Bjerre happy to join King’s Lynn’s new era
King's Lynn's new leader of the pack Kenneth Bjerre believes he has found a home from home at the Norfolk Arena.
The world class Dane switched to Saddlebow ahead of the Stars' Elite move during a bitter winter for the sport which looked to have cast his previous club Peterborough into the wilderness.
Bjerre was poised to line up for the Panthers for a sixth season until his British racing career threatened to become collateral damage during the long running dispute between Peterborough, champions Coventry and the BSPA.
The 26-year-old could be forgiven for harbouring dark thoughts towards the authorities after an 11th hour reprieve for the duo – but as Bjerre demonstrates so skilfully on track, this is a man who only looks forward.
'I've still got a signed contract for Peterborough which I just signed before the end of last season,' says the Huntingdon-based racer. 'But Rick Frost called me up first just before Christmas and said they are not running or he didn't think they would be running and I should look for another club. I had to make the choice to race in Sweden full-time or in England full-time so I told everybody if I don't sign for King's Lynn then I will go full-time in Sweden but Buster (Chapman) called me and we done a deal straight away to sign and then Peterborough called me and they were back in.
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'I have a deal with them but I wouldn't run away from King's Lynn. If I am honest it is sad to leave Peterborough because I had a happy time and that was where I wanted to be but I'm glad that it's going to be King's Lynn. If I couldn't run for Peterborough then King's Lynn were my second choice and I am happy to be here.'
Nevertheless, the turbulent domestic saga proved an unwanted postscript to another stellar campaign both home and abroad for Bjerre in 2010.
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'It's nice to see them back in,' he says. 'They are two good clubs who deserve to run and its going to be exiting having ten teams. They have good back up and good sponsorship and they deserve to be in the Elite League. If it had happened earlier then I probably wouldn't have been here but it was a big mess and I was surprised they hadn't got it sorted sooner.
'The fixtures had all come out the other day and they will have to make some adjustments to them now. For the riders it is a lot of trouble because we can't book our flights for the Polish meetings until we have our English dates so a lot of things have gone on behind the scenes which have been a nightmare.'
But Bjerre is the consumate professional. Top eight finishes in the grand prix series – the sport's pinnacle - two years running, including a win at the Swedish GP, are testament to that. Peterborough is the past. For now. Bjerre has signed up for the Norfolk Arena's new vision and the club's return to the top tier for the first time since 2002.
'Being a number one is always a lot of pressure,' he says. 'The guy has to win races and if I can be in the GP and not do that here, then something is wrong. Again, it's seven guys in the team who all have to do well. It's about team spirit. That is the most important thing.
'Half the races are won in the pits and the workshop and if you have got that going then we can push for the play-offs. I'm sure we can with no injuries. For me, this move could lift me higher or bring me down a bit because everything is new around me, but the promoters are cool, the track is set up perfectly and so I sense it can only be good.'
Bjerre has also factored in some inside knowledge of the Saddlebow set-up with teenage sibling Lasse producing a series of eye-catching cameos towards the end of Lynn's farewell Premier League campaign.
'My brother was here last year so he knew what it was all about,' says Kenneth. 'He told me the people within the club are really nice and I am looking forward to meeting the fans. The track is pretty cool and it's a place I think I can enjoy my speedway. It's always a nicely prepared track and very smooth which is what we want and I can't wait for the meetings.
'It's quite special to ride with my brother. We have done that a few times in Denmark. I think he had a good year last year and he learned a lot and I think he'll be even better. When I put my helmet on I don't think about who I am racing with or against, but it will probably help him a lot to have me in the pits.'
Bjerre will once again balance the demands of juggling a congested club career with chasing individual glory. Lynn's main man actually led the 2010 grand prix series after the early rounds before tailing away to finish seventh behind Polish ace Tomasz Gollob.
'I started off well and was leading after three or four meetings but finished off badly,' is Bjerre's succinct assessment of a continental campaign that promised much. 'My aim is still to be world champion and I will be if I win the races I have to.'
Winning races is something the King's Lynn fans should get used to from Bjerre this season.