COVENTRY’S tough start to the season continued as they went down by 11-points at Belle Vue on Monday – despite impressive performances from their top two.
Krzysztof Kasprzak and skipper Scott Nicholls had uncharacteristically failed to win a race between them in the reverse fixture at Brandon on Friday, but both were back to much more like their true form at Kirkmanshulme Lane.
Kasprzak was relegated to third place in Heat 1 with the Aces able to start the meeting off the much-favoured gates 2 and 4, but he did not drop a point thereafter – and a mid-meeting change of bikes worked wonders for Nicholls, who was unbeaten from his last three rides.
The top two combined for 5-1s in Heats 13 and 15 with Nicholls racing past Artur Mroczka for second place in the former, and then coming out on top in a terrific scrap with Magnus Zetterstrom in the finale.
Unfortunately, that was just about the end of the good news for the Buildbase Bees as, save for a Heat 2 5-1 from Michal Szczepaniak and guest Anders Mellgren, their middle and lower order endured a night to forget.
Grzegorz Zengota was twice disqualified for first-bend accidents, the first coming in Heat 3 when he brought team-mate Mateusz Szczepaniak down with him, whilst an under-the-weather Aaron Summers had to switch to Nicholls’ machine for Heat 1 and suffered a bike failure on the start-line in Heat 8, just when he was set to go off the profitable gate four.
Belle Vue produced a much more solid all-round display with the combination of Matej Zagar and Kevin Wolbert netting three 5-1s, and Wolbert dropped his only points of the night when he was relegated to the back in Heat 15.
Only Ales Dryml failed to contribute for the home side, whilst Bees ran too many last places and were never likely to have enough to salvage a league point after the third Zagar/Wolbert maximum which put the Aces 38-22 ahead.
Coventry promoter Mick Horton said: “Scott and KK had a couple of iffy rides but then Scott changed his bike and I felt they looked like a proper pair. I feel confident those two will turn the corner, I really am confident about that.
“Michal was OK but the rest were disappointing, and I know we’re going to have to accept the criticism and move on, and try to improve.
“I know the riders give 100 per cent, but sometimes that’s not enough and you have to be honest and say it isn’t working. It’s got to change, and it will change.”
BELLE VUE 52: Kevin Wolbert 9+3, Matej Zagar 9, Artur Mroczka 9, Craig Cook 8+2, Kauko Nieminen 8+2, Magnus Zetterstrom 8+1, Ales Dryml 1.
BUILDBASE BEES 41: Krzysztof Kasprzak 16, Scott Nicholls 10+2, Michal Szczepaniak 5, Mateusz Szczepaniak 4, Grzegorz Zengota 2+1, Anders Mellgren 2+1, Aaron Summers 2.
BELLE VUE 52 Matej Zagar 3 3 3 R = 9 Kevin Wolbert 2* 2* 3 2* 0 = 9+3 Magnus Zetterstrom 3 R 2 2* 1 = 8+1 Craig Cook 2* 2 1* 3 = 8+2 Artur Mroczka 3 3 2 1 = 9 Ales Dryml 1 0 X = 1 Kauko Nieminen 0 1 2* 3 2* = 8+2
BUILDBASE BEES 41 Krzysztof Kasprzak 1 3 6^ 3 3 = 16 Aaron Summers 0 1 R 1 = 2 Grzegorz Zengota X 1* X 1 = 2+1 Mateusz Szczepaniak 1 2 1 0 = 4 Scott Nicholls 2 1 3 2* 2* = 10+2 Anders Mellgren 2* 0 0 0 = 2+1 Michal Szczepaniak 3 0 1 1 = 5