Tuesday 9th October 2012, 08:46
Torun SGP winner Antonio Lindback admits he felt like walking away from the World Championship in the first half of this year, before mounting a dramatic comeback to finish seventh.
The Rio Rocket’s campaign was threatening to fizzle out as he reached the semi-finals just twice in the opening seven rounds, which left him 10th in the standings and 16 points adrift of the top eight.
But Lindback’s season transformed when he collected his first ever SGP gold medal in the FIM Fogo Italian SGP on August 11. He followed that up with bronze medals in Cardiff and Malilla and a semi-final appearance in Vojens, before another magical win at the Marian Rose Motoarena.
The Avesta-based rider enjoyed a slice of good fortune when new world champion Chris Holder’s engine exploded while he was leading the final, allowing the Swede to pip Tomasz Gollob and Greg Hancock.
Having gone eight years from making his SGP debut to getting his first victory in Italy, Lindback is over the moon to have ended 2012 with two gold medals, especially after being ready to walk away in the summer.
"I was calling home to my girlfriend and just telling her, â€˜I will not do anymore GPs. I quit!â€™ I was so angry. But after that, I turned it around."
- Antonio Lindback
He said: “This year I was struggling a bit in the beginning and in the middle of the year I swapped engines and everything. Then things started to work well. Why I don’t know, but it helped.
“Before I was calling home to my girlfriend and just telling her, ‘I will not do anymore GPs. I quit!’ I was so angry. But after that, I turned it around, went to Terenzano and won my first Grand Prix. Then I just went well and it has been a very special season.”
Lindback says a combination of feeling more relaxed and confident, as well as having faster machinery, has transformed his fortunes.
He said: “I don’t know why I’ve started to go so well. Of course I’ve started to get some new engines and they’re working really well. I’m feeling happier too.
“If you believe that something will work, it doesn’t matter whether it’s good or rubbish. It works. But it’s always much easier if you have good engines and stuff and you’re racing well too.”
Lindback will start the 2013 season with the No.6 race jacket on his back following Jason Crump’s retirement. Having ended this year like a freight train, the Rio de Janeiro-born man is keen to keep the momentum going.
He said: “I just want to go higher. I’ll go home, spend some really good time with my family, take it easy for some time and after that, I will start to think about next year. Of course I’m looking forward to it and I hope it will be a good year.”
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- 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