NEWS Thursday 26th March 2009, 5:59pm

by Mike Hunter

An almost unprecedented run of machine problems spoilt our night at King's Lynn and wrecked our opening challenge match as a contest.

For most of the night Monarchs seemed to be conducting a masterclass in the unreliability of the modern Speedway engine.

The problems started in heat 1 when Ryan Fisher stopped while second. Sean Stoddart then failed to leave the gate in heat 2, and Matthew Wethers ground to a halt while leading heat 4 and wrecked his engine.

There was no letup. Aaron Summers stopped in heat 5 and was basically a passenger for the rest of the night as he struggled to get above walking pace, and the same goes for Matthew Wethers who had a 2-minute exclusion in heat 6 while he sorted himself out, and dribbled round in his last two rides.

Michal Rajkowski looked quite lively but he joined in the ?fun' by stopping while leading on the first lap of heat 8. He was ahead of Schramm and Ward at this point and it would have been interesting to see if he could have headed this impressive duo.

All this misfortune should not be allowed to completely cloud the fact that even when we were going, our riders did not perform all that well. King's Lynn gave us some of the gift points back through falls by Ward and Sanchez, and all in all it looked rather too much as though the Edinburgh riders were treating this meeting as a glorified practise session.

If that was so, then the weekend's matches against Glasgow must see them snap out of it, get organised and perform substantially better.