HANCOCK OUT OF VOJENS
World Championship leader Greg Hancock misses his first ever FIM Speedway Grand Prix round after officially withdrawing from the Nordic SGP at Vojens on Saturday.
The 44-year-old, who is top of the pile on 112 points, is the only rider to have appeared in all 177 SGP rounds since the series was launched in 1995.
But a broken and burnt left hand, suffered at the Gorzow FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland on August 30, has denied him the opportunity to continue that extraordinary record – one which may never be beaten.
Hancock had surgery to repair a broken index finger in Gothenburg last week. This was after his dislocated middle finger was reset in Poland. The rider is also on a heavy dose of antibiotics to guard against the risk of infection posed by the burn.
The American icon underwent intense physiotherapy in a bid to defend his 14-point advantage at the World Championship summit. But after a test run in Sweden this afternoon, he was forced to admit defeat in his battle to be fit.
His place in the meeting is taken by Nordic SGP first reserve, Nicolaj Busk Jakobsen, who rides in the No.17 race jacket.
Hancock’s injury throws the World Championship race wide open with second-placed Tai Woffinden, who has 98 points, also struggling with a broken hand.
Nicki Pedersen, third on 93, opted not to practise in Vojens today, but is expected to ride tomorrow as he fights furiously to overcome a dislocated shoulder suffered at Tarnow three weeks ago.
In-form Krzysztof Kasprzak, who has reached two straight SGP finals, is nicely poised in fourth on 92, while Slovenian star Matej Zagar is in fifth place with 91.