All the difference was made at reserve for Belle Vue this afternoon as the Rentruck Aces kick-started the British bank holiday bonanza with a scorching 62-28 home victory over Leicester.
Losing Craig Cook early doors due to illness was less than ideal for the Rentruck Aces, but by which time they were already leading 18-12 after five heats with no signs of cooling down.
Erik Riss, a former Lions rider and unattached in the Premiership this year, proved an inspirational choice of guest from team boss Mark Lemon, storming the score charts with 13 big points.
Max Fricke announced his return to the NSS with a hard-earned 13+1, but it was Jye Etheridge and Damian Dróżdż who stood out for the home team after bagging a huge 18+4 between them.
It certainly was the confidence booster the team was looking for ahead of the return fixture at Beaumont Park, where Riss will again guest for the Rentruck Aces with R/R in effect for Cook.
Club asset Dan Bewley said: “Everyone played their part this afternoon, but special mention has to go to Jye and Damian. Losing Craig wasn’t what we wanted but they cover for him nicely.
“I’m surprised that there was such a drastic difference in the scoreline. It felt like the Lions were pushing us every time we came out on track because they’re a really strong team.
“But we couldn’t be happier with the way we’ve started today. It’s a nice confidence-booster to go to their place having won so strongly at home so hopefully we can make it two out of two.”
International speedway return to Manchester on Tuesday, June 5 when the inaugural Speedway of Nations arrives at the National Speedway Stadium for the hotly-anticipated Race Off 2.
Featuring Tai Woffinden and Craig Cook for Great Britain, the top three qualifiers go through to the final in Wroclaw, Poland where they will compete for the honour of being called best in the world.
Tickets are now on sale at www.speedwaygp.com.
RESULT - BELLE VUE V LEICESTER - MONDAY MAY 28
Belle Vue ‘Rentruck’ Aces: Max Fricke 13+1, Erik Riss (G) 13, Jye Etheridge 10+2, Dan Bewley 10+1, Damian Drozdz 8+2, Rohan Tungate 8+1, Craig Cook 0 (Withdrawn)
Leicester ‘Watling JCB’ Lions: Kenneth Bjerre 9, Hans Andersen 8, Krystian Pieszczek 4, Todd Kurtz 3, Kyle Newman 2+1, Danny King 1, James Sarjeant 1
Premiership Points: Belle Vue 3 Leicester 0