IVERSEN BACKS SGP QUALIFYING
Danish champion Niels-Kristian Iversen believes the introduction of qualifying sessions adds “a little bit more strategy" to SGP weekends.
10 / 04 / 2019, 08:49
Danish champion Niels-Kristian Iversen believes the introduction of FIM Speedway Grand Prix qualifying sessions adds “a little bit more strategy” to a race weekend.
The Esbjerg-born star and his World Championship rivals will be against the clock on Friday afternoons for the first time this year.
After a timed free practice session, riders will take to the shale individually to set the fastest flying lap possible. The rider who clocks the quickest circuit earns first pick of gate positions for the meeting on Saturday.
We’ll see who is fastest in practice and who has the quickest bikes. It just gives a bigger purpose to do the practice.
While every rider must start from each gate at least once, the rider who picks first could avoid any particularly tricky combinations of gate positions and ensure they have the right gates at the right times.
Iversen looks forward to his first Friday afternoon qualifying session ahead of the PZM Warsaw SGP at PGE Narodowy on May 18.
He said: “I think it’s good. It’s going to be interesting. It’s something new and something fresh. We’ll see when we get started how much it will have an impact, but it does make it a little more interesting – for the media as well. We’ll see who is fastest in practice and who has the quickest bikes. It just gives a bigger purpose to do the practice.
“There is going to be a little bit more strategy in it. I think that’s pretty cool. It will be really interesting.”
Riders must start from one gate twice. This means the rider who picks first can ensure two inside gates on a track where fast starts are essential. Equally, they may feel picking two outside starts gives them a better run to the first turn.
There could still be a benefit for riders who pick gates shortly after their nearest championship rivals have selected. Knowing which gates and races certain competitors have entered would allow riders to avoid any tricky-looking races or ensure they put themselves in the most advantageous gate position when they meet their toughest opponents.
But with gate positions so often proving so vital over the years, Iversen insists the incentive is there to clock a rapid time – and the benefit earned would be fully deserved.
He said: “You will have an advantage if you are fastest. I read some comments that you shouldn’t get an advantage for being quickest. But I don’t see why not.
“If you win pole position in Formula 1, it’s not like you start at the back. You start at the front because that’s what you earned. I think it’s good for the sport. It’s a step forward.”