SLOVAK'S SHOCK OVER EXCLUSION
Sunday 12th August 2012, 13:22
Slovak star Martin Vaculik hit out at referee Craig Ackroyd’s decision to exclude him from the FIM Fogo Italian SGP final on Saturday after a tough first turn in Terenzano.
The 22-year-old exploded out of gate one and went elbow to elbow with Emil Sayfutdinov all the way into bend one.
The Russian international, starting from trap two, just pipped the Tarnow rider to the first turn and Vaculik says his footrest got caught up with the Bydgoszcz man.
The Zarnovica-born man was forced to lock up very hard and was thrown over his handlebars. Vaculik walked away unscathed, but his relief turned to fury when he saw the red exclusion light.
Despite a phone call to the British official, he was forced to watch the re-run from the pits.
"I wanted to stand on the podium because itâ€™s the best feeling in the world. I was very angry when he excluded me. But what can you do?"
- Martin Vaculik
Vaculik feels it was just a hard first corner and was sad he didn’t get another chance to scrap for what would have been his second podium place in three SGP appearances.
He said: “I think it was a bad decision because it was the first corner and I didn’t want to have a spectacular crash. Our motorcycles were together and I couldn’t move from Emil. I closed the gas to get away from him and then I crashed.
“Decisions like this kill speedway because people want to see a show – they want to see fighting, good races and I try my best all the time. I give my speedway everything. When the referee excludes you for that, it’s sad.
“I wanted to stand on the podium because it’s the best feeling in the world. I was very angry when he excluded me. But what can you do? This is life. I can’t say that’s speedway because speedway is a tough sport and the referee must understand that.
“He doesn’t realise that when motorcycles touch, you cannot do anything, and especially on the first corner. This is the final, this is Speedway Grand Prix, it’s the top level and everyone wants to be there. I think people, especially the referee, must understand this.”
Vaculik may have been irate when his night was controversially ended, but on reflection, he was delighted to leave Italy with an impressive haul of 14 points after scoring 11 in the heats and winning his semi. He said: “I’m very, very happy and satisfied from this meeting. I had 14 points and this is a dream.
“I feel unbelievable because I know that if the referee hadn’t excluded me, I could have been first or second. I’ll take all the positives from this. I’ll forget this decision and try my best to put on a show for the fans in the coming meetings.”
Vaculik entered the Italian SGP as a replacement for Polish star Jaroslaw Hampel, who is still recovering from a broken leg sustained in Copenhagen on June 9. The Leszno rider was walking around the Terenzano pits unaided and served as a pundit for Polish television during Saturday’s meeting.
But he has admitted the FIM Fogo British SGP in Cardiff on August 25 may come too soon for him and this would open the door for Vaculik to race in world speedway’s biggest meeting.
Asked about the prospect of appearing at the Millennium Stadium, Vaculik said: “That’s a magical place. I can’t say whether it will be a good result for me or bad because that doesn’t matter. I’ll enjoy it and it’ll be a big present to race there.”
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- 24/05: DANISH CHAMP STARS IN SLANGERUP
- 24/05: HARRIS RUMOURS SLAMMED
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- 24/05: PUK PUZZLED BY SGP FORM
- 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