Speedway

Denmark Holds Off Australia In FIM Speedway World Cup Semi-Final 2 Win

Posted:

A jubilant Danish team are now straight through to the 2023 Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup final.

Danish rider-manager Nicki Pedersen was delighted to defy some sleepless nights and a late Australian fightback to make a dream start to his Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup managerial career in Wroclaw.

The Danes topped the podium in Semi-Final 2 on Wednesday to book their spot in Saturday’s Final after holding their nerve under huge pressure to win the meeting on 42 points – pipping the Roos by one as the team from Down Under finished on 41.

France made history on their Monster Energy FIM SWC debut, finishing third to reach their first-ever Race Off on 21 points – leaving rivals Finland out of the competition on 16.

Australia and France face Semi-Final 1 runners-up Sweden and Czech Republic in Friday’s Race Off, where there is one more Final spot up for grabs. The winner joins hosts Poland, Semi-Final 1 winner Great Britain and Denmark in the first Monster Energy FIM SWC Final since 2017.

Pedersen became the first rider-manager in FIM SWC history, combining his racing duties with leading the side in the pits as Speedway GP stars Leon Madsen and Anders Thomsen both bagged 13 points to inspire the team to a hard-fought victory.

Nicki Pedersen helped his team to a close win over 2022 champions Australia.

The triple Speedway GP world champion admits it has been a busy time in the build-up to the tournament, so he was delighted the team could reap the rewards.

“I probably haven’t had that much sleep, but I have been very excited about this for the last couple of months,” Pedersen said. “I have worked hard for the boys, especially on the team spirit. Back when me and Hans Andersen were riding together in the Danish team, we were not the best friends. But we worked very well when we raced together. That’s the thing I drummed into these boys. We don’t need to be friends, but we need to achieve things together and have fun together. We are here for a week anyway. “I am very proud of them. We have really had lots of good fun. There has been some pressure on us, but I really enjoyed it.”

The Danes’ hopes suffered a late setback when No.5 Rasmus Jensen was disqualified from heat 17, opening the door for Australia to stage a late comeback, closing a gap of six points to just one.

“Things could have easily slipped away,” Pedersen continued. “We know how good Australia is. We said that it was 50/50 before the meeting. If they got things going, they would have been in the Final already. They are a good team.

“Anything can happen. I am pretty sure they are going to make it through the Race Off anyway and we are probably going to meet them in the Final.

“But I would rather be in the Final than the Race Off – they are nightmares. In the Final, we all know you can win one race and lose the next one, but you can still be battling for the championship. You cannot afford to have third or fourth places in the Race Off.”

Danish star Madsen was proud of the spirit in the Danish camp but knows a tough test lies ahead in Saturday’s Final.

“This is the World Cup,” Madsen said. “These are the best riders in the world, and we knew we couldn’t take it easy. Australia is a very good team. We had to keep our heads calm, but we kept believing in ourselves and supported each other.

“We had the confidence to do it and we did. Now we can celebrate the win tonight and start preparing for Saturday. Hopefully, we can come into the meeting with the same confidence and get a good start.

“I feel we have a very good team spirit with Nicki as the coach. Everyone is trying to help each other, and it feels very good. If we can have the same team spirit and confidence on Saturday, I think we can have a good night. But it is going to be tough. There will be some strong teams and we will all have to deliver at a high level.”

Aussie boss Mark Lemon insists his side is still very much in the hunt for Monster Energy FIM SWC gold, despite being forced to fight their way through Friday’s Race Off.

Heroic Monster Energy FIM SWC debuts from Jaimon Lidsey and Speedway GP star Jack Holder saw them notch 16 and 14 points respectively for Australia.

While the team fell just short of Final qualification, Aussie boss Mark Lemon insists his side is still very much in the hunt for Monster Energy FIM SWC gold, despite being forced to fight their way through Friday’s Race Off.

“It’s quite disappointing to get so close but not progress,” Lemon said. “Congratulations to Denmark – they were the better team on the day. Some boys performed very well. Jaimon stepped up to the plate at this level and Jack obviously. Jason (Doyle) and Max (Fricke) had tough nights at the office.

“But nothing has been won as far as the World Cup is concerned tonight. We go into the Race Off, and we all know it as ‘the dreaded Race Off.’ Nobody wants to be there. But this gives us a chance to roll again and get things right on Friday.

