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TUNGATE HUNGRY FOR SGP SHOT

Former Aussie champion Rohan Tungate admits missing out on the 2020 GP Challenge only makes him hungrier to push for SGP qualification.

26 / 01 / 2021, 12:26

Former Aussie champion Rohan Tungate admits missing out on the 2020 GP Challenge only makes him hungrier to push for FIM Speedway Grand Prix qualification this summer.

With last season’s SGP qualifying semi-finals cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, national federations were asked to nominate one rider to contest the GP Challenge – where three berths in SGP 2021 were up for grabs.

National champion Max Fricke got Australia’s spot in the meeting, but fell short of the top three as Matej Zagar, Oliver Berntzon and Krzysztof Kasprzak booked their places in the World Championship on August 22.

I just want to stay in the same form and try to progress a bit more. Hopefully I can go to the GP qualifiers in the form I was in during 2020 and I can do something.

Rohan Tungate

With no Aussie Championship taking place this month, the 2020 top four hope to represent the Roos in this season’s SGP international qualifiers.

Tungate finished third in last year’s national championship behind Fricke and Jack Holder and was keen to take his strong club form into the SGP rounds.

“I was pretty gutted not to get a chance in 2020,” he said. “I was having a good season and it was a good moment for me to have tried to get in. The same as Jack Holder; he was in the same position. Jack was in good form and had a good chance to qualify as well.

“Riders like me and Jack missed out. But at the same time, I think it just makes us hungrier. I just want to stay in the same form and try to progress a bit more. Hopefully I can go to the GP qualifiers in the form I was in during 2020 and I can do something. Who knows? But I will prepare for it and do my best.”

Tungate topped the podium at last Saturday’s Jason Lyons Trophy event in Mildura, beating local favourite Justin Sedgmen, in-form Ryan Douglas and triple world champion Jason Crump in the final.

While Australia has kept Covid-19 infection rates low compared to many European countries, the FIM Oceania Championship followed the Australian Championship in being postponed.

It is hoped the meetings will be staged after the European season in November or December, when travel restrictions will hopefully be eased, allowing more riders to return and compete.

Tungate believes the Aussie Championship may be shortened to a one-off final, with the 2022 edition due to be staged just a couple of months later.

He said: “They’ll do a one-off final or something like that in November or December and then have the January one. It is what it is. It’s a Covid year and you have to accept all these things.”

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