Newcastle’s Sam Masters leads the Hunter charge to take out the Australian Speedway solo title to be decided at Kurri Kurri Speedway on Saturday night.
Masters, the runner-up for the past two years, is planning on maximising his points at Wednesday night’s round three at Undera in Victoria before heading back to the Hunter.
After winning Saturday night’s round two at Mildura, Masters has 26 points third behind Queenslander Davey Watt (32) and Victorian Justin Sedgmen (29). He believes Undera offers him a great chance to peg back points.
“Undera and Kurri Kurri are two tracks I like but I don’t ride Kurri that often. I think my best chance to get some points back is at Undera. It isn’t everyone’s favourite track but I enjoy it and hopefully I can get some points back,” he said.
“Davey has a good lead at the top of the standings but all it takes is one average round to allow the chasing pack back into things. We’ve seen in the past guys come from behind to snatch the title.
“Gillman was a poor round for me but it’s not one of my favourite tracks so in a way I was happy with what I scored. I knew after that round I had to make three podiums to be in with a chance of winning the title and winning round two has helped me.
“It’s going to be tough going. Davey and Sedgy have been going well for weeks now but after Saturday’s win I’m confident and I’m determined to get my hands on that title.”
Masters and the other competitors know points will be difficult to grab at Kurri Kurri with local riders Rohan Tungate, Mason Campton and Josh Pickering all having formidable records at their home track and ready to finish the series on a high note.
Pelaw Main’s Tungate badly injured his elbow in his first race of the series at Gillman, in South Australia, and was incredibly brave to get back on the bike at Mildura, where he scored just three points.
The Mildura result left him in equal eighth on 13 with Heddon Greta’s Josh Pickering, who had his best Aussie title meeting to date with three seconds and two thirds to finish with eight points.
But even below full-fitness Tungate is a worrying proposition on his home track.
He has not lost a meeting at Kurri for the best part of two years including round one of last year’s Australian title.
Campton also has a strong record at his home track with several podium finishes in major meetings and Pickering has had 12 points or better, out of possible 15 heat points, at every meeting at Kurri Kurri this season.
Pickering said he was very keen to keep on improving his record with Undera and Kurri Kurri favourite tracks.
He said he was delighted with his showing at Mildura, but admitted he had to earn everyone of his eight points.