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

RIDER REVIEW | MACIEJ JANOWSKI

Rider Review gives the lowdown on how all the 2017 FIM Speedway Grand Prix stars fared. Today, we feature Maciej Janowski.

Card image cap

LINDGREN'S CLOSE CALL

Freddie Lindgren is relieved to be on the road to recovery after admitting his back injury “was close to being something very bad."

Card image cap

DOYLE'S FOOT FIXED UP

World champion Jason Doyle insisted “all the pain was worth it” as he heals from his latest foot operation ahead of his SGP title defence.

Card image cap

SAVE OVER 30% ON HALLSTAVIK'S SGP DEBUT

Tickets for the first ever Swedish SGP in Hallstavik on July 7 are on sale now, and fans who book by January 31 can save over 30 percent.

Card image cap

THROWBACK THURSDAY | DOYLE'S STOCKHOLM SUCCESS

Throwback Thursday to the night Jason Doyle completed an FIM Speedway Grand Prix hat-trick at the 2016 Stockholm SGP.

Card image cap

WIN CARDIFF HOSPITALITY TICKET UPGRADE

Win yourself the ultimate early Christmas present! Book 2018 Adrian Flux British SGP tickets by December 15 and you could win a VIP upgrade.

Card image cap

WORLD CHAMP WEDNESDAY | RICKARDSSON 1999

It’s World Champ Wednesday! Today, we feature 1999 - the year Tony Rickardsson became the first back-to-back FIM Speedway Grand Prix champ.

Card image cap

KING HAILS NEW-LOOK LIONS

Leicester star Danny King insists Lions are “moving in the right direction” as he joins Kyle Newman in returning to Beaumont Park for 2018.