Speedway

Locals have plenty to race for at Australian Speedway Solo Championship final

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Three riders from the Newcastle area still have plenty to race for in the third and final round of the 2010 Australian Speedway Solo Championship at the Newcastle Showground Speedway this Saturday night (January 9), although outright honours are out of their reach. Best placed of the local riders, currently in eighth place, after the first two rounds is Jason Doyle who is hell-bent on finishing the championship series on a bright note. Doyle looks back on the opening rounds as missed opportunities to be right in contention for a rostrum berth. At Gillman he was on target to qualify directly to the A Final as one of the top three scorers from the heats before a fall in his final outing meant he was consigned to the B Final for the next four topscorers. It was a similar story at Mildura where a pointless last heat cost him a place in the B Final. Make no mistake Doyle is capable of beating even the leading quartet in the championship around Newcastle Showground and such a performance would also signal to British promoters that he is back close to his best after missing virtually all of the 2009 season. For both Sam Masters and Alex Davies the championship was always going to be a learning experience. Masters was restricted by a blown engine and Davies had never raced at either Gillman or Mildura before the championship commenced, but beyond the inconsistency that young riders invariably show at that level of competition that has kept them well down in the points battle, their performances have been exceptional. Both Masters and Davies managed at least one heat win in each round with Masters' best effort in beating Chris Holder, while Davies came from behind to beat World Under 21 champion Darcy Ward. The efforts of those two riders will obviously be pleasing to the teams that they have signed to race for in their debut season in the UK in 2010. One change has been made to the line-up for Saturday night with the oldest rider in the field, Mildura rider Mark Lemon ordered to rest. Lemon was taken to hospital after a heavy crash at Gillman on Saturday night, but released and then rode the following night at Mildura although obviously still suffering back pain. On Monday officials from the Royal Adelaide Hospital advised Lemon that further examination of X-Rays showed that he had damaged his L1 vertebrae. His place is taken by young Englishman Jo Haines. The new temporary grandstand seating is in place around turns 1 and 2 giving fans far more viewing options. Gates at the Newcastle Showground will open at 3pm with the Rider Presentation at 6pm before racing from 7pm.

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