KEEPING OUT OF TROUBLE
Thursday 14th June 2012, 18:59
World champion Greg Hancock admits staying out of the Copenhagen carnage made all the difference as he hung on to his SGP series lead.
While the likes of Nicki Pedersen, Kenneth Bjerre, Emil Sayfutdinov and broken leg victim Jaroslaw Hampel all took a trip to the fence in a fiercely-contested FIM Dansk Metal Danish SGP, Herbie kept out of trouble. He topped the heat scorechart with 12 points before winning semi-final one ahead of Freddie Lindgren, after Nicki Pedersen and Chris Holder were both excluded.
The Californian was pipped by Jason Crump and Lindgren in the medal race, but his 17-point haul was enough to ensure he left the Danish capital with a two-point advantage over the Aussie at the top.
Hancock has not built his reputation on daredevil moves around the fence and earns his points by using his head. He admits racing smart made all the difference on Saturday.
"Youâ€™ve got to be in it to win it and when youâ€™re on the ground so frequently, it definitely makes life harder for you at the end of the year."
- Greg Hancock
He said: “We always try to do that. Sometimes you can’t do anything about crashes and they can happen.
“You could see people were getting desperate for points, there was a little bit of hard riding and some guys were in their home country.
“There are all these things to keep in mind, but you’ve got to stay on your bike and stay in every heat to take points. That’s what I try to do.
"You’ve got to be in it to win it and when you’re on the ground so frequently, it definitely makes life harder for you at the end of the year.”
While Hancock knows he has a serious fight on his hands to win title No.3, he believes he is starting to hit top gear in the competition after moving 10 points clear of third-placed Nicki Pedersen.
He said: “It’s a long road to the World Championship and the overall title. Everything is close right now, which is a great thing. I had a good night and I was sure I was going to take more points in that final. But Crumpy definitely got the better of us.
“I feel good and everything is working well. I feel like we’re making progress with our equipment again. We had a little bit of a tough time for a few rounds, but it’s coming together.”
Hancock is still waiting for his first SGP win in Copenhagen’s PARKEN Stadium. But the 42-year-old isn’t too worried where his points come from, as long as he comes out on top after the Torun SGP on October 6. He said: “I don’t care if I win here or not or if I win in Sweden or not, as long as I win the title at the end.”