Sunday March 22, 2015
A BUMPER crowd from all corners of the speedway community turned out in support of Ricky Ashworth on an emotional evening at Owlerton.

Some of speedway’s biggest names turned out for Ricky’s Big Day, yet the biggest cheer was reserved for Ashworth himself who was greeted by rapturous applause as he took a lap of honour prior to the meeting.

When the action did commence, it was hometown hero Simon Stead who proved he is still the man to beat around Owlerton as he stormed to a spectacular victory.

The Tigers’ skipper was in flying form in the qualifying heats, blasting around Thomas Jorgensen with a fine move to win heat five on his way to 14 points.

His only dropped points came against flying Grand Prix star Niels-Kristian Iversen – yet Stead gained revenge with a dream start from the inside in the Final to climb to the top of the rostrum.

Whilst the home favourite blasted into the distance in the decisive race, Iversen eventually fended off Wolves man Freddie Lindgren in an exciting battle for second to conclude an action-packed night of racing.

It was an entertaining show fitting for Ashworth, and Stead was delighted to come out on top in a huge meeting for his former Tigers’ team-mate.

Said Stead: “Obviously I rode with Ricky at Sheffield, so it has been an emotional day and it was a meeting I was desperate to win.

“It was a fantastic field that was put together, some great riders turned out for Ricky which was a testament to the man himself.

“Regardless of who won, the most important thing was that Ricky had a good day and we managed to raise a lot of money for him.”

Whilst Stead was the star man with a breathtaking display, Iversen and Lindgren both showed their undoubted quality whilst Ben Barker fought hard for his place in the final.

Sheffield new-boy David Bellego demonstrated his liking for his new home track with a semi-final appearance, giving Iversen a scare with a tremendous effort in his bid to reach the final.

Youngster Josh Bates also fought valiantly and exhibited some hugely encouraging signs on the eve of the season as he stepped in for the injured Chris Harris.

However, the night was all about Ashworth as thousands flocked to Owlerton to raise money for the continued recovery of one of Sheffield’s most popular ever riders.

RICKY’S BIG DAY at Sheffield:
QUALIFYING SCORES: Simon Stead 14, Niels-Kristian Iversen 12, Fredrik Lindgren 12, Ben Barker 10, Rory Schlein 9, Thomas Jorgensen 9, David Bellego 8,Davey Watt 8, Kenneth Bjerre 7, Scott Nicholls 6, Josh Bates 5, Szymon Wozniak 5, Josh Auty 4, Peter Karlsson 4, David Howe 3, Kenneth Hansen 2, Paul Cooper (res) 2.

SEMI-FINAL 1: Stead, Barker, Watt, Jorgensen.
SEMI-FINAL 2: Lindgren, Iversen, Bellego, Schlein.
GRAND FINAL: Stead, Iversen, Lindgren, Barker.

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