By Henry Chard
PETERBOROUGH 42: Nicki Pedersen 0 (Withdrawn), Hans Andersen © 8+1, Richie Worrall 4, Benjamin Basso 13, Niels-Kristian Iversen 9+1, Ben Cook 3+2, Jordan Jenkins (RS) 5+2. Team Manager: Rob Lyon
IPSWICH 48: Jason Doyle 10+4, Erik Riss 8, Danny King © 9, Keynan Rew 4, Emil Sayfutdinov 14, Danyon Hume 1+1, Joe Thompson (RS) 2+1. Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
REFEREE: W. Jarvis
The Ipswich ‘Tru Mix’ Witches began the 2023 season with a win on the road as they defeated Peterborough in the Premiership on Monday night.
The hosts lost their number one Nicki Pedersen to injury in heat one after a fall and although they led narrowly for the majority of the night, the away side timed things perfectly to hit three maximums in the final five races and secure victory. Emil Sayfutdinov top scored for Ipswich with 14 points from five rides.
Pedersen’s much-anticipated debut for the home side didn’t start as planned as he hit the deck in heat one and was excluded from the re-run. There was a delay to proceedings as remedial work was done to the track before Erik Riss and Jason Doyle cruised home for a maximum to the visitors. The hosts hit back with a 5-1 of their own in heat two before Benjamin Basso passed Danny King on the final bend to win heat three as the Panthers recorded a 4-2. Sayfutdinov re-introduced himself to British speedway in fine style in heat four as he worked his way through the traffic to win the race as the points were shared, leaving Peterborough two points to the good.
Basso held off Doyle to win heat five as the home team extended their lead. Pedersen was unable to take any further part in the fixture after his opening race crash, with injury rider replacement in operation for the Panthers for the remainder of the evening. Sayfutdinov raced to another impressive victory in a shared heat six and skipper King won heat seven as Niels-Kristian Iversen battled past Keynan Rew for second, with the Australian’s first point for the club handing the Witches a 2-4. Heat eight ended in a 3-3 with Peterborough leading by two points.
The Panthers started heat nine strongly before with Basso and Richie Worrall at the front before the latter slipped from second to last allowing the Witches pair of Sayfutdinov and Danyon Hume into the points. The home team extended their lead in heat 10 with a 5-1 but their lead was reduced back to just two points after heat 11 as Riss won and Doyle passed the Panthers to join his partner at the front for a maximum. King added another three points to his total with a win in heat 12, as a 3-3 left the score finely poised at 37-35 with three to race.
The heavy-hitting duo of Sayfutdinov and Doyle produced the goods in heat 13 as a 1-5 gave Ipswich the lead for the first time since heat one. Basso looked on course for another win in heat 14 but Rew had other ideas and passed the Dane to get a fantastic first race win in British speedway and secure a 3-3. Sayfutdinov and Doyle completed the job in heat 15 with another maximum which ensured the perfect start to the season for the Suffolk side.
REACTION FROM THE BOSS
Ipswich ‘Tru Mix’ Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins reflects on Monday’s win over Peterborough.
“I’m delighted to get an away win on the board early because it gives us a really good start to the league season. I was really happy with all seven of them, obviously there is room for improvement, clearly at the bottom end but there was also a lot of positive rides from them.
“Peterborough was a nice one to come back to for Emil and everyone really, it is always nice place to go. It suits Emil and he was rapid, and it was great to see. Him and Doyley are class, it is far from a given that they are going to do the business in heat 13 and 15 but they did tonight.
“I was really happy with Keynan after that heat 14 ride, we talk a lot about the top end, but the bottom end chipped in with vital points and if we are going to win meetings, we are certainly going to need points from the bottom end, and they did that tonight.
“We always take a good following to Peterborough and the away wins are special for the fans. We have been there and had bad meetings on the road and the fans spend their time and money to come and support us and it is nice to send them home happy, that is always what we are trying to achieve.”
RIDER OF THE NIGHT
There has been much anticipation in Britain to see Sayfutdinov back in the Premiership and he did not disappoint, dropping just a point, scoring 14 points from five rides.
WHAT IT MEANS
Ipswich start the 2023 season in a positive manner and pick up two points as Peterborough have to wait to get off the mark this season.
The ‘Tru Mix’ Witches travel to Leicester on Thursday 30th March to take on the Lions at the Pidcock Motorcycles Arena in the first leg of their Knockout Cup tie. Tickets can be purchased online in advance here and on the gate.
Digital Media Manager at Ipswich Speedway