Belle Vue closed the gap on Swindon to within two points on Saturday after an emphatic 40-50 away win over the Leicester Lions netted them four points to add to their impressive top flight tally.
And the victory was made sweeter after news filtered through of captain Craig Cook’s fourth-place finish in the Grand Prix Challenge in Tolyatti, Russia; with the 2018 GP series still within his grasp.
Despite the absences of Max Fricke and Rohan Tungate, former Rentruck Aces skipper, Scott Nicholls, proved a powerful guest for the Aces, scoring 14+1 with Kenneth Bjerre bagging 13.
Team boss, Mark Lemon, said: “At this stage of the year, you can’t be anything but delighted with results like this. The boys did a solid job and both Scott Nicholls and Paul Starke put in their shift.
“Everyone chipped in and though Leicester kept us honest all night we proved once again our potential as play off contenders; some of Dan Bewley’s performance were out of this world!
“We still can’t be sure our place in the top four is guaranteed, even at this stage, so it’s really encouraging to see the guys doubling their efforts to give us the best chance of doing that.
“To top it off, we couldn’t be prouder to hear of Craig Cook’s exploits in Russia and with the way Patryk Dudek is riding, it’s hard for me to believe that he won’t be in the Grand Prix next year.
There’s more than one score to settle when Somerset make the long journey north to the National Speedway Stadium on Monday as Belle Vue look to square things with their southern rivals.
Now, with the Play Offs looming, this could be their last chance to set the record straight, while Somerset are targeting an encore of their last appearance in Manchester in pursuit of the top four.
Lemon added: “Saturday was exactly the result we wanted to keep us within touching distance of Swindon in top spot, and it definitely helped reinforce our overall position in the top four.
“Somerset are of course one of the teams vying for the opportunity to contest the play offs so I’ve no doubt they will bring a tough challenge, but our boys are raring to go and hungry for success.
“I’m looking forward to this one because both sides are so feisty. Rohan Tungate is back with us and the Rebels are fielding riders all too familiar with Belle Vue, so we can’t rest on our laurels.
Words: Hayley Bromley, Images: Ian Charles
It’s a busy week for the Rentruck Aces with them set to return to the National Speedway Stadium on August 25 to face the Leicester Lions. Tickets available now at