SKIPPER Chris Harris admits too many slow starts has been the major factor to Coventry Bees’ downfall this season as they slipped to seventh consecutive away defeat in the Elite League at Wolverhampton on Monday night, writes Observer speedway reporter Robin Allen.
The only bright spot in at 52-41 defeat for the Bees was the form of Harris and Danny King who scored 31 points between them in a sensational display at the Ladbroke Stadium as Havelock’s side also missed the services of track specialist Jason Garrity.
“It’s the story of the season really, said Harris. “We started off badly and finished good.
“I don’t know if some of the boys were out with set-up or whatever, but Wolves is a hard place to come with the team they’ve got, so they just have to learn and move on.
“Everything was working well for me and there was good speed in the bike, and it’s always nice to beat their riders around here so I’m happy, other than the points I dropped.
“We now look ahead to Friday against King’s Lynn at home, where we can hopefully go out in style.
“It is going to be a tough one as they have some good riders and some world-class ones at that. The boys are up for it though, and they want to go out on a high.”
British Champion King was beaten only once in six rides in what must rank as his best display at the circuit, while Harris was all-out entertainment on his way to a paid-15 score, dropping only one point after conceding a 5-1 with King in Heat three.
Unfortunately, conceding four successive maximum advantages in the opening five heats left Coventry with a mountain to climb.
King took the maximum six points from a tactical ride in the next with a typically bold outside move to hold off the challenge of Sam Masters.
Any chance of a complete comeback, however, was ended as Wolves took control again in the next three races with three straight heat advantages.
Heat ten produced the race of the night after Ben Barker had initially been penalised 15-metres for exceeding the two-minute time allowance, only to be re-instated off the start-line when the other riders were also deemed to have exceeded it when returning to the track entrance!
Harris found himself chasing the team-riding pair of Woffinden and Masters, and split them beautifully coming into the last lap before all-but passing Woffinden on the run to the line with the Wolves rider just hanging on.
Coventry then dominated the second half of the meeting with Harris and King picking up a 5-1 in heat 11 and heat 13.
King was supreme in heat 14 as he picked up speed off bend four to slice inside Woffinden going into the second lap, the World Champion dropping to third place as he lifted on turn two.
And Woffinden then had no answer to Harris and King in heat 15 with the Bees racing clear as Masters lost his steel shoe on the opening lap.