Stars’ boss hints at further changes after Belle Vue defeat

King’s Lynn team boss Alex Brady has hinted at further team changes in time for Monday night’s return meeting against Belle Vue at the National Speedway Stadium.

Artem Laguta put in a sensational performance on his second appearance for the club – but it wasn’t enough to inspire the MacInnes Stars to a win over reigning Sports Insure Premiership champions, who left the Adrian Flux Arena with a 49-41 victory on Thursday night.

After the meeting Brady said: “We were right in it for a long way, and it shows we can compete if we’re all firing, but the second half of the meeting didn’t go to plan.

Artem Laguta in the pits at the Adrian Flux Arena
Artem Laguta in the pits at the Adrian Flux Arena

“The engine room is where we’re lacking, and it’s something that will have to change.

“There will definitely be a change in time for Belle Vue away on Monday, there are some things to build on, and hopefully there will be a reaction again.”

Laguta – on his way to a 16-point haul – produced one of the rides of the season to get the better of Jaimon Lidsey and Charles Wright in an epic Heat 10.

The Russian dropped just two points in six rides, and twice got the better of GP star Dan Bewley, but the Stars suffered a stroke of bad luck as a four-point lead was wiped out in Heat 5, and the Aces gained in strength in the second half of the meeting.

Brady added: “It was a battling performance, and obviously Artem got to grips with the track very well tonight, Tofty backed him up really well, and Jason rode his socks off too.

“We had a bit of bad luck with Fred losing a spark plug and then getting a 5-1 against us in the re-run, which just seems to be our luck at the moment.

“We’re just that engine room away from being a good side. There are positives to take but I’d be lying if I said I was happy, because I’m not.

Laguta made the first passing move of the night on Tom Brennan in Heat 1 and Nicolai Klindt also won his opening ride as the meeting started with three shared races.

But it was the Stars who broke the deadlock thanks to a super 5-1 from Michael Palm Toft and Rising Star reserve Jason Edwards in Heat 4 as they took maximum points over Brennan, who was taking the rider replacement outing for injured Aces skipper Brady Kurtz.

However, there was misfortune for Lynn in Heat 5 as they held a 4-2 with Klindt out-front before third-placed Frederik Jakobsen suffered mechanical trouble forcing Bewley to lay his machine down. In the re-run the Aces gated on a 5-1 and Klindt himself hit trouble, coasting around for the third place point.

The next three races were all shared with Laguta, Palm Toft and Thomas Jorgensen all notching race wins for the Stars, the Heat 7 effort by MPT seeing him smartly move inside Lidsey on the second lap.

Belle Vue edged ahead for the first time with a 4-2 in Heat 9, and that margin would have been extended further in the next but for Laguta’s heroics, as he stormed from third to first getting around Wright and then inside Lidsey in a move which had the crowd in raptures.

But Bewley showed his own brilliance in Heat 11 as he overhauled Palm Toft with Brennan third for a 4-2, and the Aces struck a killer blow with a 5-1 in Heat 12 as reserve Norick Blodorn made the start and was joined by Lidsey, who made it past Jakobsen midway through the race.

With the gap at eight points, Heat 13 was shared as Bewley ended Laguta’s winning run whilst Palm Toft salvaged third place from Wright, but it still left the Stars needing two 5-1s to force a draw and a Super Heat decider.

Laguta appeared in Heat 14 as a tactical substitute but Wright rode well to take the win and secure the victory for the Aces, before Laguta and Palm Toft completed the meeting with a 4-2, split by Bewley in Heat 15.

King’s Lynn Stars 41: Artem Laguta 16, Michael Palm Toft 10+1, Nicolai Klindt 4, Jason Edwards 3+2, Thomas Jorgensen 3, Frederik Jakobsen 3, Kye Thomsen 2.

Belle Vue Aces 49: Dan Bewley 14+2, Jaimon Lidsey 10+1, Norick Blodorn 9+1, Tom Brennan 9, Charles Wright 6+3, Jake Mulford 1+1, Brady Kurtz r/r.