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NKI: BUILDING FOR SGP 2019

Danish champion Niels-Kristian Iversen has his sights set on “coming back strong” as the resurgent star looks forward to SGP 2019.

20 / 08 / 2018, 11:24

Danish champion Niels-Kristian Iversen has his sights set on “coming back strong” as the resurgent star looks forward to SGP 2019.

Iversen exited the series at the end of 2018 after a tough season was ended by a broken shoulder suffered in Gorzow a year ago today – on August 20, 2017.

NKI returned to racing for the start of this season, but was forced to undergo surgery on a nerve problem in May as he was still suffering pain. The operation appears to have transformed his campaign.

It has been a tough time since I got injured. It has taken a long time to get back, but hopefully now I can focus on building everything up and coming back strong.

Niels-Kristian Iversen

Iversen has stormed back to his best, finishing second in the GP Challenge to book his place in SGP 2019, as well as winning a record-breaking seventh straight Danish Championship.

This year’s SGP first reserve is delighted to be back in the World Championship full-time next year. While he admits there is still work to do on his shoulder, he is determined to get back to the level that saw him win five SGPs in four years and finish third in the world in 2013.

He said: “I know what we have to do now and we have a long time to prepare for next season. It has been a tough time since I got injured. It has taken a long time to get back, but hopefully now I can focus on building everything up and coming back strong.

“There is still a lot of rehabilitation left and a lot of strength to build up. But things are working as they should now and I just need some time. It’s not an overnight job; it’s a long process. But I know now that it’s just a matter of time before everything is good.

“I feel okay when I’m racing, so that’s the main thing. There is still quite a lot of work to do.

“I knew as it came close to the season that things weren’t really as good as I was hoping for. After the surgery, I knew what was waiting ahead of me and I just had to deal with it. That’s what I’m still doing as best I can.”

Iversen admits the carrot of an SGP 2019 spot certainly makes him hungry for next year. He said: “This definitely gives me some motivation and something really to work for. It makes my winter job a little more fun.

“I always prepare the best I can and I have done that for this year too, despite the setback of my injuries.

“I’ve just done the best I could and made the best of the situation. Hopefully things will go a little more smoothly now ahead of next year. I’m back where I want to be. Hopefully I can make the most of it.

“I just want to say thanks to my team and everyone who keeps supporting me. There have been some tough times, but I managed to get through and things are looking brighter again.”

Iversen is also proud he has earned his spot in the World Championship without needing a wild-card pick after missing out last October.

He said: “I don’t have any hard feelings that I didn’t get the wild card for this year. The game is as it is and they take the decisions they think are the right ones. But I qualified on my own again and I don’t need anyone to give me a spot. I took it into my own hands and did it the hard way. I’m very proud of that. I’m not a rider who gets it handed to them year by year.”

 

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