Speedway GP World Championship
Round 1: Western Springs, New Zealand
Round 2: Leszno, Poland
Round 3: Prague, Czech Republic
Round 4: Gothenburg, Sweden
By Greg Hancock
EUROPE, JUNE 7, 2012
I have been a little too busy, or slacking on my writing skills lately; however, I’m back again to keep you updated on my 2012 season.
The season kicked off in fine fashion for Team Hancock, with a great win in the first round of the SGP World Championship in Western Springs, New Zealand. I could not have asked for more, and I was so jazzed to start off where I left off. It was one heck of a trip, with all the organizing of shipping equipment, travel, etc., but it was all worth it. One day after the event, the whole team was packing up and heading back to Europe to start the European League racing seven days later. It was grueling for all the riders, what with jet lag, etc., but the racing adrenaline quickly took over and it was as if we had never left European soil.
My Polish club, Azoty-Tauron Tarnow, has started off the season with a streak of success, winning six out of seven matches so far and one draw – such a turnaround for this club, which has had a rough run these last couple of years. We have a young team – apart from myself, of course, but I can run with them as much as they can run with me! Together with coach and trainer Marek Cieslak, it’s a real pleasure to be a part of this team. A play-off position was my first and most ultimate goal for this season, and it’s looking to be at least that. Everything else will be a bonus, and I have my fingers crossed.
The Swedish League season with Piraterna started early in May, and that did not have quite the bang that we had planned. It seems now that it was a good thing, but we got smashed by rival Dackarna from Målilla in the first home event, and, as defending champions, that was a reality check for us. We came back with a run of four wins after that before losing to another arch rival, VMS Elite from Vetlanda, last Tuesday. There are some really tough teams in the league again this year, so it will be an interesting final this year, for sure.
After the GP in New Zealand, we came back to Leszno, Poland, for round two, where I battled hard to achieve nine points in the qualifying and then seized my engine in the semifinal, and that meant my night was over. Not fun, but that’s racing.
Two weeks later, we came back to Prague in the Czech Republic and I was ready to jump back up there again. I had a tough time in the heats; however, I took advantage of a good gate position in the semifinal and took a convincing place in the final again. I finished with gate three in the final and made a big charge for the outside run through the first corner and slingshotted myself out of turn two, only to be shut down by a hard-charging Jason Crump, while Nicki Pedersen ran away with the win. Sadly, my night finished with another engine break, on the third lap of the final, and I finished fourth. Sometimes the luck is just not there… or maybe I just need to make better luck.
In another two weeks, we came to Gothenburg, Sweden for round four – and a track that I really enjoy. Practice went awesome, and I was confident for a great result. Boy, did that change when the tapes went up in my first heat. I got smoked in my first heat, and then it was time to battle again. I realize that everyone is getting more and more quick these days and that I am going to have to dig a little deeper yet again in order to make this long season a success once again.
I scraped into the semifinal and then won that, giving me a good choice of gates for the final. I took gate number one and led it for the first lap before Freddie Lindgren set me up a treat and shot up the inside of me at the end of the first lap. That’s how it stayed, and I took second overall that night, plus I the took a two-point lead in the standings.
We now head to Copenhagen, Denmark, for round five this weekend, and I will surely be giving it my all and pushing for more consistency. It’s a long season and a lot of points are up for grabs, let alone that gold medal at the end of it. I am here for just that!
Thank you again for all your continued support, and see ya soon!
Lets go racing!