FRICKE CLOSES ON AUSSIE TITLE
SGP star Max Fricke hailed rival Chris Holder for leaving him enough racing room as he moved within 11 points of Aussie Championship glory.
09 / 01 / 2020, 11:43
FIM Speedway Grand Prix star Max Fricke hailed rival Chris Holder for leaving him enough racing room as he moved within 11 points of sealing his second straight Australian Championship.
Fricke overhauled 2012 world champion Chris Holder in a tense final showdown to top the podium in round three at Mildura on Thursday, with Jack Holder third and Brady Kurtz fourth.
Former SGP star Chris Holder headed the heat scorechart on 14 points before winning the first semi-final, which saw Fricke fend off a ferocious charge from 2018 champion Rohan Tungate for second place.
The gap opened up on the outside in the final and coming from gate four, I just went for it and it worked in my favour. Fair play to Chris, he gave me enough room.
But it was Fricke who got the verdict when it mattered most to top the podium for the second straight round following his win at Undera on Tuesday.
And he paid tribute to his Aussie international team mate for not putting him in danger as he made the big blast around the outside for the lead in the opening exchanges.
He said: “The gap opened up on the outside in the final and coming from gate four, I just went for it and it worked in my favour. Fair play to Chris, he gave me enough room. He’s a really good rider and very fair.”
Fricke admits he battled to find a fast setup in the heats. He added: “I was really struggling with the bike all night – fighting it. We made a couple of changes for the last couple of heats and that made a big difference.”
The former World Under-21 champion’s victory moves him on to 55 championship points, 11 ahead of Chris Holder, who has 44. Aussie Under-21 champion Jaimon Lidsey and Tungate are tied on 43 in third, with Jack Holder just behind on 42 in fifth place.
Fricke can now guarantee the title at the final round in Gillman this Saturday if he scores 11 points or more – a target that reduces with every point his nearest rivals drop.
AUSTRALIAN CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 1 Max Fricke 55, 2 Chris Holder 44, 3= Jaimon Lidsey 43, Rohan Tungate 43, 5 Jack Holder 42, 6 Brady Kurtz 37, 7 Sam Masters 29, 8 Josh Pickering 25, 9 Ryan Douglas 22, 10= Zach Cook 15, Jordan Stewart 15, 12= Robert Medson 14, Justin Sedgmen 14, 14 Ben Cook 10, 15 Jack Morrison 5, 16 Patrick Hamilton 1, 17= Zane Keleher 0, Declan Knowles 0, Brayden McGuinness 0.
HEAT SCORES: Chris Holder 14, Jack Holder 13, Max Fricke 13, Jaimon Lidsey 11, Rohan Tungate 11, Brady Kurtz 10, Ryan Douglas 9, Josh Pickering 9, Sam Masters 8, Robert Medson 5, Justin Sedgmen 5, Jordan Stewart 4, Ben Cook 3, Zach Cook 3, Jack Morrison 1, Patrick Hamilton 1, Brayden McGuinness 0.
Semi-Final 1: C Holder, Fricke, Tungate, Douglas.
Semi-Final 2: J Holder, Kurtz, Lidsey, Pickering.
Grand Final: Fricke, C Holder, J Holder, Kurtz.