Nicki Pedersen scorches into SGP Championship contention
Dane Nicki Pedersen has continued a magic month for his country by elevating himself into calculations for the World Speedway Grand Prix Championship at a blisteringly hot Gorican in Croatia by taking victory and moving to within six points of the Series lead.
Pedersen beat home Swede Andreas Jonsson, Tomasz Gollob and wildcard, Jurica Pavlic – who delighted the home crowd with his strong performance.
World Championship leader, Greg Hancock had a solid night scoring 10 points, however Pedersen finished the meeting nine points better off and has now eased past Australian pair, Chris Holder and Jason Crump.
Both Australians were battling well publicised injuries heading into the event. Crump – who less than a week ago had surgery on a broken collarbone – scored a brave nine points.
Holder on the other hand was forced to withdraw after a heat 14 incident. A broken primary chain saw him spill from the bike, this aggravated a rib injury and he couldn’t go on. He did, however score six points.
The two Australians remain well and truly in the Title hunt. Crump is now third overall and 10 points from Hancock, whilst Holder is a comfortable fourth, some 13 points off the American.
Pedersen was happy to have piled the pressure onto Hancock as the Championship heads past the halfway point:
“I have put the pressure on Greg again. He hasn’t had any pressure in the last couple of Grand Prix rounds. I don’t think anybody likes pressure, so that will be good,” said Pedersen. “There are still five rounds to go. It’s a long way to go. I just want to be consistent, score some points and anything can happen.
“I’m more than happy just being in the top three. When you’re in the top three, anything can happen.”
The next event in the thrilling 2012 FIM Speedway Grand Prix World Championship will be in Italy on August 11.
CROATIAN SGP SCORES:
1 Nicki Pedersen 19, 2 Andreas Jonsson 15, 3 Tomasz Gollob 13, 4 Jurica Pavlic 12, 5 Chris Harris 10, 6 Greg Hancock 10, 7 Jason Crump 9, 8 Freddie Lindgren 9, 9 Martin Vaculik 8, 10 Hans Andersen 8, 11 Emil Sayfutdinov 7, 12 Kenneth Bjerre 7, 13 Antonio Lindback 6, 14 Chris Holder 6, 15 Bjarne Pedersen 5, 16 Peter Ljung 0, 17 Dino Kovacic 0.
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (Top 10):
1 Greg Hancock 97, 2 Nicki Pedersen 91, 3 Jason Crump 87, 4 Chris Holder 84, 5 Tomasz Gollob 77, 6 Fredrik Lindgren 72, 7 Emil Sayfutdinov 65, 8 Andreas Jonsson 62, 9 Jaroslaw Hampel 46, 10 Antonio Lindback 46.