20/03/2017, 16:23

SGP Five Facts brings you five things you may not know about the FIM Speedway Grand Prix class of 2017. Today we feature Niels-Kristian Iversen.

1. The Danish champion made his FIM Speedway Grand Prix debut at the Danish SGP in Copenhagen on June 26, 2004. He reached the semi-finals and scored 13 points in a meeting staged using the old knock-out format.

2. Iversen is a four-time winner of the FIM Speedway World Cup, lifting the title in 2006, 2008, 2012 and 2014 with the Danish team. He was captain for the last two victories, scoring the points needed to secure gold in last-heat deciders.

3. NKI returned to the SGP series after a four-year break in 2013 and finished third in the World Championship, becoming only the third Dane after Hans Nielsen and Nicki Pedersen to reach the rostrum in the SGP era since 1995.

4. The Esbjerg-born rider is back for 2017 after snatching the eighth and final automatic qualification place by one point at the last round of 2016 in Melbourne. Third place in semi-final two was enough to ensure Iversen didn’t have to face a three-man run-off with Matej Zagar and Maciej Janowski for eighth place.

5. In one of world speedway’s top nations, winning one national title is no easy task. But Iversen has dominated the Danish Championship, winning it five times on the bounce. Another win would see him overtake Erik Gundersen’s record of five wins and draw level with Nielsen on six. But he'd still be one behind Pedersen, who has seven, and only halfway to Ole Olsen’s seemingly unbreakable record of 12.

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