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Robert: I'm not ready

PUBLISHED: 22:00 14 June 2005 | UPDATED: 05:56 02 March 2010

IPSWICH Evening Star Witches believe they have a future successor to five-time world champion Tony Rickardsson on their books.

Speedway's 2005 sensation Robert Miskowiak gave another exhibition of top-class riding at Foxhall Stadium last night, but then talked down his chances of making a quick-fire entry on to the Grand Prix scene.

IPSWICH Evening Star Witches believe they have a future successor to five-time world champion Tony Rickardsson on their books.

Speedway's 2005 sensation Robert Miskowiak gave another exhibition of top-class riding at Foxhall Stadium last night, but then talked down his chances of making a quick-fire entry on to the Grand Prix scene.

“I am not good enough for the Grand Prix series yet,” said the Polish rider. “I need to be ready before I take my first steps at the top international level.

“I am not mature enough as a rider yet and still have so much to learn.”

Miskowiak has already made a big impact on the international stage having won the world Under-21 title last year.

Ipswich promoter John Louis - himself a former world number three - can see Miskowiak going all the way to the very top.

The Witches signed Rickardsson as a 21-year-old in 1991 and he is still one of their assets as he leads the 2005 GP series by some distance in his attempt to equal Ivan Mauger's six world crowns.

Miskowiak, who was unbeaten in his first four rides at Foxhall Stadium last night as Ipswich thrashed Oxford 56-38 in the Sky Bet Elite League, could well follow suit.

Witches director Magda Louis, herself a Pole, certainly thinks so. She heaped praise on Miskowiak, who is in his first season of British racing and has scored double figures virtually everywhere he has gone.

The woman who brought the two top Polish riders Tomasz Gollob and Jarek Hampel to Foxhall said: “Robert is the best rider I have introduced to the Witches.

“Poole have made an inquiry for him, but they will only take him over my dead body.

“They have Antonio Lindback and we have Robert Miskowiak, two riders who will be leading the way in the GP in a few years.

“Robert lives for speedway and every penny he makes goes back into his machinery. He is right in every way.

“Jarek Hampel told me two years ago to watch out for Robert - and he has been proved right.”

Hampel, who finished runner-up to Rickardsson in the British GP at Cardiff on Saturday, is also an Ipswich asset and expected to be back in the Witches team in a year or so.

“I owe Jarek a great deal,” added Miskowiak. “We sat down and talked for hours about riding in England and he has given me some brilliant advice.

“It was a new challenge for me coming to England and I have no regrets.

“In the beginning it was tough, but I came here to learn as I am serious about my sport. I think I am finding my way - but there is more to come.”

Hampel returned to Ipswich at the weekend and confirmed how thrilled he was to finish second on Saturday in a meeting that went a long way to selling speedway to a wider audience with 40,000 at the Millennium Stadium and thousands more watching an excellent meeting on TV.

“I have never been happier,” said Hampel, who rides with Miskowiak - and Hans Andersen - in the Polish League for Wroclaw.

“It was wonderful to finish second to Tony after Hans was unlucky to hit a hole in the final.”

Hampel was involved in one of the most talked about passes of all time when Rickardsson almost did a wall of death move on the outside of the second bend in the final.

“If I had moved over an inch, both Tony and I would have hit the deck,” said Hampel. “I think Tony trusted me and he deserved his win.”

Last night the Andersen/Miskowiak partnership rode together three times and scored a 5-1 each time.

The meeting was full of incident with a spectacular crash in heat four that had Sky Sport TV presenter Jonathan Green and pundit Gary Havelock running for safety.

Positioned in their portable studio on the stock car track between the fourth bend and the tapes, they took rapid avoiding action when Niels-Kristen Iversen came hurtling through the

collapsible wooden barrier.

Iversen slid to within a couple of feet of the studio, while his bike got even closer!

“That was close,” said a relieved Havelock after an error by Daniel King had seen him run into Iversen and send the Oxford rider through the fence.


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