REST HASN'T SLOWED FLYING FRICKE
Aussie champ Max Fricke admits some time off the bike hasn’t slowed him down after taking a six-point lead in the Australian Championship.
08 / 01 / 2020, 12:22
Aussie champion Max Fricke admits some time off the bike hasn’t slowed him down after taking a six-point lead in the Australian Championship race.
The Mansfield-born racer finished third at the opening round in Albury on Monday, before topping the podium at round two in Undera on Tuesday to give himself a healthy advantage ahead of Thursday’s meeting in Mildura and the decider at Gillman this Saturday.
Fricke has had a relatively quiet off-season, while many of his rivals have been competing in other Aussie events.
I have had a couple of good meetings now. Hopefully I can keep that consistency up and be on the podium come the end of the championship.
So the FIM Speedway Grand Prix newcomer is glad to have found his form so quickly as he defends the national title he won for the first time last year.
“It’s nice to be in that position,” he said. “I haven’t really been riding a whole lot recently, so I have just winged it and had a bit of a play.
“Being in the middle of our off-season, I have been trying to have a bit of a break. I also had some delays with bike parts not really turning up on time. I didn’t really have any equipment for a while.
“It’s nice that it has worked out at the start of the series. I’ve started having a bit of a ride and so far, so good.
“I have had a couple of good meetings now. Hopefully I can keep that consistency up and be on the podium come the end of the championship.”
Fricke’s Undera victory owed much to some lightening starts, particularly from the inside gates in the semis and final. But the Norrbil Swedish SGP finalist admits he had to earn the right to start in red.
He said: “To be honest, the starts were really slick and trying. The inside gate had a pretty clear advantage. I had two gate fours in my heats, so I had to make the most of what I could. That gave me a good pick for the semis and final. I chose gate one, which gave me a clear advantage. I’m quite happy to have started well enough earlier in the night to have a good gate pick for the final.”
Fricke has Aussie Under-21 champion Jaimon Lidsey and 2018 Aussie champion Rohan Tungate on his tail, with both men tied on 31 points in second place. Brothers Chris and Jack Holder and Brady Kurtz are on 25 apiece.
AUSTRALIAN CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 1 Max Fricke 37, 2= Jaimon Lidsey 31, Rohan Tungate 31, 4= Jack Holder 25, Chris Holder 25, Brady Kurtz 25, 7 Sam Masters 21, 8 Josh Pickering 16, 9 Ryan Douglas 13, 10 Zach Cook 12, 11 Jordan Stewart 11, 12= Robert Medson 9, Justin Sedgmen 9, 14 Ben Cook 7, 15 Jack Morrison 4, 16= Zane Keleher 0, Declan Knowles 0.
Photo: Taylor Lanning