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IVERSEN SPURRED BY DANISH CROWN

Danish champion Niels-Kristian Iversen hopes winning a sixth straight national title helps him regain top form in the SGP series.

10 / 08 / 2017, 11:44

Danish champion Niels-Kristian Iversen hopes winning a sixth straight national title helps him regain top form in the FIM Speedway Grand Prix series.

The Esbjerg-born racer heads to the Teng Tools Swedish SGP on Saturday on the back of triumphing in the Danish Championship Final in Fjelsted last Friday.

But things haven’t gone to plan for Iversen so far in the SGP series, and he currently stands 13th in the World Championship on 38 points, putting him 11 short of the top-eight spot needed to qualify for 2018.

I don’t feel like I’ve had the edge to perform my best so far this year. Hopefully this can be the turning point, and we’re still only halfway with the GPs.

Niels-Kristian Iversen

Iversen admits he has been battling for confidence at times this term. So he hopes retaining his status as Danish No.1 is the spur he needs to get back to his very best.

The former world No.3 said: “Of course things haven’t really gone as well as I had hoped in the GPs. But things went my way in the Danish Championship.

“I know it’s not the same as a Grand Prix – that’s the World Championship and you have the best riders in the world there. It’s a different level. That makes it more difficult.

“But this proves things can go my way. I don’t feel like I’ve had the edge to perform my best so far this year. Hopefully this can be the turning point, and we’re still only halfway with the GPs. There is still a lot to race for and a lot of points to gain. If I come strong towards the end, I might end up in a really good position. That’s what I believe and that’s what I’m working for at the moment.”

Asked why he felt things haven’t gone his way so far this season, Iversen replied: “I think it’s a bit of everything. It’s a little bit of confidence and a little bit of luck. Sometimes you can’t really put your finger on exactly what it is.

“I haven’t felt 100 percent comfortable with my equipment. I wouldn’t say it hasn’t been good. I just haven’t felt confident on it, and I think that has been a problem too.

“I have been trying to work on everything and work on every little detail to make everything better. I think that’s what it’ll take to get me back to my best level. The more success I have and the more races I win in the league or wherever I go, the more confidence I’ll get. Then I think everything will be a little bit easier at Grand Prix level too.”

While Iversen has work to do in the SGP series this year, he already has one goal in his sights for 2018.

His victory saw him equal national boss Hans Nielsen’s total of six Danish titles, and he’s now just one short of triple world champion Nicki Pedersen, who has seven.

Danish great Ole Olsen holds the overall record on 12 titles and that will take some beating. But NKI would love to match the seven successive championships he won between 1967 and 1973.

He said: “That’s definitely a big goal for 2018. Ole’s overall record is still so far away. But next year it is within reach to make it seven in a row. There is a lot of racing between now and next year and it’s a long way ahead. We’ll see what position I’m in at the time, but it’s up for grabs.

“Winning this is always one of my goals for the season before we start. It’s a championship and whenever you can call yourself a champion, it feels good.”

 

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