Australia has a new national speedway champion - Ryan Sullivan. The talented 29-year-old completed a series whitewash at the packed Olympic Park Speedway in Mildura (Vic) on January 24, winning his third consecutive A Final from world championship compatriot and fellow Jawa rider Leigh Adams.

The win took his final series tally to a maximum 60pts, six clear of displaced champion Adams (54), with fellow heavyweights Todd Wiltshire (49) and Jason Lyons (47) completing the top four in the expanded three-round championship.

"What a superb title it has been," said the redoubtable South Australian, who won two world championship grands prix in 2003. "I've enjoyed every minute of it, and to finally claim victory after a number of attempts is the realisation of a life-long goal. I'll now head back to England to plan my assault on this year's world championship with a lot of confidence."

Sullivan is only the sixth rider since 1990 to win the Aussie speedway title, due largely to the dominance of Adams, who has seven trophies in his cabinet -- the first coming way back in 1992.

Sullivan was joined in the A Final at Olympic Park by Adams, Lyons and Wiltshire - the latter's farewell to speedway in a career which reached its peak in 1990 when he finished third in the world championship. Meanwhile, it was Lyons' first appearance in the A Final after two consecutive B Final triumphs.

In the four-lap decider, Sullivan made a trademark lightning start from gate one, and then went about building an impregnable buffer as Adams and Lyons - both local favourites -- settled into their own private battle for second. The rolling scrum eventually went in favour of Adams, while Wiltshire was fourth.

In the B Final, reigning under 21 national champion Rory Schlien produced his best result of the series after passing Travis McGowan on lap three. Victorian Kevin Doolan finished third from Steve Johnston.

However, in the battle for championship honours, McGowan (43pts) finished in fifth position - two spots ahead of Schlien (38). Ex-Dane John Jorgensen (41pts) separated the duo in sixth, while Johnston (36), Victorian Mark Lemon (35) and Doolan (35) saw out the top 10 in the 16-rider field.

 

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