King's Lynn are worth the wait as Belle Vue are beaten in Premiership
King’s Lynn Stars made it worth the wait by winning their delayed Premiership campaign home curtain-raiser 50-40 versus Belle Vue tonight (Thursday).
Lynn, who showed greater strength in depth, gained swift revenge for Monday's defeat in Manchester.
Top-scoring skipper Josh Pickering and Richard Lawson rounded the night off with a 5-1 maximum victory over away captain Brady Kurtz and Max Fricke.
The Minors & Brady Stars were due to begin at the Adrian Flux Arena on April 25 but this meeting was postponed with Wolverhampton following stadium lighting issues.
The Aces continued to miss injured duo Matej Zagar and Jye Etheridge, with former Stars racer Michael Palm Toft a guest for Zagar, and rider replacement being in operation for Etheridge. Belle Vue only bagged four, paid five, points from 'r/r'.
Following a 15-minute setting sun delay the visitors edged the opening race with Warsaw GP winner Fricke, who triumphed at the weekend on front of 50,000 fans, heading Lynn's Thomas Jorgensen while Niels-Kristian Iversen – second at one stage – was last to r/r Tom Brennan.
Great gater Jack Thomas plus third spot for partner Richie Worrall meant Lynn restored parity in the all-reserves' race.
The next race was heading for a 3-3 but Lewis Kerr slid wide and finished last behind winner Palm Toft, Lynn's Lawson and Charles Wright.
Captain Kurtz became Belle Vue's third heat winner ahead of Stars duo Thomas and Pickering, plus reserve switch Norick Blodorn.
Fricke won again in Heat 5, passing Kerr on lap two, during another shared result; but Dane-namic duo Iversen and Jorgensen bagged the first 5-1 maximum victory for Lynn to go in front for the first time, 19-17.
Palm Toft shrugged off a warning to remain still at the tapes to beat Pickering and Worrall in the third 3-3 finish.
Jorgensen deftly passed r/r Wright midway through Heat 8 while third-spot Thomas overtook Wright, who lifted his bike and somehow stayed on, as Lynn led 26-22 at halfway.
Lawson and Kerr followed Kurtz to keep things tight; then in Heat 10 Wright was excluded for falling on the fourth bend. In the second re-run Iversen and Jorgensen (who had been warned in the first re-run) took full advantage with their second 5-1.
Pickering held on to this advantage by winning the following shared outing.
With the announcement that Wright had been withdrawn with a wrist injury, skipper Kurtz was the Heat 12 tactical sub and was second behind Lawson in a 3-3.
Victor Pickering next sealed the overall win by bursting between the two away riders Fricke and Brennan and Iversen bagged third spot to leave the scores 44-34.
Belle Vue kept their hopes of a bonus point alive with Palm Toft and Brennan snaring a penultimate heat 5-1.
Lawson, Pickering, Kurtz and Fricke lined up in Heat 15.
Lynn next host local rivals Peterborough on Monday, May 30.
King’s Lynn Stars: Niels-Kristian Iversen 7, Thomas Jorgensen 9+2, Richard Lawson 10+1, Lewis Kerr 3+1, Josh Pickering (capt) 12+1, Richie Worrall 3+1, Jack Thomas 6.
Belle Vue: Max Fricke 10, Jye Etheridge R/R, Charles Wright (withdrawn) 3, Michael Palm Toft (guest) 10, Brady Kurtz (capt) 10, Norick Blodorn 3+1, Tom Brennan 4+2.
Fastest time: Palm Toft, Heat 3 and Heat 7, both 60 seconds.
Referee: Chris Gay.