By Henry Chard
New ‘Tru Plant’ Witches signing Niels-Kristian Iversen says he had no hesitation in joining Ipswich for the remainder of the season.
Iversen was brought in by the club as part of a double change last week as James Sarjeant also joined the Suffolk side with Krystian Pieszczek and Edward Kennett making way.
The Danish rider explained how the move to Foxhall came about as his European league commitments begin to end for 2019.
“Chris (Louis) called me two weeks ago, not too long ago, to ask if I was interested in coming to help the team,” said Iversen. “With the way things have been going abroad, we don’t have any more league meetings in Sweden and things finished off in Poland two Sundays ago. That opened up my calendar and made the move possible.
“I had contact with a few other British teams during the season, but it just wasn’t possible to fit in due to the amount of fixture clashes, because there are quite a lot of Thursdays in Sweden this year it wasn’t going to work. However, I looked at my calendar and it was pretty easy to get it done now.”
The Grand Prix rider made his debut in last week’s home defeat to Poole, scoring 13 points and is excited to be back in British speedway to try and help the Witches make the play-offs.
“I haven’t been here for years; the club has a great history and there are a good group of guys in the team. I want to have some fun here at the end of the year, it will be good, and it wasn’t something I hesitated to do.”
“The track is good here, I was a little bit excited before the meeting because I haven’t been on the British tracks for a while now. It is tight and technical here and I was eager to find out if I could still turn the bike! It went well and I learnt about the setups and how to treat the bike during the meeting with the settings. Hopefully I am more dialled in for the next meeting and we can improve on the result.”
“It was disappointing we couldn’t win against Poole, we tried as good as we could. We have got to regroup and just try and win the next meeting, it is still possible and there is everything to play for.”
The 37-year-old is currently ninth in the Grand Prix but has already secured his spot in the series for 2020 having qualified through the GP Challenge and he is hoping that having less pressure on his shoulders will help results in the final few rounds of the season.
“I have booked my place in next year’s series and I don’t have the stress which gives you a little more room to focus on getting results instead of stressing about making the top eight or not. Hopefully that will be to my advantage.
“I have been a little too inconsistent in the Grand Prix this year. I started off well this year and then had some pretty bad ones really. I haven’t been too pleased with my own form or my equipment, I haven’t felt I have had the speed. Now I have booked my place in 2020 I can focus on finding myself and finding the speed in the bikes and can maybe try a few things ahead of next year without it costing me a place in the Grand Prix. I should be able to make it work to my advantage and will hopefully get a few podiums before the end of the season.”
The seven-times Danish champion has spent many seasons in Britain during his career with the likes of King’s Lynn and Peterborough and he admitted he would have no issues racing in this country in 2020 should it fit into his busy diary.
“I always consider British speedway, I even considered it this year and I was quite close to doing a deal earlier this year. It is just a matter of days in the calendar. When I do a full programme in Denmark, which I have done this year, 16 league meetings in Sweden and there’s Poland and Grand Prix, qualifiers and everything, it is just really busy.
“This year Sweden has been running a lot of Thursdays and there were just too many fixture clashes earlier this year and it is no good if you sign for a club and can only do half of the meetings. That is no good for anyone. I always keep open to it and I always enjoy riding here, it has been a big part of my career in the last 15 years. As long as I enjoy it, I will keep coming back but everything has to fit into the puzzle!”
Iversen will be back in action for the Ipswich ‘Tru Plant’ Witches on Thursday 5th September at Foxhall as they take on the Swindon Robins in their final home fixture of the regular Premiership season. It promises to be a decisive night for the Suffolk side in the race for the play-offs.
Digital Media Manager at Ipswich Speedway