Saturday 14th July 2012, 13:10
Swedish star Freddie Lindgren is determined to take “the best chance we’ve had for a long time” to land his side’s first FIM Monster Energy Speedway World Cup crown since 2004.
The boys in blue and yellow join the tournament in Malilla tonight after being seeded into the last four as hosts. Lindgren is joined by SGP rivals Andreas Jonsson and Peter Ljung in the side, as well as Swedish Grand Prix finalist Tomas H Jonasson.
There is no doubt Lindgren is Sweden’s in-form rider this season following his SGP win at Gothenburg’s Ullevi Stadium on May 26 and silver medal in Copenhagen on June 9.
But Lindgren knows it will take a big performance from everyone in red helmets tonight win Sweden’s first team title on home shale since Göte Nordin, Bengt Jansson, Torbjörn Harrysson and five-time world champion Ove Fundin triumphed at Malmo in 1967.
"We are here as a team and everyone has to contribute if we are going to be able to win."
- Freddie Lindgren
He said: “We are here as a team and everyone has to contribute if we are going to be able to win. I need to be on top of my game and AJ needs to be on top of his game. The other boys need to chip in as well.
“We’ve got a team with both youth and experience. I think the mix is good and we all feel pretty confident. We’re really looking forward to it. AJ is the old dog and even though I’m still young, I have been in the game a long time. I started the World Cup in 2005.
“I think it’s the best chance we’ve had for a long time and we’re going to try and take it. It’ll be awesome to have this in our home country again. I think we have a really good team and we’ll see what we can do.”
Lindgren and his team mates have not had as much time together as any of their rivals. Russia and Denmark launched their FIM Monster Energy SWC campaigns at Bydgoszcz last Saturday, while Australia opened their challenge at King’s Lynn on Monday.
So Lindgren was relieved to get some practice in on Friday. He said: “It has felt good to have a few days off to recharge the batteries and now I am really pumped up for it.
“I just wanted to practise to get a few laps in. I haven’t been riding in a while. It felt good again after a couple of laps. I was a bit rusty.
“AJ is used to not having so many meetings. I race so much normally and it feels weird not to have been on the bike for a while.”
Lindgren admits he did not see Events 1 or 2, but was impressed as the Danes stormed to victory against Poland, Team Great Britain and the Czech Republic in the Race Off on Thursday.
He said: “Denmark looked really sharp here then, but looking at the line-ups, the Aussies look good and especially now Darcy Ward is back. They’ll be tough to beat.
“You can’t count out the Russians either – they must have done a really good job at Bydgoszcz, beating Poland and Denmark there.
“It’s going to be really tough. Every team is going to take points off each other and you have the jokers as well. I think the key is to stay away from last places – the same as in the GP. If you can be in a point-scoring position in every heat, you’ve got a chance.”
- 10/05: LIONS CAN ROAR WITHOUT SCOTT
- 01/05: LATVIANS EARN SWC SPOT
- 20/04: RACE OFF & FINAL TICKETS ON SALE
- 16/04: HANCOCK MISSING IN MISKOLC?
- 07/04: BILLY BECOMES USA BOSS
- 24/02: HANCOCK HEADING FOR KINGS LYNN?
- 13/02: LIONS V ROBINS
- 07/02: MORE TROPHIES FOR SWC CHAMPS
- 01/01: DANES GOING FOR BT GULD
- 27/12: SGP POLES HEAD NATIONAL CALL-UPS