LEICESTER No.1 Max Fricke shattered his own track record as the Watling JCB Lions made club history with a seventh successive victory in the top-flight.

Fricke, whose previous best was 58.75, blasted around the Pidcock Motorcycles Arena, Beaumont Park in an astonishing time of 58.06 in Heat 1 of the Lions’ 54-36 win over King’s Lynn.

It was another magnificent performance from the Australian star, although on this occasion he was denied a third successive home maximum as visiting skipper Nicolai Klindt rode a fine race to defeat him in Heat 15.

But by that stage the points were well and truly in the bag for the Lions, although they were made to wait to take control of proceedings as the struggling Stars made a far better start than more recent opponents.

And despite a tough debut for new signing Troy Batchelor, the remainder of the Lions side put in the kind of solid all-round display which has assisted their rise up the Sports Insure Premiership table.

Despite an almost trademark 5-1 from Fricke and Justin Sedgmen in Heat 1, the Stars quickly gained a foothold with wins for Simon Lambert, Thomas Jorgensen and Klindt to leave the scores level after four races, and it could have been worse but for an error by guest Kyle Howarth in Heat 3 which allowed Chris Harris to split the Lynn pairing.

Artem Laguta held off Harris to make it four successive wins for the visitors in Heat 5, and Sedgmen was disqualified for touching the tapes in Heat 6 with Fricke quickly going inside Klindt for the lead.

Leicester finally made the breakthrough in a controversial Heat 8 featuring a second clash between Lambert and Drew Kemp. In Heat 2 Kemp had been disqualified when he came down going into turn three, but on this occasion Lambert was adjudged to have taken Kemp down heading into the second lap, and the Stars man was ejected.

Sedgmen and Kemp took full advantage with a 5-1 over Anders Rowe in the re-rum, and a great ride by Harris in Heat 9 saw him get the better of Klindt early on before storming around Lambert to take the lead.

The match was won in the next two races with two more Lions 5-1s, first from Fricke and Sedgmen yet again in Heat 10, and then from Richard Lawson and Jake Allen in a dramatic Heat 11 which saw them both bundle their way inside Laguta on the opening lap.

Klindt took a tactical substitute ride in Heat 12 and worked hard to pass Kemp on the last lap, but the Lions then turned the screw with maximum points from Fricke and Lawson over Klindt in Heat 13 as Laguta failed to finish – and then despite being outgated, Allen and Harris outmanoeuvred Jorgensen and Lambert for another 5-1 in Heat 14.

All that remained was for Fricke to complete a maximum in Heat 15 but this time he was denied by Klindt, who rode superbly to hold the Leicester man off.

Manager Stewart Dickson said: “We got there in the end. King’s Lynn put up a good fight, and the scoreline maybe flatters us slightly that we won by 18 points.

“There didn’t look to be that much in it, and we weren’t gating tonight – or King’s Lynn were simply out-gating us for the first few races!

“They came and met us head-on, but we got into the groove and the victory on paper looks a bit more comfortable than what it actually was.”

With the aggregate point also in the bag from the Round 1 clashes with the Stars, the Watling JCB Lions head to King’s Lynn for a Round 2 fixture on Thursday.

LEICESTER 54: Max Fricke 14, Richard Lawson 11+2, Chris Harris 9+1, Justin Sedgmen 7+2, Jake Allen 7+1, Drew Kemp 5+2, Troy Batchelor 1+1.
KING’S LYNN 36: Nicolai Klindt 13+1, Simon Lambert 7+1, Thomas Jorgensen 5+1, Artem Laguta 4, Kyle Howarth 4, Anders Rowe 2+1, Kye Thomson 1.
Leicester win the aggregate point

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