HANS: NO REGRETS
Monday 15th October 2012, 10:13
Swindon star Hans Andersen was pleased he took his 11th-hour call up for the SGP series, but admits a 2011 season blighted by a broken leg left him lagging behind.
The Dane, who leads the Robins into their Elite League play-off final, first leg at home to Poole tonight, was handed a wild card entry after Pirates star Darcy Ward turned down an invite.
Andersen finished 10th in the World Championship to miss out on automatic qualification for next season.
It was a huge financial gamble for the Odense-born racer, who rejected a lucrative Polish Ekstraliga deal with Zielona Gora to have another shot at the SGP big time.
"To be 100 percent honest, I wasnâ€™t ready to step in coming back from injury. But itâ€™s not something I would have changed."
- Hans Andersen
But the 31-year-old has no regrets about taking the opportunity. He said: “To be 100 percent honest, I wasn’t ready to step in coming back from injury. But it’s not something I would have changed.
“To get back to riding at my best, I need to be riding with the very best. This is the place to do it and it has been a very big learning curve for me.
“I just want to thank everyone involved in the GP, BSI and everyone else, for letting me ride in the Grand Prix and giving me that adventure to New Zealand. I had never travelled that far before. It’s definitely a place I want to go to again in the future.”
He added: “I sacrificed a lot for this opportunity. Not only financially – I had to ride in a different league in Poland, where there were fewer meetings.
“I’d have still given BSI the same answer, though, even standing here 10th in the World Championship. I want to be in the GP and I want to get back to my best.
“At the start of the season I was just miles behind from the gate. Now I can gate with the boys and even out-gate them. So it’s going the right way. I can build on this confidence-wise and experience-wise.”
Andersen reached just one SGP semi all season in Cardiff, but felt his best form was returning as the season progressed.
He said: “I just want to start the season over again and go to New Zealand now. I think I was playing catch up for too long. The gap was too big. I knew it was going to be difficult when I came in, but I didn’t imagine it was going to be that difficult.
“All in all, I’m fairly happy. I’m just disappointed I haven’t made one final because I feel I could have gone all the way in some places.
“The amount of times I’ve either missed a semi due to countback or by one point because a race was stopped when I was leading, it’s amazing.
“It hasn’t been too bad. I was hoping for better. But I came in as No.15 and I finished 10th. It could be worse for some of the other riders, who were a lot higher in the standings and slipped out of the top eight. It just shows how competitive this is.”
Robins go into tonight's play-off final without Jason Doyle, who suffered a neck injury in the Premier League Riders Championship at Sheffield on Sunday. He is replaced by Sebastian Alden.
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