Inside Track special: Captain Mads Korneliussen’s end of season awards
16:32 26 September 2012
Archant © 2012
There was only ever going to be one winner of my rider of the season – and that’s Niels-Kristian Iversen.
He’s been more than tremendous for us this year and he’s kept us in, and won, so many meetings. It’s been his best season yet and I have to take my hat off to him.
To keep up that level all year with his demanding schedule across Europe, without moaning, is an achievement in itself. He hasn’t had the rewards he deserves because he should have been given the wild card for both Grands Prix in Denmark. However, I hope he goes out there in the qualifier and books his place in the GPs next season.
If I was giving out a second place it would have gone to Maciej Janowski – but he still wins two of my end-of-season awards.
First, Magic wins my most entertaining rider prize. He’s had some tremendous races around the Norfolk Arena where he’s gone by two in a lap and gone from last to first. He’s enjoyable to watch because he can gate, win from the front, win from the back and team-ride – which is unusual for a Pole.
Roll of honour
Best rider: Niels-Kristian Iversen
Most entertaining: Maciej Janowski
Best crash: Maciej Janowski (v Swindon)
Funniest moment: Ryan Fisher (v Coventry)
Best opposition: Swindon
Worst track: Peterborough
Biggest joker: Joe Screen
Worst moment: Birmingham (at home)
Best meeting: Swindon (away)
Unsung hero: Mateusz Szczepaniak/Kevin Wolbert
His pass on Freddie Lindgren (heat 15 v Wolves in May) was just incredible and Magic always makes it look so easy. He beats Daniel Nermark – who is entertaining in a different way – to the award.
Dan’s so unpredictable. You just don’t know what you’re going to get from him. For two laps he looks like a champion, then for two he’s all over the shop. But he can go out and beat riders like Chris Harris so I find him exciting to watch.
Magic picks up my next award for my crash of the year. His third smash of the night against Swindon, into the home straight fence, was a really bad one. I’m surprised he got up because I thought his season was over there. It was a horrible one.
Ryan Fisher, who guested for us during our 45-45 draw with Coventry on Monday, lifts my funniest moment award. Everyone said I was crazy for lending him my bike so we were all laughing when he won a race on it. I had to do it, it’s a captain’s role, but even he said: “Thanks Mads, I didn’t smash it,” and had a good laugh about it.
"Finally, I’d like to thank this paper for giving me the chance to do this column. I didn’t get paid but I loved having the chance to get my views across. I’d also like to thank the fans for their support this season, especially those who read my column and gave me feedback on Twitter. Lynn have the best fans in speedway and I hope to be back in 2013."
My fifth award goes to Swindon. They’re the best opposition we faced. They hammered us 52-41 at home and were on us from heat one. They adapted to the track and looked strong all the way through their side. Everyone scored points for them.
Moving on, my worst track of the season would usually always go to Belle Vue. They’ve got no idea how to prepare a track. But this year it goes to Peterborough. It was mental there in August with six or seven tracks’ worth of material on it. They wouldn’t change it either which was a disgrace.
Joe Screen is next up and he wins my biggest joker prize. When Mateusz Szczepaniak got knocked out at Belle Vue and sat in the pits banging his feet, Screeny said: “Go and tell the bloke where he is, he’s got no idea.” He was always cracking jokes.
Dan (Nermark) ran him close. He is always telling stories. “Boys are you ready?” he says, before telling us the day before he shook a Swedish prince’s hand. We thought he was lying, he wasn’t, and he’s just got some amazing tales.
The worst moment was losing at home to Birmingham earlier this month. We knew the play-offs were all over. On the other side, my best moment, or best meeting personally, was getting a maximum 15 at Swindon back in April.
Our best meeting was the home win over Poole, but of course I wasn’t there. So I have to chose our defeat (43-50) at the Robins for this reason – I was riding with two bent ribs.
On the Sunday before I had been doing motorcross and I came flying off and busted them on my handle bars. I could barely breathe. But I didn’t want to tell anyone. I was embarrassed and I knew I’d get shouted at for fooling around by Rob (Lyon), Jonathan and Buster (both Chapman).
On the night, I was preparing myself to have a bad one and get five. But everything clicked and I got a max. It just proves that sometimes you can prepare all you want but it doesn’t matter.
My final award goes to two people, because I can’t decide on one unsung hero. The prize is shared by Szczepaniak and Kevin Wolbert.
Matty’s been a trump card and Kev’s done well at reserve too. They come as a pair because they’ve rarely done well together on the same night and when one has been off it, the other has ridden like four races on the bounce.
It’s not easy but their efforts have been outstanding for me. They haven’t had the credit they deserve – so I want to give them my last award.
Finally, I’d like to thank this paper for giving me the chance to do this column. I didn’t get paid but I loved having the chance to get my views across. I’d also like to thank the fans for their support this season, especially those who read my column and gave me feedback on Twitter. Lynn have the best fans in speedway and I hope to be back in 2013.
• Follow Mads on Twitter, or read all of his columns from the 2012 season, by clicking on the links on the right-hand side of this page.