SPEEDWAY: A REVAMPED Stoke Easy Rider Potters line-up trounced Hull 60-32 at Loomer Road - but the victory was marred by a horrific heat-13 crash that left Jan Staechmann with possible broken wrists, writes NEIL EVANS.
Staechmann and Paul Thorp crashed heavily in to the third-turn fencing and the meeting was held up for about 20 minutes as the Dane was treated on track before being taken to hospital and repairs made to the safety fence.
Speaking on Sunday, Staechmann said: 'I have to go back to the hospital on Monday if the swelling has gone down because my wrists were too swollen to take X-rays on Saturday.
'I thought the incident was totally unnecessary. I'd got half a wheel on Thorpy, but he didn't turn and there was nowhere for me to go. My bike is totalled apart from any possible injury and I just felt it was unnecessary.'
Stoke had re-declared their line-up last week to include Scott Smith and former Potter Rob Grant, on loan from Reading and Berwick respectively. Both riders made an immediate impact and, coupled with good showings from Joe Cook, Alan Mogridge and Jon Armstrong, the home side swept away the Vikings challenge.
Smith dropped just two points in five outings, one when he slowed in heat 14 after running out of fuel, and Grant scored paid eight from three completed rides, a blown engine in his other outing taking some of the gloss off his return to the Stoke side. 'I was quite nervous before the start, but it went quite well for me and I'm hoping I can make a decent contribution from the reserve berth,' said the 19-year-old.
'We won't go overboard on the back of one good result,' said promoter Dave Tattum, 'but the lads gave 100% from start to finish and hopefully we can start to move onwards and upwards from here.
'We're all hoping that Jan is okay because he has been going so well. If he is okay and the rest of the team keep riding like we did on Saturday, I'm sure we'll pick up some good results.'
Joe Cook received one of the noisiest receptions of the night following his heat-12 victory. He jumped out of the traps and led from start to finish. 'The fans have stood by me through some poor scores and I'd like to say thank you. I've had a busy week with three Conference League and two Premier League meetings, but things are hopefully coming together now,' he said.
Stoke face Exeter at home on Saturday.