FRICKE CELEBRATES AUSSIE TITLE DOUBLE
SGP star Max Fricke is delighted to join the ranks of back-to- back Australian Championship winners after lifting title No.2 at Gillman.
11 / 01 / 2020, 10:56
FIM Speedway Grand Prix newcomer Max Fricke is delighted to join the ranks of back-to-back Australian Championship winners after lifting title No.2 at Gillman on Saturday.
Fricke went into the meeting with an 11-point lead at the top of the standings and sealed the trophy in heat 14, before finishing second on the night to Jack Holder, with Rohan Tungate third.
Josh Pickering also starred in fourth place, producing some of the rides of the series and sensationally overhauling 2012 world champion Chris Holder for second place in semi-final one to dump him out of the meeting.
It’s nice to put my name down as a back-to-back champion with all the names that are on the trophy. Chris is some pretty good company to win back-to-back titles with.
Champion Fricke finished on 71 points in the overall standings, while Jack Holder’s victory in the final round earned him second place on 62, with 2018 winner Tungate third on 59 and Chris Holder fourth on 57. All four riders earn Australia’s spots in the SGP qualification rounds.
But it’s Fricke who starts the year as national champion once again. The Andorra-based ace, who was competing on Anlas tyres, was delighted with a consistent series, which saw him win the middle rounds at Undera and Mildura, as well as finishing second at Gillman and third in the opener at Albury.
Fricke said: “It’s really cool. I just wanted to come here, be consistent, pick up points wherever I could and hopefully make it back-to-back titles. We have achieved that now.
“I wasn’t doing anything silly. I knew I had a good lead, so it was really nice to know I could come away with it and relax for the rest of the night.
“It’s nice to put my name down as a back-to-back champion with all the names that are on the trophy. Chris is some pretty good company to win back-to-back titles with.
“I am over the moon and can’t thank everyone enough – all the track staff from all the rounds we have been to, the boys who have been helping me and all my sponsors. It has been a real team effort this week and it’s a hard week for everyone. It’s nice that it’s all wrapped up now and I can relax a little.”
Despite being a full-time SGP rider, Fricke is set to contest the qualification rounds for next season’s series, especially with only the top six riders in the World Championship guaranteed places in SGP 2021.
He said: “I will probably go into the qualifiers to see how I go. It depends a lot on the championship. I don’t know where I’m going to end up to begin with.
“You can be confident for the SGP series, but it’s nice to have a back-up there. I’ll do the qualifiers, but we’re trying to build everything up for the Grand Prix to have a successful year.”
AUSTRALIAN CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 1 Max Fricke 71, 2 Jack Holder 62, 3 Rohan Tungate 59, 4 Chris Holder 57, 5 Jaimon Lidsey 55, 6 Brady Kurtz 47, 7 Josh Pickering 38, 8 Sam Masters 37, 9 Ryan Douglas 26, 10= Zach Cook 20, Robert Medson 20, 12 Justin Sedgmen 19, 13 Ben Cook 17, 14 Jordan Stewart 16, 15 Jack Morrison 6, 16= Patrick Hamilton 1, Dakota Ballantyne 1, 18= Zane Keleher 0, Declan Knowles 0, Brayden McGuinness 0.
HEAT SCORES: Jack Holder 14, Rohan Tungate 13, Chris Holder 12, Jaimon Lidsey 11, Josh Pickering 11, Max Fricke 11, Brady Kurtz 10, Sam Masters 8, Ben Cook 7, Robert Medson 6, Justin Sedgmen 5, Zach Cook 5, Ryan Douglas 4, Jack Morrison 1, Jordan Stewart 1, Dakota Ballantyne 1, Brayden McGuinness 0.
Semi-Final 1: J Holder, Pickering, C Holder, Kurtz.
Semi-Final 2: Fricke, Tungate, Lidsey, Masters.
Final: J Holder, Fricke, Tungate, Pickering.
Photo: Taylor Lanning