LEICESTER No.1 Max Fricke leads the Australian Championship with two rounds to go after taking victory at Albury-Wodonga on Tuesday.

Fricke, who is chasing a fourth national title, collected his second win of the 2024 series and also enjoyed a five-point swing over his chief rival Rohan Tungate, who had led by three going into the meeting.

And it was a Watling JCB Lions one-two in the meeting as Ryan Douglas finished as runner-up to keep his hopes of a top four finish overall alive.

Fricke scored 12 from his five qualifying rides, which was one behind meeting leaders Jaimon Lidsey and Jack Holder after Heat 20 as both scored 13.

Douglas was comfortably into the semi-finals as well on 10 points, despite failing to finish in Heat 15, whilst Sam Masters also secured a place in the top eight by finishing on eight points thanks to a win in his last ride.

Fricke and Tungate clashed in the first semi-final, with scores from that race not counting to the overall totals, and Tungate took the win narrowly over Fricke as both made it into the Final at the expense of Lidsey who hit trouble on the first bend, and Chris Holder also missed out.

With Lidsey missing out in that race, Holder also failed to progress from the second semi as Douglas took the win from the outside gate, whilst Ben Cook passed Masters to take the other Final place.

The decider saw Douglas on the outside again with Fricke on the inside, and after an even start it was Fricke who pulled away whilst Douglas got the better of Cook in the battle for second, and Tungate was left in fourth place, giving Fricke four series points from that race and Tungate just one.

Fricke now leads the series on 43 points with Tungate on 41, whilst Lidsey is on 36 and Jack Holder has 35. Douglas is just outside the top four on 29, and Masters is placed joint eighth on 24.

The competition moves on to Mildura on Thursday with the finale at Gillman on Saturday.

Photo credit: DAVE PAYNE

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