COVENTRY were left battered and bemused at Brandon as local rivals Wolverhampton swept to an emphatic 59-31 away victory.
The form book prior to the meeting would have made the in-form Monmore men favourites to extend their impressive start to the season – but not to inflict the Buildbase Bees’ heaviest home defeat of the modern era.
Yet there could be no argument over the gulf between the sides, with Tai Woffinden and Freddie Lindgren both scoring maximums for the visitors, helped by plentiful support from the lower-order.
Woffinden was only once threatened, that coming in Heat 11 by a bold effort from Coventry captain Scott Nicholls who charged inside the team-riding Woffinden and Ty Proctor going into the last lap. Woffinden, however, turned back for the inside and beat Nicholls into the third bend to keep his unbeaten run going.
Nicholls had the mild consolation of ending Proctor’s maximum hopes with second place, and he was also the nearest to beating Lindgren until the Swede switched inside him off the fourth bend in Heat 13.
A night of catastrophe started badly with Aaron Summers falling in Heat 1 and Krzysztof Kasprzak conceding maximum points to Woffinden and Proctor.
The margin was held at four points after Heat 4, but Wolves put the match beyond doubt by the halfway stage with a devastating run of four successive 5-1s starting in Heat 5.
One of those saw Nicholls outgunned by Ricky Wells and Adam Skornicki when on a tactical ride, and Grzegorz Zengota’s effort for double points in Heat 12 was similarly unsuccessful.
By that stage it was damage limitation, with Kasprzak and Summers supplying a rare 5-1 for the Bees in Heat 10, and returning duo Olly Allen and Stuart Robson teaming up in Heat 14.
Both of the newcomers scored to the level expected and Allen was testing machinery on the circuit following the conclusion of the meeting – which happened in predictable fashion with Woffinden and Lindgren taking Wolves to the brink of the 60-point mark with a 5-1 in Heat 15.
Coventry promoter Mick Horton said: “All I can do is apologise to the fans who turned out tonight. I think that’s probably the worst performance I’ve seen from a team in Coventry colours, and live on television as well. It’s devastating.
“All you can do is try to keep spirits up. We have to dig in and hope we can pull out a win from the next meeting against Lakeside, but really everyone is lost for words at the moment.
“Our top two aren’t firing and then it’s like a domino effect. Everyone is low, and I don’t understand it – but fair play to Wolverhampton, they thoroughly deserved it. Something is going wrong with our boys but no rider goes out to deliberately lose a race.”
BUILDBASE BEES 31: Stuart Robson 6+1, Grzegorz Zengota 6, Olly Allen 6, Scott Nicholls 5+1, Aaron Summers 5, Krzysztof Kasprzak 3+1, Michal Szczepaniak 0.
WOLVERHAMPTON 59: Tai Woffinden 15, Freddie Lindgren 12+3, Ludvig Lindgren 9+1, Ricky Wells 9, Ty Proctor 7+3, Jacob Thorssell 4, Adam Skornicki 3+1.
BUILDBASE BEES 31 Krzysztof Kasprzak 1 R 2* 0 = 3+1 Aaron Summers F 1 1 3 0 = 5 Grzegorz Zengota 3 1 F 1^ 1 = 6 Olly Allen 1 0 2 3 = 6 Scott Nicholls 1* 1^ 2 1 = 5+1 Michal Szczepaniak 0 0 0 = 0 Stuart Robson 2 2 0 0 2* = 6+1