PULLING AWAY FROM THE PACK
Wednesday 15th August 2012, 08:00
World champion Greg Hancock says he is “going like hell the whole way” to secure his third World Championship after moving 10 points clear at the top in Italy on Saturday.
The Californian finished third in the FIM Fogo Italian SGP, adding 14 points to his tally in the process. He is now on 111 after eight rounds and extended his lead over second-placed Nicki Pedersen after the Dane ended up on 10 at Terenzano.
Hancock has been relentlessly consistent this term and has reached the semi-finals at all eight SGP rounds, converting five of those into final appearances. He won in Auckland on March 31, finished second in Gothenburg, claimed bronze in Copenhagen as well as Terenzano and ended up fourth in Prague.
He is desperate to maintain this for the final four rounds, starting in the FIM Fogo British SGP at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on August 25.
Herbie says his machines are getting faster, his motivation is on the up and his is itching to land title No.3.
"Iâ€™d say I want to win this thing as much as the others do, but I think I want it more."
- Greg Hancock
He said: “My lead has been extended a little bit. But I’m going like hell the whole way. I’d say I want to win this thing as much as the others do, but I think I want it more.
“It’s important to be consistent and I want at least double figures all the time. I want to be in finals – that’s my goal every night. I want to hit the semi-final and then it’s game on.
“I’ve made quite a few semis and that feels good. It’s all about consistency, but winning a couple of finals would be the icing on the cake as far as I’m concerned.”
Hancock was far from upset with third place in Italy after his nearest rivals Pedersen, Jason Crump and Chris Holder all left Terenzano at the semi-final stages on 10 points apiece.
He said: “Of course I would have liked to win the final, but it doesn’t matter and this is where I want to be.
“Terenzano is one of those tracks where it can go like that. It’s not the easiest of places to get it working consistently. I feel good. I’m happy and I’m excited now because the bikes are coming really good for me.
“I feel I’ve made vast improvements with everything. The motivation and everything around us is coming good right now and I’m very happy about that. I feel much better in myself and I’m coming back into good form. I’m ready for Cardiff.”
Hancock won at the Millennium Stadium last year and also clinched the gold medal there in 2004. World speedway’s biggest meeting is special for every rider. But given that Hancock does not race a Grand Prix in the United States, the British round is extra special for him.
“It’s a small home away from home,” he said. “I want to take advantage of that. It’s a great atmosphere there and I get my best support all ear.
“Everybody likes Cardiff too and I probably like it more than some because it’s a good, tricky, exciting track.”
The 42-year-old was full of praise for Italian SGP winner Antonio Lindback after he won his first Grand Prix round on Saturday.
Hancock has raced in every SGP event and has watched the Rio Rocket since he made his World Championship debut as a wild card in Gothenburg on August 21, 2004.
So he was pleased to see the 27-year-old finally realise his potential. He said: “It’s a lot like when Freddie Lindgren won in Gothenburg – it’s long overdue. Lindback has a bag of talent. The guy is so good, but mentally it’s tough to do it day in and day out.
“He has been close here a couple of times, but you could see he really wanted this one. He made a beautiful start when he had a second chance. He got the win he has been waiting for – hats off to the guy.”
- 25/05: AJ: FORM ON THE UP
- 24/05: DANISH CHAMP STARS IN SLANGERUP
- 24/05: HARRIS RUMOURS SLAMMED
- 24/05: EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT ON KING'S LYNN TICKETS
- 24/05: PUK PUZZLED BY SGP FORM
- 23/05: NICKI OUT OF DANISH FINAL
- 23/05: HANCOCK LEADS AMERICAN ASSAULT
- 23/05: TRIALS ICON BOU SET FOR CARDIFF
- 22/05: NO SIX-POINTERS SUITS SAYFUTDINOV
- 22/05: DREAM CARDIFF CALL FOR ALES