Witches ace Hans making enemies
HANS Andersen is in danger of joining world champion Nicki Pedersen in being unpopular among his fellow speedway riders.While Pedersen has upset many of his opponents for what they deem too aggressive riding, fellow countryman Andersen is also in the bad books of an increasing number.
HANS Andersen is in danger of joining world champion Nicki Pedersen in being unpopular among his fellow speedway riders.
While Pedersen has upset many of his opponents for what they deem too aggressive riding, fellow countryman Andersen is also in the bad books of an increasing number.
The latest to have a go at the Ipswich Evening Star Witches number one is Norwegian Rune Holta after the pair clashed in the Fiat Vans British Grand Prix in Cardiff on Saturday.
Andersen was furious at being excluded from heat 12 and collecting only three championship points,
Holta stormed: “Hans was out of control when he knocked me off, but that is just his style.
“It is not the first time and I am not the first rider he has taken down.
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“It is a tough sport but I came off in the last Grand Prix at Wroclaw as well and that too was because of Hans Andersen.
“I talked to him afterwards but he probably doesn't realise what he is doing is wrong.
“That is his problem, but he will get punished for it one day. He needs to start taking things a bit easier.”
Andersen, 23, who rides for Ipswich at bottom club Coventry in a Sky Bet Elite League fixture on Thursday, gave his side of the story.
“I felt the referee was wrong to exclude me. It was hard racing, and Rune had done exactly the same to me on the previous lap, if not harder.
“The thing is when you look at Rune Holta, he just jumps off his bike every time someone passes him.
“I touched his foot a little, but it's not like I took his foot away, or his bike, but unfortunately he just laid it down.
“He has done it in so many GPs, and it seems that as soon as someone goes past him, he decides to jump off the bike to get someone excluded.
“Before he came off it had been a hard race, but he was the one who started it. He nearly ran me through the fence.
“If he can get away with it, why shouldn't I? I am a hard rider, but I can take it as well as give it
“Some people said I should have jumped off when he was hard on me, but I don't think that is fair.
“There is a difference between hard riding, when you can stay on the bike, and someone taking your front wheel away.
“It is vital what gates you have when you start so early in the meeting and I made the best of having gate four and was having a good ride until I got excluded.
“I talked to the referee and he did say he was going to warn Rune for what he did to me in the race. A warning for hard riding? How was that going to help me?
“Perhaps I will mention it in the next riders' briefing before Copenhagen. It is the Grand Prix and you should be allowed to ride hard.”
Greg Hancock was the winner in Cardiff and the American revealed an inner belief that he can regain the world championship title he won in 1997.
The Oxford star became the fourth different rider to win the British GP - following Tony Rickardsson, Ryan Sullivan and Pedersen - and the fourth different winner of a Grand Prix this year.
“We have worked so hard for this,” said Hancock. “I wouldn't still be racing if I didn't believe that I could win the world championship and my win proves the point.
“The atmosphere was absolutely fantastic. It is awesome when you walk out into the stadium at the start. I have never seen so many American flags.”
Ipswich are waiting to hear if Kim Jansson will be fit for Thursday after a shoulder injury forced him to pull out of the match after heat two last week.
Daniel King is expected to ride, while Jesper B Jensen received a boost when he finished fourth behind Craig Watson, Chris Harris and Adam Shields in the Welsh Open at Newport on Sunday.