Somerset Rebels captain Jason Doyle made a strong start to the 2013 Australian Speedway Championship in yesterday's opening round at Gillman Raceway.
After qualifying for the three-meeting series 24 hours earlier, Doyle led the way with 14 points after the 20 qualifying heats which included a win over title favourite Troy Batchelor.
The Somerset skipper's only defeat came at the hands of Rebels team mate Alex Davies in heat 18, but by then Doyle had done enough to ensure his place in the A Final.
It proved to be Batchelor's day in the final, though, as he gained revenge for the loss in heat nine to beat Doyle and claim the win. Doyle was runner-up, followed home by Rohan Tungate and Micky Dyer.
Doyle's fellow Rebels Davies and Josh Grajczonek also made solid starts.
After a disappointing start which saw Davies pointless after his initial two rides - an engine failure at the start of heat five not helping his cause - he came back strongly to finish on seven points which included two race wins.
New Somerset signing Grajczonek also finished on seven points from his five qualifying rides. The pair just missed out on a place in the B Final by a single point.
Round two will be held at Undera, Victoria, on Wednesday.
A Final: 1) Troy Batchelor, 2) Jason Doyle, 3) Rohan Tungate, 4) Micky Dyer.
B Final: 1) Micky Dyer, 2) Cameron Woodward, 3) Dakota North, 4) Justin Sedgmen.
Qualifying scores: Jason Doyle - 14, Troy Batchelor - 13, Rohan Tungate - 9, Dakota North - 9, Micky Dyer - 9, Cameron Woodward - 9, Justin Sedgmen - 8, Alex Davies - 7, Davey Watt - 7, Josh Grajczonek - 7, Mark Lemon - 6, Sam Masters - 5, Ty Proctor - 5, Kozza Smith - 4, Adam Shields - 4, Cameron Heeps - 4.