MICHELSEN: READY FOR SGP TEST
Mikkel Michelsen races for a place in the 2020 FIM Speedway Grand Prix series in Gorican tonight and declared “we are ready for it."
24 / 08 / 2019, 09:00
Danish star Mikkel Michelsen races for a place in the 2020 FIM Speedway Grand Prix series in Gorican tonight and declared “we are ready for it.”
Michelsen reached his first SGP semi-final when he finished fifth with nine points at the Scandinavian SGP in Malilla last Saturday.
This year’s SGP third reserve took the chance to replace the injured Antonio Lindback with both hands and produced the form which has seen him impress for Lublin, Piraterna and Slangerup this season.
Obviously I’ll have the same goal as everyone else going there – finishing in the top three. I know that’s going to be hard, but I also know I have what it takes.
He looked far from out of place among the world’s top riders, and Michelsen has the chance to earn one of three full-time SGP 2020 places at the GP Challenge in Gorican.
While making the step up into the World Championship is far from easy, Michelsen said: “Logistically and team-wise, I feel like we are ready.
“I have already hired another mechanic for next year – not only in case I qualify for the GP. I just want to make life easier again for the mechanics I have now and split it up a bit, so they’re not doing all leagues to give them a bit more free time.
“If I am lucky enough to qualify in Gorican, then the logistics are already done. We’ll have two vans, three guys and everything is going to be sweet. If it happens, it happens. We are ready for it. I feel ready.”
Former Croatian SGP venue Gorican is a fairly unique track with a very sandy surface which is rarely raced by the sport’s biggest names. This is set to ensure a very open battle for qualification tonight.
Michelsen said: “It’s not a surface we are used to racing. But it’s a nice place and they have a nice stadium. It’s nice going there and they are always very welcoming – the Pavlic family.
“It is a bit of a specific track and I wouldn’t rank it as one of my favourite tracks at all. But it’s not a bad track either.
“Obviously I’ll have the same goal as everyone else going there – finishing in the top three. I know that’s going to be hard, but I also know I have what it takes. In those kinds of meeting, you need a bit of luck and you need things to go your way.
“For sure, starts are going to be vital. With all these riders, they are top-level guys. If you can pop out of the start, they are not going to be that much faster or slower than you. If you can make the start, it’s going to make life a bit easier. I wish for five starts tonight – that would be amazing.”
Michelsen was pleased to storm into the Scandinavian SGP semis, but admits there was a little disappointment he couldn’t take the next step into the final.
“The main goal was to make it to the semi-final,” he said. “But you always want more when you achieve your goal. I made a few mistakes on the track and maybe I could have had a better choice of gates in the semis. But overall I am pretty satisfied.
“I probably risked everything in the first corner in the semi-final. I went a bit too hard on the first lap and messed it up a little bit. I found myself last. I passed Matej (Zagar) on the third lap and was catching the guys in front of me.
“Maybe it was a lack of experience and maybe I should have kept my nerve more in the first corner. But it’s a semi-final and you’re going to go for it.”
Michelsen was involved in the Scandinavian SGP’s biggest talking point in heat six. Patryk Dudek bounced off the back straight fence as he attempted to round the Dane, crashing into the path of Freddie Lindgren and Max Fricke.
Both men worked wonders to avoid the stricken Pole, and were forced to use Dudek’s bike as a makeshift ramp as they jumped into the air fence.
Dudek was deemed the cause of the stoppage and excluded. Some will argue Michelsen didn’t leave him enough room, while others will say the former world No.2 should have backed off.
“It was a bit 50/50,” Michelsen said. “I sort of had a feeling he was there, so I didn’t close the door like anyone else would have done. I tried to leave as much space as possible without breaking my speed.
“Should I have left more space or does the throttle work both ways? I don’t know. Luckily Patryk is okay and I hope there is nothing wrong with him or the other boys going forward. It was a hard crash.
“I guess it was a racing incident. I was keeping my line, not trying to put him in the fence on purpose. The referee makes the decisions. He decided I was in the lead and I could choose the line I wanted to.”