Monday July 05, 2010
TITLE-CHASING Kenneth Bjerre escaped relatively unscathed from a horror crash just days before the British Grand Prix.

Paramedics feared that the Peterborough number one had broken his wrist during the Readypower Panthers Elite League defeat at Eastbourne in Monday night.

The Denmark star, currently third in the World Championship standings, lost control in Heat 13 as Peterborough’s chances of taking a point finally disappeared after a disastrous first half to the clash.

Bjerre suffered a hand and knee injury that required several stitches although he will be fit enough to take his place at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on Saturday.

He initially went to Eastbourne General Hospital but after being told there was a four-hour waiting time for treatment was driven to the hospital close to his Huntingdon home.

He said: “I know my wrist isn’t broken because I’ve done that before and know how it felt.”

First aiders were worried that unless he had the gash in his knee stitched and cleaned he could contract an infection.

His spill was the final straw for the Panthers who were totally at sea in the opening races.

They trailed by a massive 19 points after only eight races and but kept things level over the last seven heats against a rejuvenated Eagles side that had major power at reserve with Peterborough asset Lukas Dryml and Sweden’s Simon Gustafsson scoring 23 points between them.

Bjerre, such an inspirational spearhead this season, suffered a rare opening race defeat when he was outgated by Eagles’ guest Adam Shields, replacing the absent Matej Zagar.

Zagar, who had cried off with illness in the Sussex side’s big win over Coventry last Thursday, rode twice in Poland over the weekend but was again missing from the line-up.

Three successive home maximums put them very much on the offensive and despite a six pointer from Bjerre in Heat 5, another two 5-1s gave Eastbourne an almost unassailable 31-14 lead going into Heat 8.

A second half rally, in which Panthers provided five of seven race winners, at least kept the winning margin on an even keel but it was another disappointing away performance.

It was difficult to take any major positives from the display although Krzysztof Buczkowski was a dramatic improvement on his previous visit to Arlington.

And teenager Dakota North, drafted in for his Elite League debut after Mathieu Tresarrieu cried off with a badly sprained and swollen ankle, was always on the pace and also picked up his first top-flight points.

Bjerre was the only Peterborough rider to win a race in the first half of the meeting but then Troy Batchelor and skipper Niels-Kristian Iversen both had a couple of victories in the latter stages.

EASTBOURNE 56 (Adam Shields 12 (3-3-1-2-3), Tomasz Jedrzejak 7:1 (0-2:1-3-0-2), Ricky Kling 6:1 (3-1:1-2-F), rider replacement for Cameron Woodward, Joonas Kylmåkorpi 8:5 (2:1-2:1-1:1-1:1-2:1), Simon Gustafsson 11:4, (2:1-2:1-3-1:1-2-1:1), Lukas Dryml 12 (3-3-2-1-3), Chris Schramm, did not ride).

PETERBOROUGH 37 (Kenneth Bjerre 11 (2-6-3-FD), Krzysztof Buczkowski 3:1 (1:1-0-2-0), Rory Schlein 5:1 (1-0-2:1-2), Niels-Kristian Iversen 7 (0-1-3-3-0), Troy Batchelor 9 (1-1-3-3-1), Dakota North 2:1 (1-0-0-1:1), Norbert Kosciuch 0 (FD-0-0-0)).

Heat 1: Shields, Bjerre, Buczkowski, Jedrzejak, 3-3.
Heat 2: Dryml, Gustafsson, North, Kosciuch, fell, disqualified, 5-1.
Heat 3: Kling, Gustafsson, Schlein, Iversen, 5-1.
Heat 4: Dryml, Kylmåkorpi, Batchelor, Kosciuch, 5-1.
Heat 5: Bjerre (TR), Dryml, Kling, Buczkowski, 3-6.
Heat 6: Shields, Jedrzejak, Batchelor, North, fell, 5-1.
Heat 7: Gustafsson, Kylmåkorpi, Iversen, Schlein (TR), 5-1.
Heat 8: Jedrzejak, Buczkowski, Dryml, Kosciuch, 4-2.
Heat 9: Batchelor, Kling, Gustafsson, North, 3-3.
Heat 10: Iversen, Schlein, Shields, Jedrzejak, 1-5.
Heat 11: Bjerre, Gustafsson, Kylmåkorpi, Buczkowski, 3-3.
Heat 12: Dryml, Schlein, North, Kling, fell, 3-3.
Heat 13: Batchelor, Shields, Kylmåkorpi, Bjerre, fell, disqualified, 3-3.
Heat 14: Iversen, Jedrzejak, Gustafsson, Kosciuch, 3-3.
Heat 15: Shields, Kylmåkorpi, Batchelor, Iversen, 5-1.

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