New Edinburgh Monarchs signing James Sarjeant has a reputation as a serial tape-breaker, but team-mate Sam Masters is trying to reform the 24-year-old Englishman and stop his twitches at the starting gate.
Masters revealed after Monarchs’ home win over Scunthorpe that he spoke to Sarjeant while he was still at Glasgow in an effort to stop his problem.
Masters said: “I guested at Glasgow about three weeks ago and James did not jump the start that night. So when I heard he was joining Monarchs I told him to do the same last week in his home debut against Scunthorpe, and that is what he did. I think he will become a very good speedway rider.”
Sarjeant certainly paid attention to Masters’ advice as he racked up five points, including a paid win behind Masters in heat ten, earning Monarchs a 5-1. That set them on the road to a comfortable win to keep their play-off hopes alive.
Alas, Sarjeant was warned about jumping the start in one of his races in the return fixture at Scunthorpe on Sunday which ended in a heavy 56-34 defeat for Monarchs, which now makes it virtually impossible for them to finish in the top four, especially as their rivals all picked up vital away wins.
Sarjeant admits this season has not gone as he had planned and fully understands Glasgow’s decision to let him go.
He said: “There has been a lot going on lately, to be perfectly honest, and I have not been racing that much. Until very recently it has been very quiet for me on the racing front.
“So I’m glad Edinburgh signed me, it will give me the chance to get back to regular racing once again.”
He added: “Armadale is a good little track and I enjoy racing on it. And the more laps I get on it on a regular basis can only help me improve.
“It is more my kind of circuit, like Newcastle and Ipswich. I seem to do well on these type of tracks, so it’s good to have Armadale as my home base now. Hopefully I can get a few big scores round the place.”
Monarchs entertain fellow play-off rivals Sheffield Tigers this evening, with the return fixture at Owlerton on Sunday. What could make the match pretty tasty is the sight of Justin Sedgmen in Tigers colours after joining the Yorkshire outfit last week to bolster their campaign.
Sedgmen has not ridden for Monarchs since May after being unveiled as their big winter signing last year. He injured his wrist against Glasgow and was idle until Sheffield came in for him.