after Vastervik heroics
DECISIONS FOR DELIGHTED DANES
Danish boss Anders Secher handed Mads Korneliussen and Peter Kildemand places in the Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup Final after they led the charge to victory at Vastervik this evening.
The Danes won Event 2 on 48 points to see off a strong Swedish surge and take their place alongside Poland and Team Great Britain in the Final at Bydgoszcz on Saturday night.
Sweden finished second on the night with 43 points, but could still join Denmark in the last four if they win the Race Off, which also takes place at Bydgoszcz, on Thursday. The Czech Republic, who finished third in Vastervik on 24, progress to the last-chance meeting, which also features the USA and Australia, who qualified at King’s Lynn last Saturday.
Denmark’s team selection for Event 2 raised plenty of eyebrows as they rested FIM Speedway Grand Prix stars Niels-Kristian Iversen and Nicki Pedersen.
But Korneliussen led their charge on 13 points, with Hans Andersen and Kildemand collecting 12 apiece and Bjarne Pedersen adding 11 in a solid team display.
With Secher set to recall national team skipper Niels-Kristian Iversen and triple world champion Nicki Pedersen for the Final, he was forced to drop two of his Vastervik winners for one of world speedway’s biggest meetings. And he admits leaving Andersen and Bjarne Pedersen out following their double-figure returns was no easy call.
He said: “I picked Mads because he was absolutely the best gater for the Danish team tonight. I didn’t have any doubt about him after the meeting.
“I had doubts whether I should go for Peter or Hans because they were almost even in my opinion. They both scored 12 points and they both made good starts. They also gave it a go on the track.
“It went to Peter because I thought he was more of a fighter than Hans tonight – that’s what made the difference. But it was a very tough call for me. Hans was gating so well.
“The meeting I had with the riders after the event was a tough one. Hans will still be involved in Bydgoszcz. It’s his home track in Poland and I’m sure he can provide important information about it if we need it. He’ll be there and he is a team player.
“He told me ‘I’m up for that. No problem.’ That tells you something about the rider. Of course he is disappointed and so was Bjarne Pedersen, who also gave it a good go. But they’re there for the team, they’re there for Denmark and I am proud of them.”
Swedish team manager Stefan Andersson admits too many on-track errors denied his side victory at Vastervik. He said: “I think we were a bit unlucky with some stuff. But to be honest, we made too many mistakes on the track in really important races. To win a meeting like this, you need to have a bit of luck and you need to minimise mistakes on the track.
“We fought back. I’m really pleased with how the guys did. But maybe we were a little bit too hot in some races. Maybe we wanted it a little too much in the first corner and first lap. We made small mistakes and you can’t do that against a team like Denmark.”
Czech skipper Ales Dryml was elated to lead his team into the Race Off. And he was equally happy to see Monster Energy SWC debutant Eduard Krcmar star on nine points, while World Under-21 finalist Vaclav Milik impressed on seven.
He said: “Eduard and Vaclav were superb today. Not many people have heard of them yet, but many people will know about them now.
“I’ve seen their scores abroad and I knew they would be good picks for the team. They proved the building of the team was correct.
“We set the goal of going through to the Race Off and hopefully we can deliver some good points there as well.”
The Monster Energy SWC now switches to Bydgoszcz in Poland, where Sweden and the Czech Republic battle the USA and Australia for the one remaining place in the Final at the Race Off on Thursday evening.
Hosts Poland, Team Great Britain and Denmark are already guaranteed a shot at the Ove Fundin Trophy at the ZKS Polonia Stadium in the Final on Saturday night.
MONSTER ENERGY SWC EVENT 2 SCORES:
DENMARK 48: 1 Hans Andersen 12, 2 Bjarne Pedersen 11, 3 Peter Kildemand 12, 4 Mads Korneliussen 13.
SWEDEN 43: 1 Tomas H Jonasson 11, 2 Oliver Berntzon 7, 3 Peter Ljung 9, 4 Andreas Jonsson 16.
CZECH REPUBLIC 24: 1 Vaclav Milik 7, 2 Ales Dryml 5, 3 Josef Franc 3, 4 Eduard Krcmar 9.
LATVIA 11: 1 Maksims Bogdanovs 5, 2 Kasts Puodzuks 2, 3 Andzejs Lebedevs 4, 4 Jevgenijs Kostigovs 0.