“The aim is still to make it to the Final and we have given ourselves a little extra work to do. We just have to focus on that.”

French ace Dimitri Berge starred on 14 points as his country marked its first FIM SWC appearance by earning themselves a Race Off spot by beating Finland to third place.

He said: “For us, it is a dream to be in the Race Off. That was our goal before meeting, so it was nice to get it done. Friday is the Race Off and we can’t wait for it.

“It was a pretty good night for me. It was my first time here in Wroclaw. I was one of the slowest in practice, but I had a talk with my mechanics, and we made a few changes. I am happy it worked out.

“We threw it all together and we are a team. It’s not only about one rider. But I am happy with that meeting.”

The colour draw for the Race Off and Final has been completed, with France racing in red, Australia in blue, Sweden in white and Czech Republic in yellow on Friday. The Final draw sees Denmark line up in red, with Poland in blue, Great Britain in white and the Race Off winners handed the yellow helmets.

The starting line-ups for the Race Off will be announced on Thursday.

MONSTER ENERGY FIM SWC SEMI-FINAL 2 SCORES:

1 DENMARK 42:
1 Mikkel Michelsen 8
2 Nicki Pedersen 6
3 Anders Thomsen 13
4 Leon Madsen 13
5 Rasmus Jensen 2

2 AUSTRALIA 41:
1 Max Fricke 4
2 Jack Holder 14
3 Jason Doyle 7
4 Jaimon Lidsey 16
5 Chris Holder DNR

3 FRANCE 22:
1 David Bellego 5
2 Dimitri Berge 14
3 Steven Goret 1
4 Mathieu Tresarrieu 1
5 Mathias Tresarrieu 0

4 FINLAND 16:
1 Timo Lahti 7
2 Jesse Mustonen 3
3 Antti Vuolas 6
4 Tero Aarnio 0
5 Niklas Sayrio 0

Share Article:

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Tumblr
Pinterest
Reddit
Email
Print

More News: Latest Headlines

More News: Latest Headlines

Hard Enduro

Manuel Lettenbichler Dominates Red Bull Romaniacs Offroad Day 1 At FIM HEWC Round Four

Flat Track

2024 Aussie Flat Track Nationals Fires Into Life This Weekend

MXGP

Tim Gajser And Kay De Wolf Extend Championship Leads At MXGP of the Czech Republic

Motocross

Beaton, Connolly And The Cannons Master Toowoomba ruts to claim ProMX wins

U.S Motocross

Chase Sexton Makes It Three Straight Wins While Haiden Deegan Gets Back On Top At Washougal
MXGP of The Czech Republic Qualification Victories For Tim Gajser And Lucas Coenen

MXGP

Romain Febvre Returns to MXGP Racing at the Czech Republic After Thumb Injury

Product Review

RXR Protects You With Air

Product Release

AXIOM Release Australia's First Triumph Wheelset

Motocross

Jack Miller Enters Toowoomba ProMX Round

Motocross

Levi Townley Becomes The First Kiwi to win a World Junior Motocross Title

Trials

Toni Bou and Emma Bristow Extend Series Leads At TrialGP of Belgium

What's On This Week

MXGP - R14
MXGP of Flanders (BEL) - Lommel
Sunday, July 28th, 2024
AORC - R8
Queensland Moto Park, Coulson, Qld
Sunday, July 28th, 2024
AORC - R7
Queensland Moto Park, Coulson, Qld
Saturday, July 27th, 2024
FIM Hard Enduro World Championship - R4
Red Bull Romaniacs - Romania
Saturday, July 27th, 2024

Featured:

RXR Protects You With Air

One Year with a Tech 167 Threaded funnel

Triumph Transitions to Terrafirma with the TF250X

Life with a Sherco 300 two-stroke

Time to Pivot with Pivot Pegz?

First Look At The All New 2024 Beta 450RX

What's On This Week

MXGP - R14
MXGP of Flanders (BEL) - Lommel
Sunday, July 28th, 2024
AORC - R8
Queensland Moto Park, Coulson, Qld
Sunday, July 28th, 2024
AORC - R7
Queensland Moto Park, Coulson, Qld
Saturday, July 27th, 2024
FIM Hard Enduro World Championship - R4
Red Bull Romaniacs - Romania
Saturday, July 27th, 2024