HAMILL CONFIRMED FOR USA
Thursday 31st May 2012, 16:51
World champion Greg Hancock believes Billy Hamill can score big in Bydgoszcz after the Bullet’s place in Event One of the FIM Monster Energy Speedway World Cup on July 7 was confirmed.
American team director Steve Evans says the 1996 world champion will fly in from California to race against Poland, Denmark and Russia at the Polonia Stadium, where he won the European SGP in 2000.
Hamill rode his first meeting on European shale in over four years on May 5, when he helped the USA win their qualification round in Slovenian capital Ljubljana, scoring 10 points in the process.
But the likes of Bydgoszcz-born icon Tomasz Gollob, Jaroslaw Hampel, Nicki Pedersen and Emil Sayfutdinov should provide a far bigger test for the 42-year-old than the Slovenians, Italians and Ukrainians the Americans overcame in the last round.
Hancock knows taking on the sport’s heavyweights after such a long absence will be a test for Hamill. But he warned America’s rivals not to take his old Cradley Heath team mate lightly.
"One thing is for sure, you canâ€™t underestimate Billy Hamill. He could come back and beat any of those guys on his day if he wants to."
- Greg Hancock
He said: “I think everyone knows it’s going to be a challenge and it’s going to be tough for him to come back and ride at that level. But one thing is for sure, you can’t underestimate Billy Hamill.
“He could come back and beat any of those guys on his day if he wants to. But there will be no super-high expectations.
“I think that’s the best way and the way Billy would like it. He’ll go there, do the best he can and that might take him away with quite a few points as well.”
Asked how many points he felt Hamill could score, Hancock replied: “I wouldn’t really want to put a target on him personally. That’s more of a question for Billy.
“I’d go there with the attitude that he’s in the team and he’ll provide us with a lot of motivation.
“But realistically, I could see him coming away with a minimum of 10 points. I can see him getting 12 points. But it’s so hard to put a number on it. It’s a tough competition, so I think we should live for the moment and it could be better than we all expect.”
Hancock and Hamill are expected to be joined in the USA quartet by Ryan Fisher and Ricky Wells, who both starred in the team’s qualifier.
Herbie is confident his former Team Exide partner can help him prepare the duo for arguably the biggest day of their careers to date.
He said: “As far as preparation goes, Billy knows what it takes to be prepared for events like this. The biggest thing is Billy and I have the experience to advise Ryan Fisher and Ricky Wells on how we should approach this thing and how to come into it with a good attitude.
“We need every point we can get. Zeros are rough and we’ll need to score in every heat.”
- 17/06: MIDDLO'S TEAM GB CHALLENGE
- 13/06: SGP STARS SPEARHEAD POLAND
- 12/06: WORLD CHAMP CAPTAINS AUSSIES
- 12/06: MIEDZINSKI KO'D IN PRAGUE
- 12/06: POLES TAKE CZECH TEST IN PRAGUE
- 23/05: HANCOCK LEADS AMERICAN ASSAULT
- 20/05: AMERICAN DREAMING IN HUNGARY
- 10/05: LIONS CAN ROAR WITHOUT SCOTT
- 01/05: LATVIANS EARN SWC SPOT
- 20/04: RACE OFF & FINAL TICKETS ON SALE