MIXED FEELINGS FOR FINALIST IVERSEN
Niels-Kristian Iversen was pleased with his best ever start to an SGP season, but admitted “I just blew it" in the Boll Warsaw SGP final.
22 / 05 / 2019, 11:04
Danish champion Niels-Kristian Iversen was pleased with his best ever start to an FIM Speedway Grand Prix season, but admitted “I just blew it” in the Boll Warsaw SGP final.
The Esbjerg-born racer finished fourth at PGE Narodowy after racking up 11 points in his heats to finish second in the qualifying table, before winning his semi-final comfortably ahead of Leon Madsen, Bartosz Zmarzlik and Bartosz Smektala.
But Iversen was unable to make it on to the podium as Madsen triumphed in the final ahead of Freddie Lindgren and Patryk Dudek.
It’s the first time I’ve had such a great start to a campaign in my whole career. I need to be happy about the good things, but to have such a good night and then come last in the final sucks.
He still left Warsaw with 14 points – putting him third in the World Championship.
And while it’s a fantastic platform to build on – his best performance ever in the opening round of an SGP season – a demanding NKI admits he would have liked more.
He said: “I’m just so gutted about the final. I had the chance and I had the best gate position, but I just blew it really. That’s sport sometimes.
“There are a lot of good things about this meeting, though. It’s the first time I’ve had such a great start to a campaign in my whole career. I need to be happy about the good things, but to have such a good night and then come last in the final sucks.
“We adjusted the bike during the night, but my main focus was on the gate. I wanted to make fast starts and try and control the race from the front. It worked pretty well. The final – I just blew it. I didn’t do well enough and that’s racing.
“Congratulations to Leon – he did very well and the other boys too. It gives me a lot of confidence and a lot of hunger to keep working. I will come back next time and try again.”
It was still a great night for Danish speedway as two Danes appeared in the final for the first time since the 2015 Torun SGP, won by Nicki Pedersen with Iversen in fourth place.
While NKI was gutted to fall short of his first SGP victory since Torun 2016, he paid tribute to compatriot Madsen.
He said: “I wanted to be the one to get the win, but I can’t take it away from him. He did great and he had his opportunity. He worked hard all night and made it work in the final.”
Next up is the Slovenian SGP in Krsko on June 1. Iversen has reached four semis and one final in seven appearances there.
“I’ve had some half-decent ones there,” he said. “We’ll see what happens when we get there.
“I’m going to miss the qualification due to the Polish league, so I will just come straight into the meeting. But maybe that’s the best way to do it. I’ll do my best and hopefully it will work.”