NICKI: HOLDER GAMBLED
Tuesday 9th October 2012, 17:08
Triple world champion Nicki Pedersen believes Chris Holder’s hard first turn in the FIM Torun SGP of Poland semi-final “could have cost him the World Championship.”
The four-time Aussie champion, who was starting from the inside gate, took to the kerb to try and get under Pedersen, who made a great start from the blue gate and tried to close the door. Neither man gave an inch in a titanic, first-turn tussle and the Danish international tumbled.
Pedersen was far from happy when referee Craig Ackroyd invited all four riders back for the restart, which saw Holder win and seal the SGP title as the Odense-born man ended up third behind Antonio Lindback at the second time of asking.
"Someone up there looked after Chris. First of all, when the referee didnâ€™t exclude him and secondly, when his engine blew up in the final. That could have been in the semi-final."
- Nicki Pedersen
He said: “I wasn’t fast enough on the night, but I pulled out a start from gate two, which no-one really had done. I beat Chris off gate one and I pinned him on the kerb. There was some bouncing into the first turn, which I can accept.
“Then we left each other a little bit and he moved even further into the white line and his back wheel hit the kerb where no-one had ridden. He lost control of the bike, went towards me and hit me for the second time.
“It doesn’t matter what anyone says. He should have been excluded. The referee called it a 50/50.
“Chris should have shut off a little earlier when I closed the door into the first turn. I’m a bit surprised he actually did carry on because it could have cost him the World Championship.
“I’m not saying I would have won it. I still needed to be second in the final, which could have happened. Anything can happen in speedway, but it doesn’t matter. The ref didn’t have the strength to make the right decision. He took the easy route and called all four back.
“Someone up there looked after Chris. First of all, when the referee didn’t exclude him and secondly, when his engine blew up in the final. That could have been in the semi-final.”
Pedersen may not have won speedway’s biggest prize for the fourth time. But after two years of finishing 10th in the world, he is delighted to have regained the blistering form which carried him to the championship in 2003, 2007 and 2008.
He admits a new-look pit crew, spearheaded by former rider Tom P Madsen, played a huge role.
He said: “Obviously it has been a great season and I appreciated that given the new team I’ve assembled and my own performance from the last two seasons. Looking back, I need to be very happy about it.
“I feel it’s a new time with a new crew behind me, and going all the way from 10th up to the top three was my main aim.
“That’s a big achievement and, as I’ve always said, if you’re in the top three, then you’re up for becoming world champion. I was very close, so of course I am disappointed about that. But when you come close like this, you should be very happy with your performance.”
- 19/06: EMIL'S RUSSIAN RESCUE BID
- 19/06: IVERSEN'S UNHAPPY ENDING
- 19/06: SUNDSTROM'S SGP LIFELINE
- 19/06: KK'S DANISH DEAL
- 18/06: CHAMP PIPS PEDERSEN FOR PIRATES
- 18/06: HOLDER HANGING ON TO EMIL
- Play18/06: TAI'S RIDE
- 17/06: TOP THREE FOR TAI?
- 17/06: MIDDLO'S TEAM GB CHALLENGE
- 17/06: SGP QUALIFICATION DRAW