Historical Victory For New Ace Bjerre

New Aces signing, Kenneth Bjerre, roared to victory in Belle Vue’s Season Opener, The Peter Craven Memorial on Saturday, taking the chequered flag ahead of former GP rider, Troy Batchelor, and World No.9, Matej Žagar.

The event, the first under the control of the club’s new management, was hailed a professional triumph and a truly exciting evening that declared to the sport that Belle Vue is open for business.

The Belle Vue star rode an almost perfect season opener, dropping one point all evening in his first outing before going on to bag an unequalled 14 points from his first five rides in Manchester.

Kenneth Bjerre

His fellow Ace also enjoyed a fantastic first night on home turf with Justin Sedgmen finishing with 6 points, while club No.1 Max Fricke just missed out on qualification for the final after collecting 11.

With a crowd in excess of 1,700 cheering him on, Bjerre was delighted to secure his place amongst the many legends, such as Ivan Mauger, to have lifted the coveted Peter Craven Memorial trophy.

The 32-year old admitted his determination to impress on his home debut, in which he gave a glimpse of things to come with a display of masterful skills around the National Speedway Stadium.

He said: “I did feel a bit of pressure going into this match, especially with it being my new home track [at Belle Vue]. But so far the season has been good to me. I’ve had two other good meetings.

“I was really looking forward to the Peter Craven Memorial. I have fond memories of riding for this club. I remember the times I was riding with the likes of Jason [Crump] and Steady [Simon Stead].

“To win on the night was amazing! The track was fantastic and the fans’ reception was brilliant. I can’t wait to get our league season started next week; I have a good feeling about this year.”

Silver medalist, Troy Batchelor, who stars alongside fellow Aussie Chris Holder at King’s Lynn, said: “Last year I started the season with a broken arm, so to have turned that around this year is great.

“To get on the podium on Saturday was pretty cool. It’s a step in the right direction. It’s the second trophy in as many days for King’s Lynn, after the Pairs on Friday, so we’ve made a strong start.”

Former Aces No.1, Matej Žagar, received a very warm welcome to the National Speedway Stadium and was quick to remind fans of his entertaining style in what’s likely to be his only UK appearance this year.

He said: “This was one of my first meetings and I feel I’ve started my season in the best way possible in front of my home crowd, so to speak, because I rode for Belle Vue for four years.

“It could well have been a fifth but rules are rules. If not this season, I would love to come back. For this year anyway, I’m just happy I got to be a part of this meeting and to come away with a trophy.”

With a successful opening meeting completed, Belle Vue now look to a busy week ahead as the Aces prepare to launch their Premiership KOC efforts against Poole at Wimborne Road on April 5.

They host the return fixture 48 hours later at home on April 7. Tickets are now available online at www.bellevueaces.co.


Qualifying Scores: Kenneth Bjerre 14, Troy Batchelor 13, Brady Kurtz 11, Max Fricke 11, Patrick Hougaard 10, Matej Zagar 9, Ricky Wells 8, Joe Jacobs 8, Jason Garrity 7, Justin Sedgmen 6, Josh Grajczonek 6, Ben Barker 5, Ulrich Ostergaard 4, Todd Kurtz 3, Rohan Tungate 3, Charles Wright 2.

Semi-Final: Zagar, Hougaard, Fricke, B.Kurtz.

Final: Bjerre, Batchelor, Zagar, Hougaard.

Photo - Chris Simcock

Sunday 2nd April 2017