LEICESTER climbed to second place in the Sports Insure Premiership with an emphatic 57-33 win over Peterborough at the Pidcock Motorcycles Arena, Beaumont Park.

It was the Watling JCB Lions’ biggest victory of the season, and their sixth in succession in the league, with No.1 Max Fricke putting in yet another outstanding display to make it back-to-back 15-point maximums at home.

Fricke’s unbeaten show was superbly backed up by Richard Lawson, who dropped his only point in five rides to Niels-Kristian Iversen in Heat 12, and every other Lions rider picked up at least two wins or paid wins in a thoroughly convincing display.

Most encouraging was a combined score of 15+3 at reserve from reserves Drew Kemp and Jake Allen as the Lions coped with the absence of Nick Morris who is heavily bruised from a crash in Poland last weekend.

And as in recent home matches, it was a flying start which got the home side on their way as Leicester recorded the first six race winners, with three of those races being 5-1s.

Kemp and Allen raced clear of Jordan Jenkins and Hans Andersen in Heat 2 to put the Lions ahead, with Kemp then riding brilliantly in Heat 4 to join Justin Sedgmen for a 5-1 over the hard-charging Vadim Tarasenko.

Lawson and skipper Chris Harris extended the lead to 12 points in Heat 5 with the Panthers hampered by the disqualification of Richie Worrall for a second offence of movement at the start. The re-run saw Harris spectacularly blast from fourth to second at the end of the opening lap, going between Iversen and Andersen to tuck in behind Lawson.

There was a scare in Heat 6 when Sedgmen emerged unscathed from a heavy fall after a crowded second bend, and Benjamin Basso became Peterborough’s first winner in the next race with a good ride to pass Allen on the last bend.

But a shock 5-1 from Sedgmen and Kemp over Worrall in Heat 8 took the Lions 14-points clear, and the victory was never seriously in doubt from that stage.

Lions added 4-2s in Heats 9 and 10 with Tarasenko again putting in plenty of effort to split Lawson and Harris in the former, whilst Fricke steamed around the field in the latter after being out-gated by Ben Cook.

Iversen then won back-to-back races in Heats 11 and 12, the second as a tactical substitute, as the Panthers picked up two 4-2s, but the Lions would stretch their lead again in the closing stages.

Fricke made it four out of four with Allen third in Heat 13, before a super Heat 14 saw Allen clamp Andersen off turn two whilst Harris picked up speed on the outside and raced from last to first.

There was controversy in Heat 15 when Iversen just made it on track inside the time allowance before then taking too much time on the start-line, resulting in his disqualification for delaying the start.

That meant Basso was the biggest threat to Fricke’s maximum but the Leicester No.1 cut back superbly on turn two to hit the front again, and was joined by Lawson for the Lions’ sixth 5-1 of the night.

Team manager Stewart Dickson said: “We’re winning meetings and we’re back into second place tonight – it’s another two points, and it’s a big lead to take when we go back to Peterborough for the all-important aggregate point.

“We’re starting to build them up now, and that will tell in the league table. They’re almost un-noticed but they’re going to make a big difference.

“We didn’t have Nick tonight but we had Drew and Jake scoring good points at reserve, and all in all it was a good night with some entertaining racing.

“The Jake Allen block on Hans Andersen in Heat 14, and Bomber read it, was fantastic and he actually did a Hans Andersen move on Hans Andersen!

“It was also great to see so many people here tonight, and now we roll on to a week on Monday.”

The Lions have a short break with no fixture next week, and they return to action at home to King’s Lynn on Monday July 17 (7.30pm). This meeting is not being televised live.

LEICESTER 57: Max Fricke 15, Richard Lawson 13+1, Chris Harris 8+1, Drew Kemp 8+1, Jake Allen 7+2, Justin Sedgmen 6+1, Nick Morris r/r.
PETERBOROUGH 33: Niels-Kristian Iversen 10, Benjamin Basso 7, Ben Cook 4+1, Vadim Tarasenko 4+1, Hans Andersen 4, Richie Worrall 3+1, Jordan Jenkins 1.

Photo credit: PHIL McGLYNN

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