King’s Lynn racer Bjerre suffers British GP agony
King's Lynn number one Kenneth Bjerre's bid for British GP glory at Cardiff ended with a heart-breaking semi-final exclusion.
Bjerre had cruised into the last eight after finishing second in the qualifiers following two race wins in front of the biggest crowd of the speedway season at the Millennium Stadium.
But the Danish champion shredded the tapes at the start of the second semi-final to cut short his bid for a second GP win of his career after last season's Swedish triumph.
Veteran American Greg Hancock won a thrilling final to move 12 points clear of reigning champion Tomasz Gollob in the overall standings on 80 points after five rounds.
Bjerre's 11 point haul was his best of the campaign to move him upto ninth on 38 points. Cardiff victor Hancock insists there is plenty of hard work still ahead to pick up a second world crown.
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'It's not over until it's over,' he told speedwaygp.com. 'Don't get me wrong; I'm very happy to be where I am right now. But anybody would be and there is a long way to go. It doesn't matter where I am until the last race goes off. Every point is going to count. I'm just going to keep the focus and ride hard.
'I learnt last time I became champion (in 1997) that you don't celebrate until you're there. I can't even think about winning the title now and it's more just other people bringing it up. But the world title is why we're here and I'm going for it.'
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Hancock was 13th in the World Championship after last year's British SGP and was struggling to get the best from his equipment. But the Zielona Gora and Piraterna star says his confidence could not be higher 12 months on.
'When things are working, it just happens,' he said. 'You go to the tapes and you have a good feeling that you're going to be first to the corner. That's how it is for me right now. I feel great and I've got a great chance. I'm riding a wave and I'm loving it.'
With no SGP round in the United States, Hancock admits Cardiff has become the closest thing he has to a home round. And even though he no longer rides in the British Elite League, he was touched by the backing he received in the Welsh capital.
'This is probably the best support I've had at this place,' he said. 'I don't ride in the UK and I only come here a couple of times a year. I almost had a tear in my eye because I felt so darn good and the people here are amazing.
'The build up to it from Friday was great and I had people sending Twitter messages to me. I'm so grateful. I'm very, very grateful. This place is top of the list of places I've raced in my speedway career.'
• British GP scores: 1 Greg Hancock 20, 2 Nicki Pedersen 16, 3 Chris Holder 15, 4 Emil Sayfutdinov 13, 5 Kenneth Bjerre 11, 6 Andreas Jonsson 10, 7 Magnus Zetterstrom 9, 8 Jason Crump 8, 9 Janusz Kolodziej 7, 10 Tomasz Gollob 7, 11 Chris Harris 6, 12 Jaroslaw Hampel 5, 13 Scott Nicholls 5, 14 Freddie Lindgren 5, 15 Antonio Lindback 3, 16 Tai Woffinden 2, 17 Rune Holta 1, 18 Ben Barker 0.