Thursday April 13, 2023
POLISH star Krzysztof Kasprzak raced to a stunning 15-point maximum on his home debut as King’s Lynn defeated Wolverhampton 49-41 to collect their first league win of the season.

Kasprzak, who had been below par in the MacInnes Stars’ opening two matches, was in unbeatable form at the Adrian Flux Arena as the home side received just the boost they needed.

The eight-point margin of victory wasn’t enough to prevent Wolves from taking the aggregate bonus point, but it was a major step in the right direction after last week’s heavy defeats at Monmore and then Sheffield.

Kasprzak took top billing but another hugely encouraging sign was that six of the seven Stars riders won at least one race, against a Wolves side who have started the season in fine form themselves.

The visitors edged into an early lead thanks to a 4-2 in Heat 1 but the first maximum of the night went Lynn’s way in Heat 3 through Kasprzak and skipper Josh Pickering, who held off the challenge of former Stars skipper Rory Schlein.

Wolves’ Rising Star Leon Flint impressively defeated Michael Palm Toft in Heat 4 to level the scores, but a super ride by Nicolai Klindt saw him pass Scott Nicholls in Heat 6, whilst behind them Thomas Jorgensen also came from the back against Zach Cook for a 4-2.

A super first lap by Palm Toft in Heat 7 saw him get the better of Schlein and Ryan Douglas, before the Stars moved four clear as Jorgensen won Heat 8 and youngster Jason Edwards took a vital third place over Flint.

The home side then carded a massive 5-1 in Heat 9 from Kasprzak and Pickering over Nicholls to go eight points up – but they weren’t home and dry just yet because Wolves responded two races later as Steve Worrall and Sam Masters reduced the deficit back to four points.

But Pickering and Frederik Jakobsen recorded a 4-2 in Heat 12, split by Schlein, which became even more important when Wolves secured their own 4-2 in the next, leaving the scores at 41-37.

However, the tension was eased in Heat 14 as Kasprzak sailed to his fourth straight win, and Jakobsen controlled third place over Flint to confirm the Stars as victors on the night.

All that remained was for Kasprzak to complete his full house, which he duly did with another super start, and whilst Pickering just missed out to Masters as the Stars looked for a final 5-1, it was still a more than satisfactory outcome to the meeting.

Stars manager Alex Brady said: “It was a fantastic night, and for me it was a real team performance in which everyone chipped in.

“Obviously KK deserves the plaudits and rightly so he’ll get them, and I’m delighted for him especially.

“The strength in depth approach is what we wanted to do, and whilst I appreciate there’s some teams out there with some big-name riders, let’s not forget that KK was No.2 in the World not too many years ago, and performances like that shows you why.

“I’m confident in what we’ve got, and confident that tonight is the beginning of our season. I believe last week was our two toughest fixtures, we went to Wolverhampton and Sheffield with very minimal track time and it wasn’t enough.

“But back here, with home comforts, it feels much more like the season has begun. Last week is a write-off, and we go from here.”

The Stars now have a clear week before hosting Sheffield on Monday April 24 in the second leg of their KO Cup tie, and they also have a trip to Leicester on April 27.

KING’S LYNN 49: Krzysztof Kasprzak 15, Josh Pickering 8+2, Thomas Jorgensen 8, Michael Palm Toft 7, Frederik Jakobsen 6, Nicolai Klindt 4+1, Jason Edwards 1.
WOLVERHAMPTON 41: Steve Worrall 10, Sam Masters 9+2, Ryan Douglas 7, Scott Nicholls 5, Leon Flint 5, Rory Schlein 4+1, Zach Cook 1+1.
Wolverhampton win aggregate bonus point

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