HERBIE HAILS DANGER MAN HOLDER
Tuesday 29th May 2012, 15:40
World champion Greg Hancock admits Chris Holder has emerged as a serious threat to his SGP title and said, “he’s realising now just how quick he is.”
The duo were pipped to the top of the FIM Swedish Grand Prix rostrum by Freddie Lindgren in Gothenburg on Saturday, but they had an epic battle for second place.
Herbie held off Holder on the line for the silver medal and leads the World Championship on 58 points with eight rounds to race.
Nicki Pedersen is second on 56 and Jason Crump holds third spot on 55, but Holder is chasing them down on 52 and Hancock admits his Piraterna team mate is becoming an increasing menace to the sport’s heavyweights.
"You can never underestimate that guy. Heâ€™s one of the biggest dangers because heâ€™s still having fun out there."
- Greg Hancock
He said: “You can never underestimate that guy. He’s one of the biggest dangers because he’s still having fun out there.
“He’s realising now just how quick he is and that’s going to be a big upset for everyone in this GP series. I respect the guy and I think highly of him. He has a huge future and it’s good. It’s good for the sport.”
While Holder had another stellar night, Lindgren romped to the win of his career at the Ullevi Stadium after overhauling Hancock on lap one of the final.
Herbie was delighted to see Fast Freddie top an SGP rostrum after almost four and a half years of fighting for his maiden gold medal. And the Californian, who won his first Grand Prix at Hackney on September 30, 1995, knows the buzz he experienced as the Swedish national anthem rang out.
He said: “I knew exactly how he was feeling. I can remember that first win; it feels almost like a shock. It’s long overdue in my opinion for Freddie because he is such a great rider.
“It’s tough to find the right everything to win a Grand Prix, but when you’ve got it, it’s the best feeling in the world. He’s such a mellow guy and you wouldn’t know that he had won right now.”
Reflecting on the medal race, Hancock added: “It was tight in the final, but Freddie was fantastic. I knew he was there the whole time. I just tried to keep my head down and ride like a son of a gun.
“He wanted it bad, he had the speed and he chose the right lines. He was the right winner on the night. I can’t say anything else.”
Hancock may be top of the SGP rankings, but he was not completely happy with a night that started with one point from two rides. The American international is confident there is more to come from him as the competition hots up.
He said: “We try hard never to give up. I’ve been all over the board in my career and it’s tough to make it happen at the best of times.
“That was one of those nights when I was digging deep for everything, but in the end, I knew we were back on track and the bike was working well. It can still be better, for sure.
“We’re not at the point we were this time last year with the equipment. But there is room for improvement and I’m just trying to keep my own belief I can do it.
“New Zealand was perfect for me. I felt everything started off well, but since then it hasn’t been what I hoped for. I’ve just got to get over the fact everyone else is getting faster.”
- 23/05: NICKI OUT OF DANISH FINAL
- 23/05: HANCOCK LEADS AMERICAN ASSAULT
- 23/05: TRIALS ICON BOU SET FOR CARDIFF
- 22/05: NO SIX-POINTERS SUITS SAYFUTDINOV
- 22/05: DREAM CARDIFF CALL FOR ALES
- 22/05: NICKI'S TITLE BID IN BALANCE
- 22/05: ULAMEK AND ELLIS JOIN HAMMERS
- 21/05: NKI'S INDIANS STUN VETLANDA
- 21/05: CHAMP'S CHANGES FOR CARDIFF
- 21/05: INJURY PROMPTS POOLE CALL-OFF