King’s Lynn Stars teenager Robert Lambert said his Speedway World Cup debut for Great Britain on Monday night at Lynn was “awesome”.
Lambert (17) scored seven points including beating reigning world champion Greg Hancock in the Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup Event 2 at the Adrian Flux Arena (see page 110).
The Lions were second to old rivals Australia, who sealed their place in tomorrow’s Grand Final, in front of about 5,000 fans and also competed against Hancock’s USA and Latvia.
That Heat 9 clash, when Hancock came in on a double-scoring ‘joker’ ride, will go down in Adrian Flux Arena folklore as Lambert deserved a maiden World Cup victory but was denied on the line by Australia’s Nick Morris.
Lambert said: “I managed to get past Greg and I was so pumped up by that. I was too excited with myself.
“I was making a few mistakes and got passed at the last corner. It happens, I suppose, and I just have got to focus on my next race.
“It is awesome to be here at King’s Lynn and the home fans were behind me from all sides.
“You could just hear the atmosphere even with your helmet on. It’s a great feeling as a rider. The buzz is awesome, of being at your first World Cup, and I hope there will be many more.”
In such surroundings it must have been difficult to stay composed when the Norwich-born prospect went out in the opening heat.
He commented: “I was pretty relaxed. I was just thinking of it as a normal meeting and trying to replicate what I was doing in a normal meeting.
“I felt ready for it. I was definitely on the pace, well on the pace. It was a great experience for me. To be racing against the likes of Greg and all the top boys - that’s the top four from every country.”
Lambert earned third spot in Heat 1 behind Hancock and Aussie ace Jason Doyle, but disaster struck next as he was excluded for touching the tapes in Heat 5.
“That was a bit of a sad moment. Your heart starts to drop and everything.
“I came in, had a moment or two and thought about it. I can’t do anything about it, so move on to the next one.”
Lambert was picked for last night’s Race Off which decided the last Grand Final spot. Team Great Britain were unchanged.
USA also named the same four that started at Lynn.
Grand Prix star Maciej Janowski took over the Polish captaincy from the injured Jaroslaw Hampel.
Lambert added: “Hopefully we’ll go out there and get to the final.”
The Monster Energy SWC Race Off colour draw was made at Lynn on Monday. The USA raced in red, while Poland were drawn in blue, Russia in white and the Brits in yellow.
Tickets for the Final are still on sale. Visit www.mon sterenergyswc.com or www.billetlugen.dk for details.
n A competition for a chance to win a pair of tickets for the Cardiff GP will be in Tuesday’s Lynn News.