Inside Track 2014: World number three Niels-Kristian Iversen’s weekly look inside the Norfolk Arena

Niels-Kristian Iversen (left) and Rory Schlein (right) secured victory for King's Lynn Stars in the final heat of their meeting at Poole. Picture: Matthew Usher. Niels-Kristian Iversen (left) and Rory Schlein (right) secured victory for King's Lynn Stars in the final heat of their meeting at Poole. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Friday, June 13, 2014
4:15 PM

Us guys at Lynn were not really aware that we were close to breaking any records last week.

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Robert Lambert and (R) Lewis Kerr in heat 14. Picture: Ian BurtRobert Lambert and (R) Lewis Kerr in heat 14. Picture: Ian Burt

Of course it is nice that things are going well but again, I stress, we’ve got to focus on what’s ahead of us and not using this achievement as a thing to rest on. If we start losing then this run doesn’t really matter. That’s the way I look at it.

The problem is even if we win say 12, 15 or more meetings in a row at the end of the day it doesn’t matter that much if we don’t lift the Elite League title. I want to win the championship. That would be something I can look back thinking it was cool. We need to win as many meetings as we can but the record is just a good thing for people to write and talk about. For me it’s being a champion that counts.

Confidence is high and that comes from every single rider. It’s difficult for a team to get confidence as it’s based on individual performances. The good thing this year is that we have pretty much got everyone going fairly well. Even when one or two are missing out on scores other riders have been able to pitch in with some good points.

That’s been the difference. Plus we’ve been fairly lucky with injuries so far. There’s been a couple, Kenneth Bjerre and Lewis Rose. But they weren’t out for too long and it didn’t really effect us that much. We could use some guests and with rider-replacement for Kenny everyone could take a ride. Of course when you’re one man down everyone else needs to perform that little bit better.

This 12-match winning run is excellent but it’s still very early in the season. The first step is just to get to the play-offs. Birmingham won the league and did really well all season long and then they got smoked in the play-offs by Poole. It’s at the end of the season when it really matters.

We are all pleased with our form but it’s now about consistency and making sure we don’t just tail off. I think we can get better too, which is a good thing.

Kenny was out for about a month and it always takes a little bit of time to really get going. I’ve had quite a few technical problems and have been struggling a bit with my engines over the past couple of weeks. The young boys are getting better and better each week. Lewis Kerr at reserve has been brilliant and he just keeps improving.

It’s a similar thing with Nicklas Porsing and Robert Lambert. Sometimes they’re brilliant and sometimes it doesn’t really happen but they have definitely improved with each meeting they’ve ridden in.

As for our skipper Rory (Schlein) he’s been really good. He’s always helping out and trying to lift the team spirit. When things are really not working out for him he’s still there to help everyone and get them going. I wouldn’t be able to do that.

If things don’t work out for me I feel like crushing something. I don’t have the capability to walk around and help everyone else when I’m having a bad night. Rory can though and that’s why he’s been a brilliant captain.

‘Nicki’s best is going to be hard to beat’

There’s always a bit of prestige about breaking track records and it is a nice thing to do.

It somehow shows that you are a fast rider. But you don’t get any extra points for doing it. So from that point of the view it doesn’t matter in some ways – but it is nice to have the best times against your name.

When it happens, like it did at Leicester (Niels broke the track record twice in one meeting on Saturday) the track has to be prepared well. It needs to be perfect. There had been a bit of rain and the track was grippy. All of the riders were quick. I think Rory (Schlein) beat the old record on the night too.

Everything needs to click if it’s going to work. If you’re on a really slick track it’ll never happen. But Saturday was one of them nights when everything worked out for me – which was good.

But it’s the points that counts. That’s where my focus is. The Norfolk Arena track record (57.60) is going to be really difficult to beat. Nicki (Pedersen) set it in 2002 when there were some big names at the club and the track was always really grippy.

It would be nice to beat it – Nicki’s had it for long enough – but it might not happen. If it does, it does. But I don’t concentrate on beating his record. All I focus on is winning each race I’m in, starting when the tapes come up in heat one.

Niels-Kristian Iversen was talking to Gavin Caney.

* To read Niels’ exclusive weekly column first, and in print – plus an update on Rory Schlein’s ‘Shave the Roo’ charity challenge, buy Wednesday’s paper. Visit www.edp24.co.uk/sport/kings-lynn-stars for an archive of Iversen’s articles.

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