Tuesday 16th October 2012, 11:56
Triple world champion Jason Crump was determined to make sure compatriot Chris Holder took “a couple of deep breaths” when he gave him that famous pep talk in Torun.
Holder was involved in a titanic first-bend tussle with Danish star Nicki Pedersen in semi-final two of the title-deciding FIM Torun SGP of Poland on October 6. The pair exchanged words as Pedersen left the track and tensions boiled over between the riders.
But quick-thinking Crump, who had raced his last ever SGP heat, dashed from the pits to lead Holder away from the action. He took him into a quiet room below the grandstand and gave the 25-year-old a few words of wisdom, which helped him secure his first world title in the re-run.
Crump knows better than most just how much work it takes to get into a title-winning position. He also knows the pain of missing out after spending three years at No.2 between 2001 and 2003, before claiming his maiden gold medal in 2004.
So the Australian legend was keen to make sure Holder nailed the biggest race of his life and became his country’s fifth world champion.
"People work their whole lives to be in the position Chris was in there and you donâ€™t want to let it go."
- Jason Crump
Crump said: “Chris just needed to be Chris. He just needed to have a couple of deep breaths and someone to remind him to do that. People work their whole lives to be in the position Chris was in there and you don’t want to let it go. It’s just great that he did it.”
Asked whether he felt Holder could go on to win multiple world titles, Crump predicted a bright future for the Sydneysider.
He said: “He has got a lot of years ahead of him. Chris could go on and dominate speedway for years to come. But the Grand Prix is a tough series and you just don’t know what could happen.”
Crump ended the Torun SGP with five points as he brought the curtain down on his legendary World Championship career.
Having received weeks of tributes from riders, promoters and fans alike, even the steely-focused 37-year-old knew producing his best at the Marian Rose Motoarena was going to be tough.
He said: “I had so many well-wishes and stuff like that, I’d had no chance of getting my head into gear to go and race. I’m just so relieved it’s done. One part of my life is finished and I can go on to different things now.
“It’s a day that comes to every sportsman in their life and I’m glad it’s done. It’s a relief.
“I’m proud I stayed in the top eight this year and I can genuinely walk away and give a place up in the Grand Prix.”
- 18/06: CHAMP PIPS PEDERSEN FOR PIRATES
- 18/06: HOLDER HANGING ON TO EMIL
- 17/06: TOP THREE FOR TAI?
- 17/06: MIDDLO'S TEAM GB CHALLENGE
- 17/06: SGP QUALIFICATION DRAW
- Play17/06: VIDEO: GORZOW HIGHLIGHTS
- 16/06: PERFECTION FOR PEDERSEN
- 16/06: WARRIOR WOFFY DEFIES PAIN
- 15/06: HAMPEL'S POLISH PRIDE
- 15/06: HAMPEL WINS GORZOW SGP