LYONS TROPHY PREVIEW
LYONS SOLO TROPHY TO BE HARD FOUGHT
One of the most prominent meetings for Solo riders at Olympic Park this season will be held this Saturday night when the Jason Lyons Trophy will be decided amongst sixteen of the best riders to be seen at Mildura for some time.
The field includes the new British Speedway Champion, Charles Wright, along with his colleagues, Dan Bewley, who last Saturday won the Jack Young Cup at Gillman, as well as fellow UK riders, Tom Brennan and Kyle Bickley with Emil Grondal from Denmark and Szymon Slauderbach, from Poland making a strong International line-up.
All these young International stars are resident in Mildura for about 5 weeks and they, especially, Wright, will be keen on maintaining their good season’s form whilst enjoying the sunshine of Sunraysia after having such a wet end to the British season.
Matched up against these International riders are our own Solo stars in Justin Sedgmen, who last Saturday took the 2019 Victorian Solo Title against good company at Undera, along with maximum heat scorer on Victorian Title night, Jaimon Lidsey and the British Champion’s team mate from the Redcar “Bears”, local rider Jordan Stewart. All three of Mildura’s local riders have been strong in their support of having the visiting International riders in Mildura by helping with machinery, travel and accommodation. These International friendships are vital in getting riders to visit Mildura and a good sign that the system is working is that both Bickley and Brennan have returned for their second visit “down under”.
Some of the other young stars of Australian Solo speedway include Zane Keleher, who has put his name in lights with good recent results. Keleher, who hails from Townsville, and who, last Saturday took second place in the Victorian meeting behind Sedgmen has signaled his intent for the year. In the first running of the Title “A” Final, Keleher found himself in the lead ahead of meeting favourite, Jaimon Lidsey, who fell while chasing the young Queenslander very hard, causing the race to be stopped. In the re-run, the experienced Sedgmen gated well and consolidated his position to win the Title, otherwise the young man from FNQ may have been the Victorian Champion. A podium position in the prestigious Lyons meeting is not beyond the young rider, so perhaps more fancied riders will need to pay due respect to Keleher right from the outset.
Keleher is not afraid of the vast travel he has undertaken in order to progress his dreams of riding speedway for a job and his recent trip down south for this long stay has already been made worthwhile by his second place at Undera.
Jordy Stewart had a fall while racing Sedgmen and Lidsey in a vital heat of the State Title and, after the stoppage, was excluded from the re-run and after that, also was Medically disqualified from the remainder of the Title meeting, which took away any chance he had of finishing on the State podium.
Dakota Ballantyne has just spent time overseas learning the craft and Mildura fans will be keen to see his improvement, as they will with young Cowra brothers, Zack and Ben Cook as well as Matty Gilmore, who has also had time overseas learning the job of speedway.
The sixteen riders also include Jedd List and Kane Lawrence, both of who are clearly good riders and they will not want to be taken lightly.
Club solo co-ordinator, Ryan Sedgmen, has gathered a very strong group for the Lyons meeting, so much so, that the spill over has been gathered into two more divisions of racing with a “Young Guns” class of eight riders as well as a smaller group of “Future Stars”, who are the lads who have only, just recently, graduated into Senior competition.
The Young Guns include some riders who performed well in last week’s State Title with Jack Morrison, from Bendigo, finishing second in the State “B” Final with Aden Clare, from Albury, next in third while Swan Hill rider, Declan Knowles finished in fourth place for an overall seventh in the State. This form from these younger riders could easily be carried forward into the Lyons Trophy as all three lads will have taken great confidence from the Undera meeting, so Mildura patrons are going to watch carefully at all grades of racing.
The younger class includes locals, Tom Dixon and Patty Hamilton with Bailey Viner, Dayle Wood and Jamie Crundwell providing stiff competition for each other.
Mildura’s local Sidecars also add some extra spice to the mostly Solo meeting with Club president, Neale Hancock / Tubs Johnson, former Victorian Champion, Byren Gates / Mick O’Loughlin, Mark Radford / Blake Halls and Simon Cohrs / Reece Farr, all set to see if they can quell the form of our opening meeting’s firebrands, AJ Pearce / Eli Bock, who started the season in fast, smooth and wonderful form. Riders like Pearce and Bock sometimes just take a little while to get their machinery and their form in cinque and begin to score the points that they always hoped for.
Mildura club is delighted that so many young riders in both Solos and Sidecars are coming through as that shows that Olympic Park fans are due for great entertainment into the future. The Club is delighted to welcome the boys from overseas and hope that their stay is memorable for more than just the “Dust storms” which greeted them for their Practice sessions of the last two weeks.
The Victorian Under 16 Speedway Championship will begin at 5pm ahead of the Senior racing, which will begin at 7:15 with the regular Lyons Trophy stars contesting the “Exposed Signage & Apparel – Dash for Cash”.
Olympic Park gates will open to the public at 5:30 pm and the Club advises that there is plenty of Free Grandstand accommodation available or patrons can bring their own chair or a rug and avail themselves of a spot anywhere on the grassy banks which surround the Stadium. Fine food and drinks are available from the concession holders at Olympic Park and patrons are advised that there must be No BYO by law.
Next meeting at Mildura is now on FRIDAY 29th November when the Clun will hold the “Robinson Plumbing – Mildura Solo Masters” which will see all the major players from this week’s Jason Lyons Trophy.