Swindon Robins surged to a 55-35 win over league leaders Belle Vue on a night of thrilling action at the Abbey.
In-form Troy Batchelor roared to his second successive home maximum, notching a full house with 15 as the CFS Filtration Robins overcame the handicap of racing without the injured Tobiasz Musielak.
Whilst Batchelor broke the track record only to see it further lowered by Aces No.1 Max Fricke, recent signing Rasmus Jensen brought the house down with a sensational ride to win Heat 8 from a 15-metre handicap, and there were strong displays throughout the home side with both reserves deserving more for their efforts.
Jensen and skipper Jason Doyle got the Robins off to a flying start with a 5-1 in Heat 1 after Fricke had almost been T-boned by team-mate Dimitri Berge, and the lead went up to six points with a sublime ride by Batchelor to move inside Kenneth Bjerre on the second lap of Heat 4.
The visitors trimmed the margin to four and had a chance in Heat 8 when Jensen touched the tapes and was penalised – but the Dane produced a remarkable effort to first clear Jaimon Lidsey, then go past team-mate Paul Starke, and then charge around Berge to take the win on the line.
It was the start of a stunning hat-trick from Jensen, who was then involved in two immediate 5-1s with Adam Ellis and then Doyle as the Aces delayed their tactical substitute until the meeting was all-but lost.
Fricke duly won his extra outing in Heat 12 but Ellis’s second place was enough for the Robins, who then pulled clear with a 4-2 in the battle of the big guns as Batchelor took advantage to shoot through on the inside as Fricke and Doyle contested the second bend.
Ellis completed a powerful display by winning Heat 14, and the meeting ended with another entertaining scrap between the top men as Batchelor hit the front whilst Doyle re-passed Fricke before the Belle Vue man suffered bike trouble.
Swindon boss Alun Rossiter said: “It’s been a good night, and it just goes to show what we can do as a team if we give them the tools in terms of the track.
“I was confident we’d win tonight, I kept reading everything saying it was going to be close or we’d lose, but I told the boys beforehand that I had every faith in them if they went out and did their job, and they were all excellent.
“Full credit to Belle Vue as well – it might have been 55-35 but it wasn’t as easy as that, and Max Fricke rode his socks off for them.
“When he gets clear air there aren’t many people who pass him, but Troy did him from the back – I haven’t seen a corner like that for a while when he shot past Doyley and then past Max! We’ve been working hard on things, and long may it continue.”
Robins are next in action at Peterborough on Thursday, with Sunday’s Sprockets/Youth Championship double-header starting at 4pm.
SWINDON 55: Troy Batchelor 15, Rasmus Jensen 13+1, Adam Ellis 12+1, Jason Doyle 9+3, Paul Starke 3+1, Ellis Perks 3, Tobiasz Musielak R/R.
BELLE VUE 35: Max Fricke 11, Steve Worrall 6+1, Kenneth Bjerre 6, Dan Bewley 5+1, Dimitri Berge 3, Jaimon Lidsey 3, Ricky Wells 1+1.