Wightlink battle to clinch valiant win

Ben Wilson
Picture: Ian Groves
Ben Wilson Picture: Ian Groves
Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood driving their damaged sidecar at Knockhill. Picture: Tim Keeton/Impact Images

Champions aim to bring ‘A-game’ to Snetterton

Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood. Picture: John Mushet/ JCM Motorsports Photography

Back-to-back titles running away from Stevens

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Wightlink Warriors ended their barren run of form with a hard-earned victory over Kent Kings in the National League at the Andrew Younie Smallbrook Stadium on Thursday evening.

The hosts took a maximum heat advantage in the final race to secure the victory and all three points.

It was an action-packed fixture from heat one.

Warriors’ Kelsey Dugard and Kent’s Liam Carr tangled at the fastest point of the track which threw both riders and machines into the air barrier at speed.

After medical attention, both were able to gingerly make their way back to the pits, although Dugard was limping heavily and Carr in obvious discomfort from arm and shoulder injuries.

Both of their bikes were also completely wrecked.

Initially, the referee excluded Dugard for the collision.

However, Carr produced a brilliant piece of sportsmanship by holding his hands up and admitting it should be him disqualified instead.

The re-run of heat one saw Dugard finish third and it was no surprise it was announced afterwards the injured duo had been withdrawn from the meeting on medical grounds.

From there, it was nip and tuck between the two sides.

The home-heat leaders were in a rich vein of form and the Kings countered by filling the minor places.

In heat 12 Warriors captain James Cockle and Kent’s Ben Hopwood went hammer and tongs with the latter reducing the visitors’ deficit to just two points.

The hosts fought back and clinched a one-two in the next contest.

Heat 14 was a tapes-to-flag win for Jack Thomas of Kent and his partner Anders Rowe finished in third.

The result meant it was still all to play for going into the final race of the evening.

Ben Wilson went unbeaten for the Warriors and was picked to partner skipper James Cockle.

The two both made searing starts and maintained their advantage to the finishing line, despite the Kings’ Hopwood giving everything to close the deficit.

The Warriors received warm applause on their victory parade lap side.

– ROB DYER