CHRIS Harris believes the Bees are full of confidence going into the play-offs as they rounded off a busy week with a convincing 54-36 win over Leicester last Friday, writes Observer speedway reporter Robin Allen.
The Bees were without heat-leader Joonas Kylmakorpi for all three meetings last week with the Fin being ruled out for the rest of the season through injury.
But no less than ten points from Kylmakorpi’s rider replacement rides against the Lions means Gary Havelock’s side are in a comfortable position despite being a rider down.
“The team rode well and we all scored points, there was a few mishaps but other than that it was pretty good,” said Harris.
“It was a good win, and we’re not fussed who we get in the play-offs – it doesn’t really matter, we can beat anyone. Obviously it’s a big loss to be without Joonas (Kylmakorpi), but hopefully we can cover that.”
The home side did not break the deadlock until Harris teamed up with Danny King in heat three to excellent effect, with the pair going either side of Symon Wozinak on the back-straight putting them on a 5-1.
The Lions responded with a 5-1 of their own in heat six as Wozinak partnered skipper Jason Doyle who overpowered Hans Andersen and King with the score now 19-17 in Bees’ favour.
That joy was short-lived as Harris and King got their second 5-1 in four races in heat seven which put the hosts back in a commanding position.
And if it was not for rider mishaps in the following three races, Gary Havelock’s team could have put themselves in a position where they would not be caught.
But two 5-1’s either side of the interval put the home-side 16 points up with riders like Kyle Howarth and Andersen getting a confidence boost with heat wins.
Despite the best efforts of Doyle in heat 13, Bees secured their fourth straight victory against the Lions with a 3-3 shared heat.
But that was not the end of the entertainment as the Bees pairing of Harris and Andersen looked set for a 5-1 in heat 15 only for the Dane to be excluded after being pushed wide by Doyle in the first turn.
In the re-run Doyle gated in front of Harris but the Bees captain went in pursuit of Leicester’s number-one, and finally got the better of the Australian with a superb blast round the outside on the final turn to grab the win to the delight of the home crowd.
Harris added: “I made a good start the first time but then they re-ran it, and I didn’t make a bad one second time but Jason just got in front of me and was in the dirt.
“I chased him for four laps and I think he just moved off the dirt-line a bit too much, I saw it and thought I’d have a go, and I just got round!”