Ben Fund Bonanza 2013

Saving the best race till last is a good thing to do, but you can't always guarantee it. Thanks to the brilliant winner Mads Korneliussen, that's what happened at the fifth staging of the Ben Fund Bonanza at Berwick.

No-one could have begrudged King's Lynn's Dane because he soared to four easy wins in his qualifying heats, but off gate one in the final, he was back in third spot early before managing to squeeze round Hans Andersen.

He was still quite a way behind Claus Vissing, but maybe Claus thought he was far enough to ride the final turn cautiously. If he did, it cost him because with a bold charge, Korneliussen came under him, and the two of them were shoulder to shoulder around that turn.

It had to be perfectly judged to avoid taking Vissing off, but it was and Mads emerged from the bend in front. Both Danes wheelied down the back straight post-race in the enjoyment of a terrific tussle.

Vissing was a surprise packet too, clearly keen to let British Promoters see what they are missing by not awarding him a place this season. He gated well and also did some overtaking in his first race.

The riders all showed excellent commitment, and almost everyone enjoyed some success during the evening. For example, Cameron Woodward, Richard Hall and Mark Lemon all had race wins in scores of 4, 4 and 5 respectively.

Richie Worrall will have been delighted to take a couple of victories and to reach the semi-final, a good sign that he will be picking up where he was last season when he broke his leg.

Chris Harris did some passing but was a little subdued by his high standards, though he did reach the semi-final. Last year's winner Ben Barker, the only Ben Fund Bonanza ever-present, didn't reach the semi in spite of winning his first two races.

Berwick's Aussie Kozza Smith, ever-enthusiastic, was another man returning from injury and it did look as though race fitness was Kozza's problem as he gated well but tended to tire. He should be back to his best soon.

The winner of the semi-final was Claus Vissing, with Danny King (steady as ever) also qualifying. Harris and Richie Worrall were eliminated at the stage.

The direct qualifiers for the final were Korneliussen and Hans Andersen, but again it was Vissing who held the lead until that tremendous Korneliussen passing move.

The temperature was very low indeed, the rain stayed away and the track held up well to all the dampness of the previous few days. And the Speedway Riders' Benevolent Fund did well.

QUALIFYING SCORES: Mads Korneliussen 12, Hans Andersen 10, Danny King 10, Claus Vissing 9, Richie Worrall 9, Chris Harris 8, Josh Grajczonek 8, Theo Pijper 6, Ricky Ashworth 6, James Wright 6, Ben Barker 6, Mark Lemon 5, Kozza Smith 5, Cameron Woodward 4, Richard Hall 4, Joe Haines 4, Kyle Howarth 3, Ludvig Lindgren 3, Morten Risager 2, Steve Worrall 0. Reserve Matthew Wethers DNR.

SEMI-FINAL: Vissing, King, Harris, Worrall.

FINAL: Korneliussen , Vissing, Andersen, King.


Rider Points
Hans Andersen 10
Ricky Ashworth 6
Ben Barker 6
Josh Grajczonek 8
Joe Haines 4
Richard Hall 4
Chris Harris 8
Kyle Howarth 3
Rider Points
Danny King 10
Mads Korneliussen 12
Mark Lemon 5
Ludvig Lindgren 3
Theo Pijper 6
Morten Risager 2
Kozza Smith 5
Claus Vissing 9
Cameron Woodward 4
Richie Worrall 9
Steve Worrall 0
James Wright 6