Mon­berg be­lieves he has plenty in re­serve

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Etbusiness Daily - By MARK PLUMMER

OLD hand Jesper B. Mon­berg is con­vinced he can pick up from where young gun Michael Jepsen Jensen left off in the Pan­thers re­serve ranks.

Mon­berg is rel­ish­ing the chal­lenge of suc­ceed­ing high-scor­ing Jepsen Jensen at the bot­tom of the or­der when the city club re­turn to ac­tion with two tough away trips in as many days this week.

A com­bi­na­tion of bad weather and an un­ex­pected drop in Mon­berg’s start­ing av­er­age to be­low the as­sessed fig­ure of Jepsen Jensen brought the 20 year-old ris­ing star’s stay at the re­serve to a rapid end af­ter just three com­pet­i­tive meet­ings.

That was still enough time for him to rack up a half-cen­tury of points and now Mon­berg – the se­nior mem­ber of the city side at 34 – hopes he can notch some big num­bers of his own, start­ing at Birm­ing­ham to­mor­row night and Lake­side on Fri­day.

Mon­berg said: “Michael has been very good and I would re­ally like to pro­duce the same sort of per­form- an­ces. I have lots of ex­pe­ri­ence and I feel I can do it.

“I’ve had very few meet­ings so far this sea­son and my bank ac­count is not look­ing too good, so I am look­ing for­ward to get­ting plenty of rides and hope­fully scor­ing lots of points for the team.

“I should have a cou­ple of eas­ier races in heat two and heat eight and hope­fully I can make the most of them.

“My fit­ness lev­els are very good so it won’t be a prob­lem for me to take six or seven rides in a meet­ing if that is what is needed.”

Mon­berg is en­joy­ing life back in the Pan­thers lair for the first time since help­ing the them to Elite League ti­tle glory in 2006.

He has made a steady rather spec­tac­u­lar re­turn to his par­ent club, notch­ing paid seven and paid six re­spec­tively in the Good Fri­day derby dou­ble over King’s Lynn be­fore man­ag­ing just 2+1 in the club’s only other com­pet­i­tive out­ing – a 50-45 de­feat at East­bourne on April 21.

Mon­berg be­lieves a ma­jor me­chan­i­cal change dur­ing the win­ter (he switched from Jawa en­gines to those made by GM) was a con­trib­u­tory fac­tor to his strug­gles that night in Sus­sex, but he’s con­fi­dent he has now mas­tered his new equip­ment.

He added: “I had a tough night at East­bourne but I’ve done a lot of prac­tis­ing back home in Den­mark since then and have found a lot of speed.

“I rode on Jawa eg­nines for eight years so it was a big deal for me to change over to GM. It takes time to find the right set-up and get used to the new equip­ment.

“It has caught me out on a few oc­ca­sions but I’m re­ally happy now and can’t wait to get rac­ing reg­u­larly.”

Joint Pan­thers team boss Trevor Swales ad­mits the pres­sure is on Mon­berg to de­liver the goods and soften the blow of Jepsen Jensen’s un­wanted rise into the main body of the team.

“We knew Michael wouldn’t be at re­serve for­ever,” said Swales. “But we hoped his move up into the main body would hap­pen later rather than sooner.

“It hasn’t worked out that way but we were well aware when putting the team to­gether though that ei­ther the dou­bling-up com­bi­na­tion of Rene Bach and Lasse Bjerre or Jesper would be likely to drop down to re­serve at some point.

“It turns out it is Jesper who has moved down and the pres­sure is now on him to score points in the same way Michael was do­ing.

“It’s a big chal­lenge but one I’m sure he is ca­pa­ble of meet­ing.”

PETER­BOR­OUGHTHUN­DER­CATS made a los­ing start to life in the Anglian Ju­nior League on a day when noth­ing went to plan.

The city club’s young­sters were beaten 26-10 at Milde­nahll on Sun­day when only be­ing able to track three riders af­ter bike prob­lems in the warm-up ruled out Adam Port­wood.

Thun­der­cats suf­fered five suc­ces­sive heat losses be­fore top-scorer Ben Hol­loway and Jamie Collins man­aged a 3-3 in the final race.

Team man­ager Neil Day said: “It was a bad start with Adam Port­wood hav­ing bike prob­lems and Adam Kirby look­ing a lit­tle rusty, but they both have a lot to of­fer and will come good.

“It was a real cap­tain’s dis­play from Ben though who looked very con­trolled.”

Thun­der­cats are back in ac­tion at Lake­side on Fri­day.

Thun­der­cats: Ben Hol­loway 5, Jamie Collins 3+1, Adam Kirby 2, Adam Port­wood did not start.

PAN­THERS skip­per Ken­neth Bjerre has a new club in Poland.

The Dane penned a deal with Ek­straliga out­fit Czesto­chowa and made his de­but for ‘The Lions’ in a 58-32 home drub­bing at the hands of ti­tle favourites Gor­zow on Sun­day.

Bjerre moved af­ter be­ing frozen out at pre­vi­ous club Wro­claw. Pol­ish top-flight sides are only per­mit­ted to track one GP rider and they had pre­ferred Swedish flyer Fred­die Lind­gren to Bjerre in the early part of the cam­paign.

Bjerre said: “I’d had enough of Wro­claw who were just mess­ing me about.

“I think they have some­thing against me be­cause of all the prob­lems I had with get­ting my pay­ment last year.

“Not rac­ing in Poland has caught me out a bit and I just want to race over there. It’s a top league with all the top riders in it.”

REL­ISH­ING A NEW CHAL­LENGE: That’s Jesper B. Mon­berg (right).

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