WARD: PRESSURE ON POLES
Saturday 1st September 2012, 11:09
Darcy Ward piled the pressure on Poland as he leads Australia into the FIM Team Speedway Under-21 World Championship Final in Gniezno this afternoon after admitting “on paper, the Poles have already won.”
Poland track a host of the Ekstraliga’s finest juniors as Maciej Janowski, Bartosz Zmarzlik, Przemyslaw Pawlicki, Patryk Dudek and Tobiasz Musielak try to land their nation’s first title since 2009.
Despite winning their semi-final at Lakeside convincingly, Ward knows his Roos side, which also features Sam Masters, Nick Morris, Dakota North and Alex Davies will have a tough job on their hands.
"Most of our boys donâ€™t even ride in Poland and theyâ€™re excited just to go for the trip and ride on the Polish track. Weâ€™re the underdogs, but anything can happen."
- Darcy Ward
Sweden and defending champions Russia will also compete for the prize, but Ward hopes the Aussie team spirit will give them the edge.
He said: “The Poles are the favourites – it’s going to be hard to beat each rider. We did well at Lakeside as a team and I think the boys are all just pretty happy to be in the team. They’re good to ride with and it will be a fun weekend for us. I can’t wait.
“On paper, the Poles have already won. But we’re going there to have some fun. Most of our boys don’t even ride in Poland and they’re excited just to go for the trip and ride on the Polish track. We’re the underdogs, but anything can happen.”
Ward is still in the running for league championships in Britain, Poland and Sweden as Poole, Torun and Dackarna are all very much in contention to reach their respective play-off finals.
The 20-year-old needed a month off in the middle of the season after breaking his hand in a crash at Torun in June.
The Queenslander still feels he hasn’t recaptured his best form, but hopes he can do it when it matters most. He said: “It’s still a bit up and down I think and I’m still not at my best at the moment. I don’t really know what that is. I think I’m going well; I’m just riding a bit too hard and stressing a bit. I’m getting back to enjoying it and having fun, though.
“We’re into the crucial stage of the season and points are vital. I want to do my job with every club and get some championships.”
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