MICHELSEN READY FOR TESTING TITLE FIGHT
Denmark's Mikkel Michelsen says his side is going for Monster Energy SON gold in Manchester this weekend, but he expects an open title race.
16 / 10 / 2021, 12:00
Danish racer Mikkel Michelsen insists his side is going for Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations gold in Manchester this weekend, but he expects an open battle for the world title.
New champions will be crowned as the Monster Energy SON Final gets underway this afternoon, before concluding tomorrow with both meetings getting started at 4pm UK / 17:00 CET.
The Danes take on hosts Great Britain, Poland, Sweden, Australia, Latvia and France as they bid to better the bronze medals they won at the rain-shortened 2020 Final in Lublin.
Hopefully it will be a great success for us in Manchester. It is very open, but we are going there to win. What’s going to happen, we don’t know. But we are going there to win.
European champion Michelsen, former world No.2 Leon Madsen and FIM Speedway Under-21 World Championship runner-up Mads Hansen are among the favourites to lift the trophy in the most open Monster Energy SON Final yet.
But Michelsen knows his side will be tested to the limit in what’s set to be a closely-contested weekend at the National Speedway Stadium.
He said: “There are four or five teams who look quite strong and it’s over two days. You might not have the best one on the first day, but you might win the second one and then you’re still in contention.
“It’s very open and we know that. But we also know what we can do. Leon and I have had great seasons in the PGE Ekstraliga and we know we have what it takes. Hopefully everything clicks. Hopefully it will be a great success for us in Manchester. It is very open, but we are going there to win. What’s going to happen, we don’t know. But we are going there to win.”
Michelsen made his Danish senior debut at Semi-Final 1 in Daugavpils on September 17, scoring an impressive 18 points. He was delighted to power his country through to the Final as they overcame a Final Qualifier with the USA to book their places in Manchester.
He said: “I have been waiting since 2015 for that day and I am pretty sure I did my country proud in Daugavpils.
“It was maybe a little bit too exciting – we had to go into the run-off for the last spot. But Leon and I got it done. We feel like we have the team to win it now and we are very much excited and looking forward to Manchester.”
Madsen scored 12 points in Daugavpils, but endured a difficult night as he battled with the after-effects of flu.
The SGP 2019 silver medallist was in far better form at the eWinner Torun SGP double-header on October 1 and 2, finishing fourth at round 10 and fifth in round 11 the next day.
Michelsen is confident his team mate will improve on his Semi-Final display in Manchester. He said: “I think those two nights in Torun show he is starting to hit some late form and that is very important. We have had a few weeks off since then with not much racing for us to do. But we will be ready.”
Rybnik-based Michelsen previously raced for Eastbourne and Leicester in the UK and has not competed in British speedway since 2015. So he’s delighted to cut his first laps on the iconic National Speedway Stadium circuit.
He said: “Back then when I was racing there, they were using the old Belle Vue track. I haven’t been to the new stadium yet, but I am looking forward to the track. It looks amazing and I have watched a lot of racing there.
“It seems like a cool racing track. It’s nice and big – it’s probably similar to what we have in Poland. I am very excited to be there.”