Stars' skipper and Lynn legend praised by team boss
King’s Lynn Stars team manager Peter Schroeck paid tribute to skipper Lewis Kerr and former Lynn legend Jason Crump for riding in tough British Final conditions.
In the ultimate weather irony, the meeting was switched at short notice from rainy Ipswich on Saturday to a drier Manchester on Monday – with Australian Crump, who has a British passport, reaching the final and Kerr just missing out on a showdown spot.
Schroeck said: “He was a bit unlucky. It was just one of those things with the weather.
“Lewis did have a great start (by beating 2016 champion Danny King) and then a couple of times he got filled-in. You needed to get out of the starts, that was important on the night.
“Under normal circumstances if the track had been a little bit fairer he would have had a better meeting.
“I think he would just be happy to have a meeting as a bonus, and everyone came back safely.”
Schroeck was wary of reading too much into the Belle Vue clash: “Lewis is as committed as anyone and you don’t want to judge him by one meeting on Monday night,” he added.
“For example, Danny King, you look at him before when he was race-fit and he used to fly around Belle Vue, but he was struggling. He loves it when it’s wet. The boys have not been racing and some were a bit better than others.
“Youngsters like Drew Kemp and the Thompson boys were more on the pace and did really well. If the more established boys had been racing it may’ve been different.”
Schroeck was due to provide support in the pits to Crump but the change of date and venue ruled him out.
Former Rye House boss Schroeck commented about the three-times world champion: “I spoke to Jason on Tuesday and he said he was very pleased. You can see the man is still class.
“To be retired all these years and still go back and race: in his own words he wasn’t a million miles away. He’s pure class. Even for the boys who raced with him it gives everyone a little bit of hope.
“With the knowledge the man has got with his set-up, it gave him quite a percentage in the pits and also because people are in awe of him. He’s got that on his side.
“He had a warm-up meeting and got paid seven and a couple of good rides. He also had a few laps at Scunthorpe and Leicester. He rode a bit in Australia and he’s pretty fit for his age.
“Not many people could come back like that. He’s a determined character. I’ve known him for years: if he puts his mind to it, he puts in 150 per cent. He’s not afraid of speaking his mind, he’s frank.”