PREVIEW Saturday 7th October 2017, 10:22pm
To paraphrase Fairground Ticket ‘It has to be e e e e pair-fect’ and that’s what our duo of Ricky Wells and Sam Masters will be looking for as they head to Owlerton on Sunday afternoon hopeful of glory in the SGB Championship Pairs event.
Of course Sam is a previous winner of the event with the Monarchs having taken the title in partnership with Max Fricke at Somerset in front of the Sky camera’s back in 2014. This will be Ricky’s debut in the competition with the Monarchs and he will be looking to shine.
The Monarchs have as good a chance as any many would say with our pairing both having strong Sheffield pedigree. Sam having been a PLRC winner at the venue and he was second in the same event last year. Ricky is a former Sheffield number 1 and has been in top form around Owlerton this season racing to 15 and 12 points in the Monarchs last 2 visits.
There are many teams that will look to challenge though and for the Monarchs to have any chance they will need to progress from a tasty looking group B including hosts Sheffield, Newcastle, Redcar and Berwick.
The hosts are minus Josh Grajczonek but with Kyle Howarth and Lasse Bjerre on their home shale they cannot be discounted. The Diamonds are served by Steve Worrall and Stuart Robson both of whom are more than capable of winning any race they enter.
Newcastle’s north east rivals Redcar will be exciting to watch with Ben Barker and Charles Wright always in the thick of it. Completing the group is Kevin Doolan and David Howe for the Bandits and while they will not be favourites to progress to the semi final they have the most experienced pairing in the field and both are noted team riders which is key in this format.
Should the Monarchs progress to the semi finals they will meet one of the 5 teams that make up group A with these being Richard Lawson and Aaron Summers for Glasgow, Chris Harris and Ulrich Ostergaard for Peterborough, Rory Schlein and Danny King for Ipswich, confirmed 2018 GP rider Craig Cook and Ty Proctor for Workington and Lewis Kerr and Josh Auty completing the group for Scunthorpe.
As always in the Pairs event the format is slightly different with team riding imperative as a scoring system of 4,3,2,0 punishing last places rather than awarding heat wins. Each team will race the rest of the teams in their group giving 4 qualifying heats each with the top 2 from each group progressing to the semi finals.
Can our men take top spot on the podium and get the Parsons Peebles Monarchs some silverware for the season only time will tell but it is sure to be a great day in what is always one of the best meetings of the season.