all brand new for this season.
“Once I had the set-up, I felt confident. You really must savour moments like this because you never know what the next meeting will bring, but right now it is an amazing feeling.”
The Easter weekend begins this Friday, 1pm at the National Speedway Stadium when Belle Vue launches our National League campaign at home with the ‘Cool Running’ Colts versus Berwick.
Then, it’s all systems go in the Premiership on Easter Monday, April 10 when the ATPI Aces face off against the Wolverhampton Wolves, 12pm in Manchester.
Meeting tickets, south stand parking and Race Day hospitality for April 10 are now available to pre-book online at bellevue-speedway.com.
RESULT – PETER CRAVEN MEMORIAL – MONDAY, APRIL 3 @ 7:30PM
QUALIFYING SCORES: Brady Kurtz 13, Niels-Kristian Iversen 12, Jason Doyle 12, Dan Bewley 11, Robert Lambert 10, Charles Wright 10, Tom Brennan 9, Max Fricke 8, Tobiasz Musielak 8, Jaimon Lidsey 6, Chris Harris 5, Norick Blodorn 5, Kyle Howarth 5, Hans Andersen 3, Justin Sedgmen 2, Kye Thomson 1.
SEMI-FINAL: Lambert, Bewley, Wright, Fricke, Brennan.
GRAND FINAL: Doyle, Lambert, Bewley, Kurtz, Wright, Iversen.
Image: Ian Charles