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Poole Pirates: Polish pair steal the limelight in big Elite League win
MOVE over the Turbo Twins!
Darcy Ward and Chris Holder have been the toast of Wimborne Road on many an occasion but the Aussie stars were reduced to spectator roles tonight as Shamek Pawlicki and Maciej Janowski lit up a thumping start to Pirates’ Elite League defence.
The Polish duo scored 23 points between them in the hosts’ immaculate 52-37 victory over Eastbourne, with two superb displays of team-riding serving notice of just what treats the paying public can expect in 2014.
Most of the pre-meeting talk had centred on sidelined skipper Darcy Ward, with Belle Vue’s doubling-up rider Craig Cook facing the unenviable task of replacing the 21-year-old - who will seek a second opinion on his New Zealand GP-sustained injuries from a specialist in Poland tomorrow.
While Cook endured a quiet night on the scoring front with four paid five, Pawlicki (13) and Janowski (10+2) stepped up to star as Ward and Holder looked on from the sidelines.
Elite League debutant Vaclav Milik won three of his four races and Kyle Newman was an unsung hero at reserve, throwing in nine precious points for the cause.
News that Holder will take his place in Poole’s line-up at home to Coventry on Monday - pending the approval of the British Speedway Promoters’ Association - will be music to the ears of the Pirates faithful.
Matters got off to an explosive start with a huge crash in heat one that caused a concerned hush around Wimborne Road.
With all four riders within touching distance of each other, Cook tried to nip past the in-form Mikkel Michelsen on the inside but the pair came together and were flung from their seats, with Cook’s machine worrying supporters on the second bend when it flew clear of the air fence.
After an extensive delay, referee Dave Robinson elected to bring all four men back and the seemingly-bionic Michelsen showed no ill-effects as he stormed away from the inside and was never troubled by Josh Grajczonek.
Heat two looked a much more straightforward affair until Pirates’ Elite League debutant Lee Smart locked up and fourth-placed Dan Halsey crashed into the air fence in avoiding the 2010 National League Riders’ Championship winner. The heat was awarded, giving Eagles an 8-4 advantage.
The racing became more regulation in the next outing, with Pawlicki and Janowski both making super gates, only for the latter to find himself overhauled by Poole asset Bjarne Pedersen on the third bend of lap one.
Michelsen was left at the tapes due to mechanical problems in heat four, enabling the fast-gating Milik to stroll to victory and clock up the opening maximum in partnership with the motoring Newman.
Another 5-1 saw Pirates gain a stranglehold on proceedings, with Janowski followed in by Cook, who firmly held the inside line off gate one and saw off the attentions of the impatient Pedersen.
Joonas Kylmakorpi was excluded in heat six when he inexplicably fell on bend three of lap two under at best modest pressure from the fourth-placed Pawlicki, with Eagles on a 4-2 at the time.
A snapped chain for Milik - with Poole on a 4-2 - saw the race restarted once again and Pawlicki’s wide lines this time prevailed over Cameron Woodward’s centre green-hugging approach.
Grajczonek made the most of a kinder inside gate to jump out in front and make it five points in two rides, but the efforts of Timo Lahti and Lewis Blackbird meant honours ended even, with the deficit remaining at seven points.
The home advantage became 28-19 when Milik shook off his heat six problems with a second race win in comfortable fashion, while Michelsen retired for a second time.
It took no mean feat of balance for Newman to remain on his bike at bend two of heat nine as former Bournemouth Buccaneer Halsey went rocking and rolling, and the Poole reserve’s third second place on the spin went some way to making up for Smart’s third straight scoreless outing.
Cook probably would have liked an extra lap in race 10, which would have given him the time he needed to reel in Pedersen, but as it was the veteran Dane clung on to win by half a bike-length, while Kylmakorpi’s woeful night continued.
Team-riding then took centre stage as Pawlicki and Janowski wowed Wimborne Road. Janowski blocked off Woodward on the inside while Pawlicki shored up the wider line, the pair finishing off with a celebration wheelie on their victory lap.
Newman cleverly slowed down Blackbird in heat 12 to allow Grajczonek through and gain Pirates a 3-3, before the visitors gave themselves faint hope of a losing point with a 4-2 in heat 13.
However, Milik had other ideas as he became the third rider to win off an outside gate that had come good later in the meeting, a 4-2 with Newman putting the hosts 47-36 up.
Pawlicki and Janowski finished the job off with a carbon copy of their antics in heat 11 and even threw in another double wheelie to put the polish on victory.
Pirates 52: 1 Craig Cook, guest (0-2*-2-0) 4+1, 2 Josh Grajczonek (2-3-1*-1*) 7+2, 3 Przemyslaw Pawlicki (3-3-1-3-3) 13, 4 Vaclav Milik (3-fx-3-3) 9, 5 Maciej Janowski (1-3-2*-2-2*) 10+2, 6 Kyle Newman (2-2*-2-2-1) 9+1, 7 Lee Smart (fx-0-0) 0. Team manager: Neil Middleditch.
Eagles 37: 1 Cameron Woodward (1-2-1-3-1) 8, 2, Mikkel Michelsen (3-r-r-3) 6, 3 Bjarne Pedersen (2-1-2-3-0) 8, 4 Timo Lahti (0-2-0-2) 4, 5 Joonas Kylmakorpi (0-fx-0-1) 1, 6 Lewis Blackbird (3-1*-3-0-0) 7+1, 7 Dan Halsey (1-1-1) 3. Team manager: Trevor Geer.
Ht 1 (re-run): Michelsen, Grajczonek, Woodward, Cook, 60.59 (2-4)
Ht 2 (awarded): Blackbird, Newman, Halsey, Smart (fell/dsq) (4-8)
Ht 3: Pawlicki, Pedersen, Janowski, Kylmakorpi, 60.84 (8-10)
Ht 4: Milik, Newman, Halsey, Michelsen, 61.54 (13-11)
Ht 5: Janowski, Cook, Pedersen, Lahti, 61.13 (18-12)
Ht 6 (re-runx2): Pawlicki, Woodward, Milik (fell/dsq), Kylmakorpi (fell/dsq), 61.12 (21-14)
Ht 7: Grajczonek, Lahti, Blackbird, Smart, 61.60 (24-17)
Ht 8: Milik, Pedersen, Pawlicki, Michelsen (retired), 61.14 (28-19)
Ht 9: Blackbird, Newman, Halsey, Smart, 62.63 (30-23)
Ht 10: Pedersen, Cook, Grajczonek, Kylmakorpi, 61.91 (33-26)
Ht 11: Pawlicki, Janowski, Woodward, Lahti, 61.22 (38-27)
Ht 12: Michelsen, Newman, Grajczonek, Blackbird, 62.37 (41-30)
Ht 13: Woodward, Janowski, Kylmakorpi, Cook, 62.44 (43-34)
Ht 14: Milik, Lahti, Newman, Blackbird, 61.94 (47-36)
Ht 15: Pawlicki, Janowski, Woodward, Pedersen, 61.85 (52-37)
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