The only representative of Germany in this year's TAURON SEC is Kai Huckenbeck. Wuppertal-born rider has already had a chance to get familiar with the Euro Championship. He has been handed a single-round wild card thrice and one year back, for the first time in his career, he go himself under the tape as a permanent participant of the series. However, he wasn't able to join a fight for the medals and now, it seems like history is about to repeat itself.
Most importantly, what Huckenbeck misses is some solid scoring. This year, he hasn't finished a round with a double-digit score, even though he was only inches away from this achievement in Guestrow (9 points) and Vojens (8 points). Meanwhile, he had a little setback in Toruń, because at Motoarena he only got 5 points and it's not hard to find out that to fight for the top spots, you need some more persuasive performances. Without that, you're not able to go through to the most important heat of the nights - race-off heat and the final one.
Never though, it can't be said that Huckenbeck falls behind when comparing to his rivals. Despite a not so big experience in top-level events, he is still capable of getting equal clashes with other riders. When you look at the statistics, half of his heats, Huckenbeck finished as first or second. However, other stats show that nearly every third heat ended for him without getting a single point. That is probably where his loss to to the overall's top came from.
It's worth mentioning that all of three riders, who currently hold the podium spots, have ended their heats on the last position maximally twice, Huckenbeck has done it five times. German rider surely got some big potential, but to make it fully grow, he needs to avoid setbacks like these. Huckenbeck admits that starting in Euro Championship helps him to develop.
- Being part of TAURON SEC taught me that racing is extremely hard, especially when you have such a star-studded line up like here. You got many extraleague riders, so the level is very high. Of course, it's not easy, but on the other hand, it's great to compete against the world's top riders and learn from it. I really appreciate that the organizers, once again, handed me a permanent wild card. This is very important for me and I see it as another step forward.
Huckenbeck can already take his thoughts to the final round of TAURON SEC, which will be held in Chorzów, on September 28th, 2019. So far, German rider holds the 8th overall position, losing eight points to the medal zone and seven to the 5th position, guaranteeing a spot for the next year's series.
Theoretically, he still can improve his position and end the season successfully, but in fact, he would have to count on some worse performances by his direct rivals and got himself improve a lot. Looking at the results of previous rounds, it may be hard having such a coincidence, but still, it doesn't change a fact that Huckenbeck is already looking forward to the meeting at the Śląski Stadium and everything because of the...fans.
- I think that fans in Poland are really crazy. It's something completely different comparing to the Germans. Of course, you can meet huge speedway fans in our country, but these massive crowds in Poland impress me a lot. It's incredible. I hope that soon, more German riders will show up, so they will have a chance to compete in tournaments like this and experience this amazing atmosphere.
Kai Huckenbeck is aware of what he says, because one year ago, he had a chance to start in Chorzów, so he could feel this atmosphere by himself. On the sport side, he didn't get too many positive memories, though. Everything because of a tumble, which he had in his very first heat.
Right after tape went up, German started to catch speed at the end of the first corner, but all of a sudden, he hooked Andreas Jonsson's back wheel and caused a crash, which also included Andzejs Lebedevs. Luckily, Huckenbeck had been able to go back to the pits on his own and later on, he started in two more heats, didn't get any point and decided to withdraw from the meeting.
- It was a really bad day for me. In my first heat, I caused an accident and crossed my chances for a good result. I take all the guilt, because the track was really well-prepared. It was my fault that got me off this rivalry. I hoped I could have race till the end, but I had to back off.
This time, Huckenbeck will surely do his best to make up last year's failure and fully enjoy racing in front of the crowd at Śląski Stadium. While looking at it a bit more broader, one can wonder whether Huckenbeck has a chance to become a top-star of German speedway. In recent years, it has mostly been related with Martin Smolinski. Now, his younger fellow countryman has been getting more and more chances to race before broader crowd and build his own position at the international arena.
Definitely, both riders care about progress and promotion of German speedway, but on the other hand they have been kind of competing to become Germany no.1 in the eyes of speedway community. Can you already tell who's on top of this rivalry?- I think that we're both at the more or less the same level. Everything depends on a day and actual disposition. Of course, I've always wanted to be better than him. Every rider is doing his best to show their strength. I'm also trying to become number 1 in Germany - Huckenbeck ended.
Great final of TAURON Speedway Euro Championship 2019 comes on 28th of September, 2019 at the Śląski Stadium in Chorzów. Tickets are available via eBilet.pl and start from 19 PLN.