FRICKE'S LOCAL KNOWLEDGE
Aussie ace Max Fricke is ready to make his local knowledge count as the Belle Vue skipper lines up in Monster Energy SON Race Off 2 tonight.
11 / 05 / 2019, 14:52
Aussie ace Max Fricke is ready to make his local knowledge count as the Belle Vue skipper lines up in Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations Race Off 2 in Manchester tonight.
The Victorian star joins forces with 2012 world champion Chris Holder and Aussie Under-21 champion Jaimon Lidsey to tackle Great Britain, Denmark, Latvia, USA, France and Finland.
With just three countries advancing to the Monster Energy SON Finals in Togliatti on July 20 and 21, Fricke’s vast experience around the National Speedway Stadium could be crucial.
We’re ready for it and you never know what this meeting can throw at us. Anything can happen, but we are ready to give it our all.
He has raced his SGB Premiership home matches at the venue every year since it opened in 2016. And while he knows there are no guarantees the track will be the same as it is for a league match, he’s confident it will suit him.
He said: “The Speedway of Nations runs a little bit differently, but it’s more or less the same place I ride every week. Overall I am pretty comfortable and happy to be here.
“The track may be little different tonight, but is the same track I normally ride and the same shape and same material.
“I think there is a little bit of an advantage – I think I know my way around here. I’ve done a few laps in different conditions. I’m not saying it’s going to be a massive advantage, but at least I know where I am riding.”
The Roos are without 2017 world champion Jason Doyle, who sustained a broken rib and punctured lung in a PGE Ekstraliga crash in Torun last Sunday. But with Holder available to step in, Fricke is delighted with the strength in depth his country enjoys.
He said: “Unfortunately for Jason he is injured, but we have an excellent back-up in Chris. I don’t think anyone can question that. We’re quite happy with it and we’re lucky to have the depth we have in Team Australia.”
The two top-scoring teams after 21 heats qualify automatically for the Monster Energy SON Finals, with the team in third racing the fourth or fifth-placed side for the last remaining spot in Russia.
Australia won the final knock-out race in Manchester last summer to book their spot in the Finals. While Fricke would rather finish in the top two, he’s confident the Roos can hold their nerve again if needed.
He said: “Ideally the plan is to avoid that, but if it comes to it, I’m sure we’ll be there. We’re ready for it and you never know what this meeting can throw at us. Anything can happen, but we are ready to give it our all.”