King’s Lynn racer Iversen reveals grand prix ambition
King's Lynn racer Niels-Kristian Iversen believes his Saddlebow switch can help revive his grand prix ambitions ahead of tonight's second Elite League home outing of the new season against Swindon (7.45pm).
The Danish international notched paid seven on his first official Norfolk Arena appearance in last week's 48-42 league success over Belle Vue following his mid-winter switch from Peterborough. Iversen moved east alongside compatriot Kenneth Bjerre and the former two-time World Cup winner would like to emulate Lynn's number one, who competes against the best of the best on a regular basis.
'Last year I had an injury-hit season and I still managed to get the third reserve place for the grand prix,' he told speedwayGP. 'I think I'm moving in the right direction and if I can stay injury free it will just improve my form if I do. The qualifiers are tough meetings – all or nothing really. It's hard just to get to the challenge meetings. It's a long way. There are quarter finals and semi-finals. It's not easy and a lot of riders want to do it. There are a lot of strong riders outside of the GP.
'We'll take one heat at a time and the next heat is always the most important one. There is a lot of competition for wild cards. We have some good riders in Denmark and there are some up-and-coming riders as well. I've had wild cards many times and it's always enjoyable to do these events. But my target is to go there full-time. I want to be able fight for the world championship and I can't do that in one meeting. It's a bonus to get wild cards, but it isn't the end of the world if I don't get one.'
Stars' team boss Rob Lyon believes the best is yet to come from both Iversen and the rest of the Stars' unchanged septet ahead of back-to-back meetings this week against the Robins.
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'We put in a good performance last week to beat Belle Vue but this week I would like the team to push forward some more,' he said. 'We still have a lot more to come from Mads (Korneliussen) and Niels and hopefully Tom (Topinka) will get back to his best, like we saw against Birmingham in the first match of the season. Once again though I am looking forward to seeing some more Elite League racing, there is no doubt it has exceeded all my expectations so far and I would imagine it will get better and better as more world class riders visit us each week.'
Swindon's Team GB duo Scott Nicholls and Simon Stead return after missing Monday's crushing 60-30 defeat at Belle Vue. Nicholls was stuck in heavy traffic and Stead was withdrawn from the meeting on medical grounds. Polish duo Tomasz Chrzanowski and Maciek Janowski did appear despite the on going stand off between the Polish Motor Union and the FIM over the introduction of new silencers this season.
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'It never rains, it pours,' said Swindon co-owner Gary Patchett. 'We were handed start permission very late on Monday for the Polish boys but then it became clear that Scotty wouldn't make it and Simon wasn't fit to ride. We remain hopeful that we will be tracking a full seven man squad, if not at King's Lynn then certainly for the home meeting.'
Swindon tracked the Polish pair at Kirkmanshulme Lane without written confirmation from the authorities and if the duo are blocked from appearing at the Norfolk Arena the Robins will use guests.
Stars: 1 Kenneth Bjerre 9.47, 2 Tomas Topinka 4.58, 3 Olly Allen (C) 4.78, 4 Mads Korneliussen 6.26, 5 Niels Iversen 7.76, 6 Lasse Bjeere 3.48, 7 Fillip Sitera 3.00.
Robins: 1 Scott Nicholls 8.54, 2 Grzegorz Zengota r/r 5.65, 3 Tomasz Chrzanowski 6.12, 4 Maciek Janowski 5.00, 5 Simon Stead 7.47, 6 Justin Sedgmen 3.27, 7 Josh Grajczonek 3.85.