King’s Lynn Stars’ Niels-Kristian Iversen shows signs of Speedway Grand Prix improvement
14:30 01 June 2014
© Archant Norfolk 2014
Niels-Kristian Iversen finally displayed some of his 2013 world championship form by bagging his best Speedway Grand Prix score of the series on Saturday.
King’s Lynn’s number one picked up a fine haul of 12 points from his five rides to book a place in the first semi-final in Prague. But the Stars’ ace was disappointed to run a third and not reach the grand final leaving him to feel he could have taken more than the 13 he did home from the Czech Republic come the end of the meeting.
Iversen, whose previous top score before the weekend’s fourth round was 10, said: “I was on the pace all night, not in the semi, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. I swapped bike after the second race, as I felt I needed a bit of power but in the end the track was slick again so we should have done something else.
“Twelve points from my first five races was a good result for me and it’s definitely the best I’ve been so far this year. But what can you say?
“You need to step it up when you get to the semis otherwise your night will end, and that’s how it went, but it was definitely a step forward for me.”
The 13-point haul leaves the world number three in 10th on 35 points. He is only 11 behind joint-leaders Greg Hancock and world champion Tai Woffinden – who won the GP, his first success of the term.
Iversen’s Lynn team-mate Kenneth Bjerre struggled for much of the evening and only picked up four points. He sits 13th in the standings on 22.
But while he left Prague disappointed, Woffinden, or Woffy as he is commonly known, was ecstatic at beating Hancock, Matej Zagar and Nicki Pedersen in the 23rd heat of the European event.
The second SGP win of Woffy’s career held extra significance as seven of the last 10 world champs have won in Prague in their championship year, just as he did in 2013.
Woffy said: “It was a great night for me. I made starts and I worked hard. The rut I was in at the start of the season was pretty deep. I’ve never worked so hard to get out of it.
“I’m out of it now, but I need to keep building and get faster and faster. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season. I didn’t expect to be leading at this point. The points at the moment are so close. We’ve still got a long way to go, though.”
The next action from the 12-round world championship series comes from Malila in Sweden. The meeting takes place on Saturday June, 14.