NO HOLDING BACK
Saturday 11th August 2012, 13:00
Australian champion Chris Holder refuses to let his roughed-up ribs get in the way of him stepping up his World Championship push in the FIM Fogo Italian SGP at Terenzano tonight.
The Sydneysider was forced to withdraw from the Croatian Grand Prix at Gorican on July 28 after aggravating a rib injury he sustained at Poole three days earlier.
Despite exiting the meeting on six points, Holder remains fourth in the SGP standings on 84 points and just 13 behind series frontrunner Greg Hancock.
The 24-year-old took a week off after Gorican and admits he hasn’t taken too many risks in his league races for Poole and Torun this week. But he knows holding back won’t help his chances of joining the elite club of speedway world champions.
"Iâ€™m close with the points and I donâ€™t want to let it slip just because of an injury I picked up a few weeks ago."
- Chris Holder
He said: “When I’m riding, it’s not a problem – it’s more so if I bump it. Through the week, I wasn’t too confident about going too big. But it’s a Grand Prix tonight and I’ll be riding like I normally do.
“It’s not every day you’re in the position to be in the top four. I’m close with the points and I don’t want to let it slip just because of an injury I picked up a few weeks ago.
“I feel good and practice went well. Everything is going alright. I just need to make it happen tonight.”
Holder has never scored more than seven points at Terenzano and is still waiting for his first semi-final appearance there. The rider admits finding the ideal setup is a tough job on one of the longest and slickest tracks on the World Championship tour.
He said: “It’s a bit of a mind game really and it’s hard to work out what’s the best setup. When it’s slick like this, everyone is spinning and you don’t put much power on the ground.
“You’ve got to keep telling yourself everyone is in the same boat and it’s not just you who doesn’t feel fast out there.
“That’s the way it is and I think I made some good progress on Friday. Hopefully I can make some starts because it will be a lot easier if I’m out in front.”
Holder and his rivals know fast trapping is vital at Terenzano – even more so than anywhere else.
The Poole-based man said. “The gate draw will be mega important tonight and I’ve got two gate fours. One and four seem to be really good here, so hopefully they can work in my favour.”
The European SGP winner will be joined at the Motoclub Olimpia tonight by partner Sealy and their baby son Max, who makes his first appearance in the Grand Prix paddock.
Holder admits having his loved ones in Italy is a welcome distraction in the build-up to the action.
He said: “He’s only small, so he probably won’t remember this. But it’s cool to have him here.
“It’s quite boring out here for me; there’s not much to do. Hanging out with them takes my mind off riding so it will be good. It does my head in if I have to sit there by myself. I sleep all day and then I’m too tired. It’s good to have people here – friends or family.”
- 19/06: EMIL'S RUSSIAN RESCUE BID
- 19/06: IVERSEN'S UNHAPPY ENDING
- 19/06: SUNDSTROM'S SGP LIFELINE
- 19/06: KK'S DANISH DEAL
- 18/06: CHAMP PIPS PEDERSEN FOR PIRATES
- 18/06: HOLDER HANGING ON TO EMIL
- Play18/06: TAI'S RIDE
- 17/06: TOP THREE FOR TAI?
- 17/06: MIDDLO'S TEAM GB CHALLENGE
- 17/06: SGP QUALIFICATION DRAW