BRADY Kurtz’s 15-point maximum spurred Pirates to an entertaining 50-40 win over Belle Vue at Wimborne Road.

The 21-year-old Australian was in sensational form as Poole delivered for their supporters on the SGB Premiership’s long-awaited opening night.

Winter signings Linus Sundstrom, Kacper Woryna and Mateusz Szczepaniak took their places in the Poole side as did Peter Kildemand, a temporary replacement for 2012 world champion Chris Holder.

Belle Vue were forced into a late change with Swindon’s Troy Batchelor guesting for number one Craig Cook, the latter absent due to the birth of his first child.

Somerset’s Richard Lawson was drafted in for broken leg victim Steve Worrall, while ex-Pirates flier Paul Starke, signed as cover for Damian Drozdz, was also involved.

Pirates spearhead Kurtz missed the start in the opener but a mistake by Starke allowed him to forge ahead on lap two, while Woryna fell to the back.

On course for a comfortable win, Szczepaniak was thwarted by mechanical problems and a home 4-2 became an Aces heat advantage.

Lawson blocked the path of Poole skipper Josh Grajczonek next and then Belle Vue racked up a shock maximum, Kildemand slipping to the rear after a promising start.

Pirates trailed 15-9. A fourth straight Aces heat win did not help, Starke edging out Grajczonek and Sundstrom heading into turn three and never relinquishing his advantage.

Doing his best to turn the tide, Kurtz showed iron will to hold off hard-charging compatriot Max Fricke, giving Pirates their first heat advantage.

Kildemand followed suit and Lawson’s error allowed Szczepaniak to nip into third and secure a 4-2 which put Poole two points behind.

Woryna and Sundstrom bagged their first wins in a Pirates race jacket and the home side had clawed themselves back into contention with five heats left.

An easy 5-1 for Kurtz and Woryna – the former’s third straight victory – put Pirates in front for the first time.

Another followed. Kildemand outmuscled Batchelor and through came Szczepaniak for second, the Pole surviving a scare when he lifted on lap three.

In came Fricke as a tactical substitute for heat 12 and he did his job by winning it. But Lawson trailed at the back as Szczepaniak held firm.

Kurtz was imperious in heat 13 and Kildemand came from nowhere to sweep past Batchelor, whose miserable night was completed when he came to grief moments later.

Pirates’ win was confirmed despite Dan Bewley’s victory and Kurtz completed his flawless night in heat 15.

Meanwhile, Szczepaniak booked his spot in the final of the Golden Helmet – but Woryna had to be content with a reserve spot.

Szczepaniak banked 11 points in finishing fourth in his semi-final at Ostrow on Tuesday, beaten only by Krzysztof Kasprzak, Jaroslaw Hampel and Grzegorz Zengota.

Woryna secured a reserve berth after finishing fifth at Poznan. He was second in all his five programmed rides before winning a run-off with Drozdz.

The final is due to take place at Pila next week.


Pirates 50: 1 Brady Kurtz (3-3-3-3-3) 15, 2 Kacper Woryna (0-1-3-2*) 6+1, 3 Josh Grajczonek (2-2-1-2-1) 8, 4 Linus Sundstrom (1*-1*-3-2) 7+2, 5 Peter Kildemand (0-3-3-1) 7, 6 Mateusz Szczepaniak (r-1-2*-1*-0) 4+2, 7 James Shanes (2-1-0) 3.

Belle Vue 40: 1 Troy Batchelor, guest (1*-0-0-f) 1+1, 2 Paul Starke (2-3-2-1-0) 8, 3 Richard Lawson, guest (3-0-1-0) 4, 4 Rohan Tungate (r-2-0-1) 3, 5 Max Fricke (3-2-2-3-2-2) 14, 6 Jye Etheridge (3-0-0) 3, 7 Dan Bewley (1-2*-1*-3) 7+2.

HT 1: Kurtz, Starke, Batchelor, Woryna, 60.31 (3-3)

HT 2: Etheridge, Shanes, Bewley, Szczepaniak (retired), 61.63 (5-7)

HT 3: Lawson, Grajczonek, Sundstrom, Tungate (retired), 60.47 (8-10)

HT 4: Fricke, Bewley, Shanes, Kildemand, 59.47 (9-15)

HT 5: Starke, Grajczonek, Sundstrom, Batchelor, 60.54 (12-18)

HT 6: Kurtz, Fricke, Woryna, Etheridge, 60.47 (16-20)

HT 7: Kildemand, Tungate, Szczepaniak, Lawson, 61.50 (20-22)

HT 8: Woryna, Starke, Bewley, Shanes, 60.25 (23-25)

HT 9: Sundstrom, Fricke, Grajczonek, Etheridge, 60.31 (27-27)

HT 10: Kurtz, Woryna, Lawson, Tungate, 61.28 (32-28)

HT 11: Kildemand, Szczepaniak, Batchelor, Starke, 61.88 (37-29)

HT 12: Fricke, Grajczonek, Szczepaniak, Lawson, 60.75 (40-32)

HT 13: Kurtz, Fricke, Kildemand, Batchelor (fell), 60.72 (44-34)

HT 14: Bewley, Sundstrom, Tungate, Szczepaniak, 62.13 (46-38)

HT 15: Kurtz, Fricke, Grajczonek, Starke, 61.47 (50-40)

HT 16 (Pete Ansell memorial race): Sundstrom, Grajczonek, Szczepaniak, Kurtz


Lots of speed, lots of excitement… welcome back Brady Kurtz.

The former Australian champion got off to a sluggish start in the opening heat but still roared back to win it.

He showed his nerveless streak in keeping out the flying Max Fricke in heat six and looked relatively untroubled until Fricke pushed him again in heat 15.

Having enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2017, it appears Kurtz has picked up where he left off.

A positive night for Pirates and some promising signs for the season to come.