Menu
Card image cap

GOOD BREAK FOR NICKI?

Nicki Pedersen is determined to make his time off a blessing rather than a curse as he bids to bounce back from 18 months of injuries.

12 / 02 / 2018, 09:37

Triple world champion Nicki Pedersen insists he was determined to make his time off a blessing rather than a curse as he bids to bounce back from 18 months of neck injuries.

Pedersen suffered a broken C7 vertebra at the Golden Helmet in Pardubice in September 2016, which ended that season. And despite starting the next campaign, he was forced out again last May, when he suffered another fracture to the same vertebra.

With doctors fearing his left arm could be paralysed if the vertebra collapsed, the Odense-born ace had to spend much of last season on the sidelines.

The doctor said to me the season was done and there was nothing I could do. I’m glad I’m 40 and not 23 because as soon as the doctor told me that, I could really enjoy things away from speedway.

Nicki Pedersen

But rather than kick his heels and wallow in self-pity. Pedersen insists he was keen to make the most of his enforced break.

He said: “The doctor said to me the season was done and there was nothing I could do. I’m glad I’m 40 and not 23 because as soon as the doctor told me that, I could really enjoy things away from speedway.

“I was still following what was going on, but it was important for me to do a lot of things I haven’t been able to do for the last 15 years because of my racing and the GPs at weekends. I had an opportunity to enjoy the things I thought I was missing.

“Mentally, that’s something you can probably handle when you’re at my age. Someone younger would have been scared to be completely away from the sport. But I had no other option. So I thought I’d enjoy the things I haven’t been able to do.

"I realised it was nice to do those things, but I realised actually how much I missed my racing. That charged my batteries up.”

Time has proved a great healer for Pedersen. “The more I wait and the more I heal, the better everything goes,” he said. “The doctors have cleared me completely. I have been able to race since the end of last season, so December through to March has just been a bonus.

“Every day I am training and building up the muscles and stuff like that. It’s good for your health.

“I’m as good as before I crashed. The issue was that the first time I broke the back in September 2016; it probably wasn’t healed up 100 percent by March. But when I crashed in May, I went all summer and winter through with my recovery. That means when I come back now, everything will be as it’s supposed to be. That’s the plan.”

Pedersen has no fears that he will lack sharpness when he returns to the shale. He said: “I have always believed and I have heard other people say that if you can ride a speedway bike, it’s like riding a push bike. If you can ride it, you can ride it. If you can’t, you can’t. You never forget it.

“I saw Ole Olsen hadn’t been on a bike for 10 years, but when he got back on it, he was nearly at full gas straight away.”

 

Card image cap

PREMIERSHIP | POOLE KEEP KURTZ FOR 2019

Former Aussie champion Brady Kurtz is set for a fourth straight season at Poole, and club owner Matt Ford says he won’t be starting at No.1.

Card image cap

PREMIERSHIP | COOK PICKED UP BY PANTHERS

GB star Craig Cook is on his way to Peterborough for 2019, and promoter Ged Rathbone backed the move to inspire his bid for an SGP return.

Card image cap

PREMIERSHIP | FRICKE & BJERRE LEAD ACES SIDE

Belle Vue boss Mark Lemon believes Max Fricke has emerged as “a truly world-class performer” as he joins Kenneth Bjerre at the Aces.

Card image cap

AMERICAN RACER BECKER INTO SGP QUALIFIERS

USA shooting star Luke Becker took a step closer to his FIM Speedway Grand Prix dream after winning the American Final at Perris.

Card image cap

SCHLEIN: AT HOME WITH WOLVES

Aussie racer Rory Schlein insists Wolverhampton is a “home away from home” after sealing a return for next season.

Card image cap

COOK: NO WARNING OVER ACES EXIT

Former SGP star Craig Cook has scotched claims by Belle Vue that he was told he wasn’t in Aces plans on November 19.

Card image cap

RIDER REVIEW | EMIL SAYFUTDINOV

SpeedwayGP.com looks back at how the SGP class of 2018 fared this year. Today, we feature Emil Sayfutdinov.

Card image cap

SGP 2018 REVIEW | BETARD SCANDINAVIAN SGP

SpeedwayGP.com looks back at this year’s FIM Speedway Grand Prix series. Today, we feature Nicki Pedersen at his best in Malilla.