FIGHTING FIT FOR THE FINISH
Nicki Pedersen says he has the fitness and stamina to return to the SGP medal rostrum ahead of the Rietumu Bank Latvian SGP in Daugavpils.
16 / 08 / 2013, 17:00
Danish international Nicki Pedersen believes he has the fitness and stamina to return to the World Championship medal rostrum ahead of the Rietumu Bank Latvian SGP in Daugavpils on Saturday night.
Pedersen hasn’t found the consistency needed to make a title challenge this year. But he is still fourth in the standings on 83 points and just two behind Poland’s Jaroslaw Hampel in third.
Given that the 36-year-old competed for part of the year with the broken arm he sustained at Gothenburg on May 4 and has endured some niggling engine issues, the prospect of a rostrum spot is a still a great target to chase.
And Pedersen, who is 22 points behind frontrunner Emil Sayfutdinov with four rounds left, believes he is the rider best equipped to join likely top two Sayfutdinov and Tai Woffinden on the World Championship rostrum at Torun on October 5.
Sometimes when you get to this stage of the year, you could have slipped away a little bit when it comes to fitness and condition. But I haven’t and it’s very important mentally that I’m in the right shape.
He said: “Towards the end of the season, I just want to ride like I should. I went to the physio for a check on Monday and when it comes to weight and everything, I’m in good shape.
“Sometimes when you get to this stage of the year, you could have slipped away a little bit when it comes to fitness and condition. But I haven’t and it’s very important mentally that I’m in the right shape and get the bike to go a bit faster on the slick circuits.
“I’m in a good position – there is no doubt about that. I have raced well all season, except for the hand injury I had.
“Being confused and not having the engines right could have meant I slipped away, but I haven’t. I kept focused and hopefully that’s going to pay off.”
Pedersen has enjoyed podium places on all three of his previous SGP outings in Daugavpils, having finished third in 2006 and second in 2007 and 2008. He did not appear at the 2009 meeting because of injury.
The Rzeszow, Vargarna and Holsted racer said: “I’ve only got good experience and I want more good memories from Latvia. Hopefully I can continue with the good results I’ve had in the times I’ve been there.”