Menu
Card image cap

GRIN: USA KIDS ARE THE FUTURE

Greg Hancock says he’ll be part of the USA’s Monster Energy SWC campaign, but wants to give the nation's youngsters tournament experience.

12 / 02 / 2017, 11:59

American legend Greg Hancock insists he’ll be part of the USA’s Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup campaign, but admits he’s determined to see the nation’s youngsters get more tournament experience.

The 46-year-old stunned the sport when he stepped down from the side after guiding them to last year’s Monster Energy SWC Race Off in Manchester – a move that handed Luke Becker his international debut.

Without their four-time world champion, the Americans finished last on nine points at Britain’s National Speedway Stadium, with only veterans Ryan Fisher (six) and Billy Janniro (three) scoring.

The way to win is get America back up as a world challenger. That’s going to take patience and time, giving them the experience and working hard to show them what European racing is all about.

Greg Hancock

Hancock’s presence in the side for Event 2 at Vastervik last year undoubtedly saved the USA from being dumped out by Germany.

And while the Californian is still keen to fight for the cause, he hinted that it may be time for others to get an opportunity in the Stars and Stripes. He said: “I have pledged my support to the American team for the Monster Energy SWC.

“Will I ride? I’ll be involved one way or another. There are a lot of guys who want to ride and I think the way the system is, it’s important to let these guys have a shot at getting their feet wet.

“I want to be in a team that can win and I have been helping out for a long time and doing the best I can to motivate and inspire these guys. Now they’re ready to step up to the plate and go for it.

“By stepping down from the team for the Race Off last year, it gave a couple of guys, Luke and Broc, the chance. They were so hungry, couldn’t get the opportunity to do it, and they wanted to do it.”

Hancock’s decision to stand aside didn’t go down well with some fans, who rarely get to see the American live in the UK.

But he said: “I wanted to give these guys the opportunity and as much grief as I got for it, I felt I did the right thing. I want these guys to get a feel of European, World Championship racing.

“I could fully understand the fans that criticised me at the time. I think we had a little bit of a miscommunication among our team members or management.

“Somebody didn’t inform people quickly enough that I was getting out and I wasn’t going to ride. It was left until the last minute before fans were informed, which shouldn’t have happened.

“I felt bad about it of course. But I spoke the truth. I wanted to give these guys a shot. I have put a lot into the Stars and Stripes and helped the guys. I want to see something come back out of it, so I had to give them the shot and let them know what it’s like.”

Hancock believes there’s more to building the USA’s future than simply scoring points, and he is focused on ushering through the next generation rather than chasing success in the short term.

He said: “It would be a different story if we were up there challenging for a World Cup victory. Right now, we are far from it. After a while, you feel you’re chasing something that’s not there.

“So right now, I’m keeping my focus on trying to help build a future for these guys rather than winning a title. I want to win when I race and I know we don’t have a chance to win. So the way to win is get America back up as a world challenger. That’s going to take patience and time, giving them the experience and working hard to show them what European racing is all about.”

 

Card image cap

NECK INJURY FOR NICKI

Triple world champion Nicki Pedersen has been taken to hospital with neck injuries after a collision with SGP rival Niels- Kristian Iversen.

Card image cap

TAI: NEARING TOP FORM

Great Britain ace Tai Woffinden insists he’s still below his best – but he’s getting there!

Card image cap

FREDDIE'S FRIENDLY ADVICE

Four-time World Longtrack champ Joonas Kylmakorpi hopes to help good friend Freddie Lindgren find the approach needed to win the SGP title.

Card image cap

WOFFY & MASARNA MAKE THEIR POINT

Great Britain ace Tai Woffinden raced to 13 paid 14 points for Masarna as he inspired them to a 45-45 draw away to Dackarna on Tuesday.

Card image cap

LINDGREN: A MAN WITH A PLAN

SGP leader Freddie Lindgren admits “I have a pretty clear goal for myself and we have a pretty strong plan of how to get there."

Card image cap

VIDEO | LAST TIME IN DAUGAVPILS

FIM Speedway Grand Prix returns to Daugavpils this Saturday! Here's the best of the 2015 Rietumu Bank Latvian SGP, won by Maciej Janowski.

Card image cap

FRICKE HANDED WORLD U21 WILD CARD

World Under-21 champion Max Fricke has been handed a huge reprieve in his quest to defend the title after receiving a permanent wild card.

Card image cap

ZMARZLIK ZOOMS TO GORZOW MAX

World No.3 Bartosz Zmarzlik zoomed to a 14 paid 15-point maximum as Gorzow maintained their 100 percent record with a 51-39 win over Leszno.