SWINDON Robins team manager Alun Rossiter said his side needed a ‘super special ride’ from their skipper Jason Doyle to emerge 46-44 winners at home to Ipswich Witches on Thursday night.

Heading into heat 15 ahead by just two points, Doyle produced a daredevil ride to chase the dirt as high as he could – his back wheel almost grazing the air fence – for the entire race before finally edging past the Witches man of the night, Krystian Pieszczek, on the back straight, half a lap from home.

The heat win gave the Robins a 3-3 in the final race after Adam Ellis and Ellis Perks had nudged the home side in front in the race prior.

With the Robins and Witches going in to heat 14 at 39 points apiece, Ellis provided a crucial heat win for Rossiter’s men while Perks’ third place could be considered just as important as Doyle’s heat win in the final outing.

On a night that saw two evenly matched teams produce some fantastic passing and competitive racing throughout, Rossiter admitted his side were given a real run for their money by the current league leaders and in the end were forced to rely on their talisman to take the spoils.

Rossiter said: “They pushed us all the way and we had to get a super special ride from Jason Doyle to help us pull it out the bag, and just before a grand prix too.

“Anybody that says he doesn’t give it 100 per cent the week before a grand prix obviously didn’t see that last ride.

“He rode a very clever race, I don’t think people realised because they were just watching the race, but I was watching Jason and Krystian was coming off the corners and locking up a bit.

“Jason just kept gaining speed, going wider and wider until he could get that run down the straight where he could pass him and then drop it on him.

“If he hadn’t have done that and just carried on trying to tail Pieszczek, he wouldn’t have passed him.

“Krystian locked up off the corner and that’s when Jason pounced.”

The Robins made a perfect start to the night as Doyle and David Bellego produced a comfortable 5-1 in the first race, setting expectations amongst the home crowd that it could be another quiet night on the excitement front, however, that did not prove to be the case.

With a 5-1 of their own in the second, the Witches’ reserve duo of Edward Kennett and Jake Allen tied the scores immediately before Rasmus Jensen produced his signature cutback on the final bend in the third heat to steal a victory at the death and set the tone for what was a thrilling encounter at the Abbey.

But with the score never more than four points to the good in Swindon’s favour, gating started to become a problem for Rossiter’s men as they more commonly switched to gates two and four in the second half of the meeting.

The Witches began to close the Robins’ advantage and, by heat nine, the scores were tied.

Following four consecutive tied heats, the action moved up another level in the final two races as Adam Ellis, Ellis Perks and Jason Doyle made themselves heroes on the night with vital scores.

However, it was not all sunshine and rainbows for team manager Alun Rossiter though.

The Robins chief was left frustrated at his side’s lacklustre starts from the even-numbered gates and, while praising the ever-improving surface at the Abbey Stadium once again, maintained the need to re-visit work on the start-finish line if his riders are to heed his pre-meeting words and not allow opponents any consolation points.

He said: “Some of the gates are not as even as the others, so that’s something we’ve got to work on.

“If we can get that sorted and make them a little bit more even, so that we’re not worrying about which gates we’re going off, then that will help us.

“Gates two and four were not as good as one and three. When we had one and three, we made starts.

“As I said, we need to even the gates out to make sure we get more of the same across the board.

“We just need to work on the track so that we can make the starts more of a level playing field.”