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ROSTRUM RETURN?

Nicki Pedersen would love to end a patchy season with a SGP medal after storming to 14 points at the Doodson Slovenian SGP.

09 / 09 / 2013, 13:46

Danish icon Nicki Pedersen would love to end a patchy season with a World Championship medal after storming to 14 points at the Doodson Slovenian SGP in Krsko on Saturday.

The Odense-born racer topped the heat scorechart on 13 points along with SGP series leader Tai Woffinden. But his night ended in semi two when Tomasz Gollob hit the front and Niels-Kristian Iversen dived under him for second spot.

Pedersen’s heavy heat scoring moved him on to 108 championship points and he remains fourth in the standings. With second-placed Russian rider Emil Sayfutdinov sitting out due to arm and knee injuries in Slovenia, the triple world champion closed on his tally of 114 points and could still snatch a silver medal. Krsko winner Jaroslaw Hampel’s 16-point haul puts him third on 112 and he has the edge, while Niels-Kristian Iversen is further adrift in fifth on 101.

But having broken his forearm at the Swedish SGP in Gothenburg on May 4 and struggled with setup all season, Pedersen is content to be fighting for a podium place.

With two rounds to race in Stockholm on September 21 and Torun on October 5, the Dane is hungry to step up his top-three charge and turn a shaky season into a successful one.

I’m still up for third place, but I’m not giving up on silver yet. Everything is open and it’s down to me in Stockholm to score more points than Hampel.

Nicki Pedersen

He said: “I’m still up for third place, but I’m not giving up on silver yet. Everything is open and it’s down to me in Stockholm to score more points than Hampel.

“I had silver last year and felt I had a good season. I nearly had gold. I haven’t particularly had a good year with injuries and our struggle to find the right setup for slick tracks.

“But I’m still consistent; even if I’m not happy. I’m in with a medal chance and if I’d had two, three or four more points in every Grand Prix, it could have been more. That’s if everything had been at its very best and everything had gone my way.

“It hasn’t, but we’re still in the top five so I can’t really complain. I need to look at the positives and take it from there.”

Pedersen admits he made mistakes with his bike changes before the Slovenian semis as he was unable to capitalise on heat heroics.

He said: “It was probably my best Grand Prix in the first five races. We did a few things in the fourth and fifth race and we thought we were going to get there in the semis.

“But we de-tuned a bit too much and got it a bit too wrong. I couldn’t get out of the gate and get the bike running. It came down to setup in the end and I didn’t find the right thing. But I felt fast all night. Sometimes you feel you need to make changes, but we probably shouldn’t have made any changes for the semis.

“The target was anything more than 15 points – that would have been acceptable. We got 14, so we got close. It was not really ideal, but I’ve got a gap between me and Niels now, which is okay.”

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