News 30 Jul 2010

SWC: Australian team ruled out of Speedway World Cup final

Danish skipper Hans Andersen says his side has no fears about tackling FIM PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna Speedway World Cup favourites Poland on home shale, after winning the Race-Off at Vojens on Thursday night.

Andersen and his men scored 48 points to narrowly beat Sweden, who bagged 47. But both Scandinavian nations join defending champions Poland and Team Great Britain in the Final on Saturday.

A young Australia team missed out after finishing third on 36 points, while a battling Russian team far from disgraced themselves on 19.

The Danes were thrashed by Poland in Event One at Gorzow on Sunday afternoon and finished 23 points behind them.

But Grand Prix star Andersen says his team needed little lifting after that result and is certain the odds-on favourites will not have it all their own way on Danish shale.

“There was no need to be picked up after Sunday,” Andersen said. “No-one was down and I thought the team did well. The Poles were magnificent and any other team that raced there would have had the same beating.

“We won the Race-Off with 48 points and we scored 45 in Poland, so it wasn’t a big difference. It’s just that now there are more teams to take points off each other.

“It will be very good. There are four teams and it’s going to be important to score points in every race.

“Poland was a different track. They’re always going to be fast on their own track and Vojens is very different from what we rode at Gorzow.

“Poland might be favourites, but it’s an open field, four good teams and anything can happen.”

The Danes made a somewhat sluggish start to the Race-Off and Sweden were seven points ahead of them after five heats.

Andersen, who topped the Danish scorechart on 11 points, admits his team was caught out by track conditions, but was pleased with his side’s consistency once they got into their stride.

“We just needed to sort the set-up out,” he said. “I thought we rode fairly well and we were solid once we passed the first five heats. It’s not about winning every race; it’s about scoring points in every race because every team will take points off each other.

“It was good. The track conditions didn’t really suit us, but it’s the same for all and we did alright. I think the track might be a little bit different for the Final, depending on the weather.

“I made some good gates and felt like I had plenty of speed. I’m fairly happy with my own performance but, most importantly, everyone performed in the team, so it’s happy days.”

While riding in an SWC Final on home soil can bring added pressures, Andersen says a huge Danish crowd in Vojens has a vital role to play in helping his side regain the Ove Fundin Trophy on Saturday.

“The fans will be important,” he said. “It will be just like riding in a home GP. They spur us on and probably make us go a little bit better.

“I wouldn’t say it will be added pressure. We put pressure on our own shoulders because we don’t want to let all the people down.

“But it should be good on Saturday. Hopefully it will be a full stadium and hopefully the Danes will be on top.”

Following the Race-Off, the draw for the SWC Final handed Denmark the white helmet covers again.

The Swedes race in red; 2009 winners Poland defend their title in blue, and Team Great Britain wear yellow for their first Final in three years.

1 Kenneth Bjerre (2-2-2-2-2) 10
2 Nicolai Klindt (1-2-3-1-1) 8
3 Niels Kristian Iversen (1-1-3-2-2) 9
4 Bjarne Pedersen (2-2-2-2-2) 10
5 Hans Andersen (1-3-3-3-1) 11

1 Freddie Lindgren (3-3-2-3-0) 11
2 Jonas Davidsson (2-2-0-0-3) 7
3 Magnus Zetterstrom (3-1-2-3-3) 12
4 Andreas Jonsson (3-2-0-2-1) 8
5 Antonio Lindback (3-T-3-3-0) 9

1 Davey Watt (1-0-2-2-2) 7
2 Darcy Ward (3-1-1-0-1) 6
3 Rory Schlein (2-3-1-1-3-1) 11
4 Troy Batchelor (1-X-1-2) 4
5 Chris Holder (2-3-0 ^-0-3) 8

1 Artem Laguta (0-0-1-0-0) 1
2 Grigory Laguta (0-1-1-1-0) 3
3 Roman Povazhny (0-1-0 ^-1-0) 2
4 Denis Gizatullin (0-0-0-1-3) 4
5 Renat Gafurov (0-3-3-0-3) 9