PIRATES star Chris Holder is adamant that Darcy Ward should not be concerned by his disappointing first foray in the 2014 Grand Prix.
Ward scored five points in New Zealand three weeks ago before being wiped out by shock eventual champion Martin Smolinski in heat 14.
Despite sustaining a broken thumb, concussion and soft tissue damage in his left knee, Ward will return for the European Grand Prix in Bydgoszcz tonight.
And Holder, who has temporarily replaced Ward in the Poole one-to-seven, revealed that his own 2012 world championship triumph provided reason for his fellow Turbo Twin to be optimistic.
He told the Daily Echo: “I had four points in the first round when I won the world championship and he had five points this time, so I wouldn’t worry too much if I was him. He’s still one of the best guys in the field.
“I don’t think one round can ruin your chances at this stage, although of course it helps if you are with the front-runners and not playing catch-up.
“He needs to get as fit as he can for the next one, although I’m sure he would probably like a couple of weeks’ more rest, but the GPs don’t wait for anyone.
“It’s a long series and you’ve got to stay injury-free, ride smart and keep scoring points.”
For Holder, following up a strong showing in Auckland with another solid display is key as the Grand Prix arrives in Poland for the first of three visits this year.
He added: “Bydgoszcz is a good race track and it’s always a good meeting there.
“I’m coming off 11 points in Auckland which is the best first round I’ve had, so I’ll take it and try to make the most of it.
“I’m in a good position and hopefully I can build on that in Bydgoszcz.”
Grand Prix standings after round one:
Nicki Pedersen 19
Krzysztof Kasprzak 17
Martin Smolinski 15
Freddie Lindgren 13
Chris Holder 11
Kenneth Bjerre 11
Jarek Hampel 8
Tai Woffinden 7
Andreas Jonsson 7
Niels-Kristian Iversen 6
Greg Hancock 6
Matej Zagar 6
Darcy Ward 5
Troy Batchelor 4
Jason Bunyan 2
Chris Harris 0