FRICKE WINS TITLE OPENER

Thursday January 04, 2024
LEICESTER’S Max Fricke has made an excellent to 2024 with victory in the opening round of the Australian Championship at North Brisbane.

The Watling JCB Lions’ No.1 got the better of Rohan Tungate, Jaimon Lidsey and Josh Pickering in a hotly contested Final at the start of the five-round series.

It’s an important competition for Fricke, not just because of the national championship status, but because a top four finish overall will hand him a route into this summer’s Grand Prix qualifiers after he was surprisingly overlooked for a place in the main 2024 series despite finishing ninth last year.

He scored 11 points from his five qualifying rides at the Mick Doohan Raceway, recovering well from a last place in Heat 11 to post wins in his last two outings to add to an earlier success in Heat 7.

In the semi-final, he got past Lidsey on the second lap as Brady Kurtz and Chris Holder were eliminated, and the Final also saw him come from the back after Tungate had initially held the lead.

Tungate, who scored 13 in the qualifiers, narrowly leads the series with 16 points overall, whilst Fricke – who collected four for winning the Final – is joined by Lidsey on 15.

Ryan Douglas also reached the semi-finals after scoring eight points, but he missed out in the second semi when he finished third behind Tungate and Josh Pickering, ahead of defending champion Jack Holder.

Meanwhile Sam Masters was one point adrift of qualifying for the semis, ending the meeting with seven points.

The series continues at Kurri Kurri on Sunday (January 7).

Photo credit: DAVE PAYNE



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