Former world speedway champion Chris Holder scooped his fifth Australian national title as his recovery from injury took another encouraging step.
The 2012 world champion faced off against fellow New South Welshman Jason Doyle at the South Australian event with a second place finish enough to hand Holder the title.
The meeting was only the 26-year-old’s fifth competitive outing after recovering from a broken pelvis, shoulder, hip and a shattered heel, which ruled him out of the second half of the 2013 season.
“I’m wrapped to come away with a win, it’s been a long six months to get back from injury. I wanted to use it as a stepping stone to get going”, said Holder.
“It’s always good to be the Aussie Champion.”
Doyle was in scintillating form, winning all five of his heats to have first gate choice in the final, while Holder’s night was not so smooth winning just two of his heat races.
In an all NSW final, Doyle made a lightning start with the 2012 World Champion Holder in hot pursuit.
But on Lap 2 Doyle’s bike locked up spitting him violently into the air fence.
Not only was Doyle excluded but also his chances of winning a maiden title lay in the shale as Holder only needed to finish the re-run to claim his fifth championship.
In the re-run, Hunter Valley rider Rohan Tungate won the night with Holder’s second place enough to secure his fifth title, whilst Kurri Kurri’s Mason Campton was third.
“I had some tough nights, I battled through and finished in the top two in all three rounds. I’m really happy with that”, added Holder.
“It was a shame Doyley came off, because it was shaping up to be a great race. I feel a bit sorry that it played out that way.
“He was the man of the series, the quickest guy but I’m sure he’ll be back on it next year for sure.
“I’ll take this one, I’ve had my knocks too.”
Holder will now prepare for the opening round of the 2014 Speedway World Championship begins at Auckland on April 5.