Sunday October 04, 2020
WOLVERHAMPTON owner Chris Van Straaten has paid tribute to club skipper Rory Schlein after his British Final glory.

Schlein, originally from Australia, got the better of Sheffield’s Richard Lawson in the title decider at Belle Vue in the behind closed doors meeting on Monday.

And Van Straaten has slammed the critics who have been outspoken about Schlein’s qualification for the national event despite previously riding for Australia.

“He’s a dual national,” said Van Straaten. “He has a British passport and meets the criteria to race in the British Final, it’s as simple as that.

“He has been committed to British Speedway for 20 years, he has always raced here and lived here, he deserves this and you could see what it meant to him to win the title.

“He fully deserved it too. His ride in the final was superb, once he hit the front he was never going to be caught because he is such an intelligent rider.

“I’ve read criticism of him because of his Australian background riding in a British Final but he qualifies despite the British Speedway authorities raising the barrier for qualification as the seasons have gone by.

“He has persevered and met the criteria and deserves the title as much as anyone else.”

Van Straaten admitted there was a certain irony in Schlein winning the title in the wet.

“There was a time when I said I would never sign Rory for Wolverhampton,” he said. “He was always the one rider you worried about coming to Monmore if it was wet because you felt he would try and get the meeting called off and he’d be moaning.

“But I can honestly say he has never been a spot of bother since he joined us and he’s been a delight to deal with.

“He’s been a good captain and he’s proved to be a very good signing for Wolverhampton Speedway and everyone at the club congratulates him on his British title success.

“He was all set to retire this year and head back to Australia but he’ll be around next year and we’re looking forward to welcoming him back at Monmore Green. Hopefully on our first night back open he can proudly display the British Championship trophy."

WOLVERHAMPTON SPEEDWAY are sponsored by Parrys International coach tour operators, Cheslyn Hay.

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