Robert Lambert's perfect six in British U-21 Final
British Under-21 Final at Berwick
1st. Robert Lambert
2nd. Connor Mountain
3rd. Nathan Greaves
4th. Dan Bewley
On one of the biggest nights at Berwick Speedway for a few seasons, 16 of the best Under-21 riders Britain descended on Shielfield Park last night to battle it out over 20 heats a semi and a final to determine the top youngster in the UK this year with Robert Lambert and Dan Bewley the runaway favourites.
At the end of night it was indeed Lambert who reaped the rewards of six perfect gates, and 24 perfect laps of speedway to stand head and shoulders above his 15 opponents as he lifted the British Under-21 Title for the second successive season, but the silver and bronze might not have been everyone's pre-meeting predictions.
After one race a-piece the expected two were unbeaten, along with Zach Wajtknecht and Nathan Greaves, but with some good racing through the field the race for the minor places were far from predictable.
Lambert was out again in Heat Five having recorded by far the fastest time of 2018 in Heat Two, and was up against young Borderer Luke Ruddick, Wajtknecht and Greaves in a vital heat so early on, but it was Lambert who shot out to lead as the other two protagonists locked horns round the opening lap with Greaves pulling out a narrow lead over Wajtknecht, although the third placed man made a thrilling last bend attempt to take second.
A superb Heat Six saw Jack Smith take up the early lead but again behind Joe Lawlor and Kyle Bickley were involved in a fine joust with Bickley looking faster with each lap, but Lawlor took the two points, while Alfie Bowtell rode a fine Heat Seven to take the three points but behind Drew Kemp made a fine overtake of Josh Bailey for a well won point.
Connor Mountain briefly led Heat Eight off bend one only for Bewley to whip round the outside line off bend two to coast for another three points, but Mountain got the two points he deserved despite a late charge from Max Clegg, and after two rides each it was the usual suspects, Lambert and Bewley unbeaten on six points each while on five were Bowtell and Greaves, with Smith, Mountain, Thomas and Wajtknecht weighing in with four.
Bewley was out again in the ninth with Wajtknecht with the pair finishing in that order from the gate, extending Bewley's score to nine and Wajtknecht to six, while Lambert dominated Heat 10 with ease for three more points ahead of Mountain.
Clegg went through the tapes in Heat 11 allowing Leon Flint in as first reserve, and a fine gate he made behind Greaves, but hit a bump on the entrance to bend one and lost ground allowing Bailey through for the two, but a fine race from Flint it was.
After the 12th race, won by Bowtell it was still Lambert and Bewley unbeaten on nine each, with Greaves and Bowtell still holding eight each and come Heat 13 Bowtell met Mountain and Wajtknecht. From the gate it was Bowtell followed by his Lakeside reserve teammate in second, closing gradually in throughout the race, but it was Bowtell who added the three points in with a good victory.
Heat 15 saw the clash of he Titans with Bewley and Lambert, but again it was Lambert who took total control from the off to go onto 12 points and now led Bewley on 11, but after four rides each, Bowtell had also got 11 points tightening the top with Greaves on 10 and Wajtknecht on nine, all with one more qualifier to go before the semi and final.
Heat 16 came to a nasty halt when Wajtknecht lost control on bend one cartwheeling into the fence, but his movements also unsettled Thomas who fell heavily into the second bend fence. Wajtknecht was disqualified from the re-run, in which Clegg roared away for the win.
Heat 18 was a tight race with all competitors chasing points for qualification, and it was Bewley who shot away followed by Greaves and Bowtell, but the lead grew over the four laps with Bewley finishing on 14 points where as his chasing two ended on 12 each.
Lambert completed his qualifying maximum with another solid win from the Heat 20 gate sending himself - along with Bewley - directly into the final.
The semi was running well until Bowtell over did it off the fourth bend and fell into the fence with his disqualification from the re-run, blowing his chance of success. In the re-run Mountain took his first win of the night and went into the final along with Greaves.
The final was won, as well as ever by Lambert by a mile, but behind after a tight first bend where Mountain went wildly up on to his back wheel causing a degree of mayhem which saw Bewley end up stone last, so Lambert retained his Under-21 title, with Mountain in second and Greaves in third.
Individual Riders' Score Chart (Programme Order)
Zach Wajtknecht 3,1,2,1,Fx = 7
Kyle Bickley 1,2,0,2,0 = 5
Josh Bailey 2,0,2,1,1 = 6
Taylor Hampshire 0,0,0,1,1 = 2
Robert Lambert 3,3,3,3,3 = 15
Jason Edwards 0,0,0,0,0 = 0
Alfie Bowtell 2,3,3,2,1 = 12
Max Clegg 1,1E,0,3 = 5
Nathan Greaves 3,2,3,2,2 = 12
Jack Smith 1,3,2,0,2 = 8
Drew Kemp 0,1,1,1,2 = 5
Connor Mountain 2,2,2,2,2 = 10
Luke Ruddick F,0,1,3,3 = 7
Joe Lawlor 1,1,0,0,R = 2
Jack Thomas 2,2,1,3,1 = 9
Dan Bewley 3,3,3,2,3 = 14
Leon Flint 1 = 1
Kieran Douglas Did not ride