IVERSEN EYES SGP ASCENT
Niels-Kristian Iversen feels he could still win an SGP medal this year, but is determined to avoid slipping through the top-eight trapdoor.
03 / 08 / 2013, 10:42
Danish champion Niels-Kristian Iversen believes he could still win a World Championship medal this year, but is determined to avoid slipping through the top-eight trapdoor ahead of the Italian SGP tonight.
Iversen makes his first appearance on the super slick and technical Terenzano track, determined to improve on seventh place in the FIM Speedway Grand Prix standings.
NKI has 64 points – putting him 18 behind world champion Chris Holder in third. But the injured Aussie’s season is over and the Esbjerg-born man is just eight points behind Polish rider Jaroslaw Hampel in fourth, who is on 72.
It could go either way. The top three is not miles away, but going out of the top eight is pretty close too.
Iversen may have cemented his reputation as one of world speedway’s most consistent performers over the last few seasons. But he knows delivering an SGP medal will be a much harder task.
He said: “It could go either way. The top three is not miles away, but going out of the top eight is pretty close too. I’ve got to be on my toes and get all the points I can. Then hopefully it will be good. I need a bit of luck as well.
“It has been alright so far. I’m fairly happy with the way I’ve been racing. I just need a little bit of extra consistency, especially when I get to the semis and final. That’s when all the best riders meet up and it’s always going to be tougher.
“But this is such a high level and it’s hard to be consistent. Even on your off-days in league racing, you still come away with 10 or 11 points and you won’t do that here. That’s the big difference.”
Iversen knows mastering the Motoclub Olimpia track will be a challenge. He said: “It’s not like other tracks normally are. But I guess we’ve just got to make it work out there.
“It’s really slick with a lot of stones on it. It’s not like any other tracks, but it’s there to be ridden.
“I rode here six years ago and it’s really hard to pass. Even if it’s a big track, it’s narrow coming into the corners. You don’t have a lot of space coming in because you turn quite hard. It is going to be important to make good gates – maybe even more important than it is in any other meeting.”