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FLYING START FOR HOLDER

Chris Holder was content with his best ever start to an FIM Speedway Grand Prix season as he made a promising series return in Auckland.

09 / 04 / 2014, 14:06

Former world champion Chris Holder was content with his best ever start to an FIM Speedway Grand Prix season as he made a promising return to the series in Auckland.

Holder left the New Zealand SGP with 11 points last Saturday – the first time he has achieved double figures in the opening Grand Prix of the season. He missed out on the final four, after Nicki Pedersen defeated him in an epic scrap for second in the semis.

But the 26-year-old had plenty of reason to be cheerful as he proved his fast starts and first-turn muscle were back following the horrific crash last July which ended his World Championship defence.

They always put on a good meeting in New Zealand and the track was probably the best it has been.

Chris Holder

Holder said: “Eleven points is a good start to the year. It was tricky as it always is there – it’s such a big track. You’ve got to be fast in every race and just try and get points. I managed to do that. It would have been nice to get to the final. I was pretty close. But 11 points is not too bad.

“Coming into this meeting, I needed to be sharp from the start and I made some really good ones from all the gates. I was happy with that.

“There was a little bit of speed that I still needed to find. I got the setup really well in the semi and I was quick. But it was tough racing and I just missed out.

“Nicki was quick all night, so to be mixing it with him in the semi is always good.  I’m looking forward to the next one in Bydgoszcz now. I’ll regroup and get back into it.”

Auckland holds fond memories for Holder as his son Max was born the night before the 2012 New Zealand SGP.

The Sydneysider always attracts a big following across the Tasman Sea and was delighted to perform in front of the family, friends and fans who can only view his European efforts on television.

He said: “It was really cool to go there and get a lot of support from the Aussies and the Kiwis. We like that. We don’t get that much in Europe.

“They always put on a good meeting in New Zealand and the track was probably the best it has been. All the gates were quite even, so that’s good. I think racing under lights was definitely a bonus too – it’s good for the track.”

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