Saturday 5th May 2012, 17:56
American greats Greg Hancock and Billy Hamill powered the United States into the FIM Monster Energy Speedway World Cup after they won their qualifier in Ljubljana this afternoon.
The USA triumphed on 44 points after fending off a persistent challenge from host nation Slovenia, who finished on 40, and the American quartet now face SWC champions Poland, Denmark and Russia in Event One at Bydgoszcz on July 7.
Former Grand Prix star Matej Zagar, racing in his home town, romped to a sensational 19 from six outings, including a tactical joker victory and two wins over world champion Hancock.
But the Americans simply had too much strength in depth, as Herbie led the charge on 13.
Comeback hero Hamill, who turns 42 this month, rolled back the years and collected 10 on his international comeback to play a pivotal role in making the American qualification dream a reality.
Plymouth star Ryan Fisher matched that total, while Wolves reserve Ricky Wells stepped up superbly with 11 and provided the only American victory over Zagar in heat 13.
The Ukraine finished third on 24 and Holstebro rider Andrey Karpov topped their scorechart with a useful 14, including a joker triumph.
Italy were fourth on 20, with Mattia Carpanese leading their challenge on nine points.