Speedway Grand Prix: US star Greg Hancock backs Poole Pirates ace Maciej Janowski to earn world championship spot

WORLD STAR: Greg Hancock

WORLD STAR: Greg Hancock

First published in Sport Bournemouth Echo: Photograph of the Author by

AMERICAN legend Greg Hancock says he would confidently put money on protégé Maciej Janowski securing qualification for the Grand Prix series.

The Pirates heat leader will line up alongside team-mate Shamek Pawlicki in the Grand Prix Challenge at Lonigo on September 20 after both advanced from meetings in mainland Europe yesterday.

Subject to the final standings in the 2014 Grand Prix, the top three from the meeting in Italy will race in the 2015 series.

And 44-year-old Hancock, whose cameo helped Poole win the Elite League title last year, is confident that Janowski has the talent to earn his place among speedway’s elite.

The two-time world champion told the Daily Echo: “Maciej has come on leaps and bounds over the last couple of years and this year in particular his consistency has been building.

“I’m a big fan of the kid and having made it this far, he has a great chance to go all the way and I would definitely put money on him making it into the Grand Prix.

“I think he’s got the ability to do it this year, the ball is in his court to make it happen. It’s not easy because there are a lot of good guys out there, but he’s got all the ingredients, it’s just about putting it together on the day.

“It really is an open game. I wouldn’t put my finger on one guy in particular who could do it any more than Maciej could.”

Janowski secured his place in the GP Challenge after coming through at Gorican, Croatia, with 10 points from five rides. Pawlicki advanced from Czestochowa, Poland with 11 points but fellow Pirate Vaclav Milik managed just three points at the same meeting and was eliminated.

Sweden-based Hancock added: “There are so many young, talented Polish guys on the circuit right now that are capable. Shamek is another one who without doubt could go all the way on the day.

“But Lonigo’s a special track and that place can be quite tricky. It’s a different kind of dirt and a different shape of track. If you put all your pieces together, you can do it, but you’ve got to be really clever.”

GP Challenge field: Patryk Dudek, Jason Doyle, Kenneth Bjerre, Shamek Pawlicki, Mads Korneliussen, Cameron Woodward, Nicolai Klindt, Hans Andersen, Linus Sundstrom, Maciej Janowski, Thomas H Jonasson, Peter Kildemand, Janusz Kolodziej, Matej Zagar.

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