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CHAMPS: RESPECT YOUR RIVALS

Greg Hancock, Chris Holder and Tai Woffinden called on Nicki Pedersen to “respect” his competition after his Swedish semi controversy.

19 / 06 / 2014, 11:46

World champs Greg Hancock, Chris Holder and Tai Woffinden called on Danish rival Nicki Pedersen to “respect” his competition following his controversial clash with Matej Zagar at the Swedish SGP on Saturday.

The triple world champ showed the Slovenian his back wheel and appeared to kick at him as he tried to battle his way through for third place on the last bend of semi-final two.

Zagar was irate over the incident and the pair were involved in an angry confrontation on the track and in the pits.

Both riders were fined €600 for ungentlemanly conduct, and a number of riders were incensed by Pedersen’s on-track tactics.

The last three men to be crowned world champion – Hancock, Holder and Woffinden – called on him to keep it clean in the battle for the World Championship.

I don’t mind racing and crashing with someone when you’re just racing hard. But there has to be a point. You’ve got to have respect for your competition.

Greg Hancock

Hancock said: “It’s interesting that his name gets brought up, time and time again. We don’t want to mention it, but the fact is it’s dangerous. It’s a fast sport and some of the things that are happening aren’t right. Racing is one thing, but there’s racing beyond the point.

“What happened on Saturday is so sad. Matej Zagar got in trouble just because he was on the wrong end of something nasty there. It could have been worse. We’re just happy he jumped up.

“The fact is the guy who took him out didn’t even have the nerve to walk up to him and say ‘man, are you alright? It was a close race.’ He just jumped on his bike and tried to ride off.

“That said right there that there are no feelings and no thoughts going into his game. He doesn’t see anyone on the track. He just goes out to win.

“If we get hurt and can’t ride the bikes, it’s a major issue for us. We need our arms, legs and heads to go on in life.

“Racing is one thing, I don’t mind racing and crashing with someone when you’re just racing hard. But there has to be a point. You’ve got to have respect for your competition.”

Holder said: “We’re all racing to win, but we should have respect for each other to push each other to the limit, but never really go over it.

“It’s not good because you want to race fair and you want to race properly, not be worrying about someone steamrolling you at the same time.

“Zagar could have got really badly hurt. If he had stayed on his bike, he would have been in really bad shape. He got off, but you could see how angry he was afterwards. I would have been the same. We all bump and run into each other, but you can see when stuff is a bit brutal. That was a little over the line.”

Woffinden added: “Someone is going to get hurt one day. It’s around the corner I think. I’ve had two big crashes with him (Pedersen) this year where he has just rammed me. It’s not acceptable.”

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