DARCY DEALT BAD HAND
Tuesday 17th July 2012, 06:03
Australian international Darcy Ward admits his injured clutch hand hampered his gating in the FIM Monster Energy SWC Final in Malilla, but said “I can’t use it as an excuse.”
The men from Down Under collected the silver medals for the third time in four seasons after Denmark pipped them to top spot by three points.
Ward was drafted in for the Final in place of Troy Batchelor after sitting out his side’s Event 2 triumph at King’s Lynn on July 9 to continue recovering from the broken hand he sustained at Torun on June 17.
After undergoing extensive physiotherapy in Poland, organised by Torun boss Wojciech Stepniewski, he made his track return in the World Cup decider, collecting three seconds and a third.
Ward was taken out of heat 18 to allow the in-form Chris Holder to take a tactical joker outing.
The Queenslander wasn’t happy to leave the G&B Arena without a race win to his name, but admits his injured left hand didn’t make life easy.
"I was just a bit slow with the gating â€“ youâ€™ve got to be top notch. The hand played a little part."
- Darcy Ward
He said: “I don’t have any complaints about the hand – I can’t use it as an excuse. It only hurt once when I hit a bit of a rut and picked up. Besides that, it was fine. I was just a bit slow with the gating – you’ve got to be top notch. The hand played a little part.
“I couldn’t win a race, which was disappointing for me, but it was my first meeting back after an injury and I went straight into a World Cup Final. It’s hard, but I still enjoyed it.
“I was still really smart on the bike. I made some good first corners, but couldn’t get that race win.”
Ward had no complaints about being denied his fifth ride when team boss Mark Lemon played his joker with Holder, which earned the Aussies six vital points.
“I’m not disappointed I got taken out,” he said. “Chris is a good rider and I’ve just come back from injury, so I’m not at my best. I think it was the best move we could make and it worked well.”
Australia went into the competition as the bookies’ favourites as they tracked World Championship challengers Holder and Jason Crump and the in-form Davey Watt.
But a new-look Danish side, which mixed Nicki Pedersen and Niels-Kristian Iversen’s experience with Michael Jepsen Jensen and Mikkel B Jensen’s youth exuberance, prevailed.
Ward said: “We just struggled and what can I say? Denmark were really good and we just couldn’t get there again – another silver.
“We thought this was our year. Ginge is just staying in because he thinks we can get a gold. We enjoyed our night, though, and we still got second, which is nice.”