"Best pair riders - Gollob and Hancock" - interview with Nicki Pedersen

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A few weeks before the Eurosport Speedway Best Pairs competition, we spoke with three-time Individual World Champion, danish rider Nicki Pedersen. We encourage you to read the interview.

Marcin Konieczny: You've got great start of the season. It seems that everything is going with plan?
Nicki Pedersen: Well, apart from the bad weather here in the beginning of the season I really cannot complain. It was great to be on the podium in the first SGP in New Zealand, so I just need to keep that form going for the rest of the season.

Due to some matches & events postponed on the beginning of the season, Your schedule seems to be extremely tough in May-June period. How do you deal with this amount of meetings? I mean issues with travelling, exhaustement, focus on the start.
Yes, it is going to be extremely busy in these two month. I will be in the saddle 40 days in the two months. Therefore it is important for me to make as many preparations as possible now with the logistics. I also need to be in a very good shape physically, because the travelling life is really the toughest part of it all. But the good thing is that I will get a lot of travelling miles on my flight account.

When we look on your results, you must really appreciate cooperation with swedish tuner Jan Andersson. Have you used titanium parts in a motorcycle yet? I know that some Scandinavian guys used them and it brought some great results on the start of the season. Is that a twist of fate or can we expect a little revolution?
Yes, that is correct. When I switched to Jan Andersson tuning in middle of 2011 my results really began to improve. Regarding the titanium parts in the engine, I think we still have a lot of testing to do before we really can get the results we want from it. I don’t think anyone is too happy with the titanium at the moment, but I am sure it will be something that will make a big impact on the sport, when we find the right combination.

Two new events appeared in speedway world calendar this season. One of them is Eurosport Speedway Best Pairs on June 8th. How do You find the idea of pair riding?
I am really happy that the Best Pairs event is coming back. It was an event I watched very much when I was young. The Danish riders like Ole Olsen, Hans Nielsen and Erik Gundersen did bring home the title to Denmark many times. I am looking forward to make a top result on 8th June in Torun.

Who would you like to ride with, any preferences in your national team? Anders Secher has not announced Your team-mates yet as it seems You have the most equal national team in whole stake.
Of course I hope I will get a strong partner as possible. It would be great if Niels Kristian Iverser could keep current the form going. But we got so many good and talented riders in Denmark it is hard for me to pick one out.

What is the most important in pair riding from your point of view? Different scoring 4-3-2-0 instead of 3-2-1-0 means that you have to co-operate on track more than usual. Do you feel comfortable with that system?
You need to have a first corner strategy, that is the most important. After that you really cannot make any strategy before the race, because you need to look at the others riders position in the race as well. Regarding the new scoring system it will be very important not to get to many last places. It will be better to protect your 2nd and 3rd place in a race, than to risk everything, and go for the 1st place.

Then, who are the favourites for the pairs title on Motoarena on June 8th?
Tough question. I think 5 out of the 7 pairs have a fair chance to win it. But Poland at home, must be considered as the favorite.

Do you have any rider that You are admire especially because of his ability for pair-riding?
When I look back in the past I think Hans Nielsen really did a great job as a pair rider. Of the current riders I think Greg Hancock and Tomasz Gollob are top quality regarding pair riding.

ESBP will be broadcasted to 71 countries all over the world. What do You think about Eurosport engagement into speedway from this season with Best Pairs and Speedway European Championships competitions?
I am very pleased that a big broadcaster like Eurosport invests so heavily in the speedway sport. But I am also sure they will get a big pay back, because speedway in one of the most interesting sports to watch on television.

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