When news happens text pix and video to 80360. Start your message with BE then leave a space.
Speedway: Night of exclusions hamper Holder's charge
SO, every dog does have its day – and Chris Holder proved he can bite with the best of them.
While Holder added another nine points to his world championship tally, his night was more about two controversial exclusions during an extraordinary Grand Prix in Copenhagen.
Indeed, Holder’s Parken experience was a tale of two Pedersens.
Having started the fifth GP of this year’s series with a tapes-to-flag victory in a delayed heat one, after Jarek Hampel had dislocated an ankle in a nasty spill with Kenneth Bjerre, Holder stood toe-to-toe with Nicki Pedersen following a heat five incident that almost saw the young Aussie barged into the air fence by the home favourite.
The Pirates captain was all over the back of the Dane coming out of turn one of lap one and was forced to take evasive action before slipping into third place.
Holder did manage to pass Freddie Lindgren into second with a fine cut-back on the Swedish star, but was keen to make his feelings clear to Pedersen after crossing the finishing line.
A third place finish in heat nine, behind the impressive Chris Harris in second, saw Holder make it six points from three rides and edge closer to yet another semi-final berth.
But the 24-year-old was again embroiled in controversy when he was excluded for apparently nudging Bjarne Pedersen into the shale during heat 13.
Holder had himself been forced wide by wild card Michael Jepsen Jensen after the first turn and, in a bid to make up ground, charged hard up in the inside of former Pirate Pedersen.
Although Holder claimed there was no contact in a post-race interview, referee Wojciech Grodzki saw things differently and excluded the European Grand Prix champion.
Holder later claimed that Pedersen had “got scared” and laid down his bike.
The exclusion mattered little as it transpired, though, with Holder storming to victory in his final qualifying ride to reach the last eight shoot-out.
The real talking point, though, was yet to come.
Coming off gate four in the first semi-final, Holder did not trap quickly enough to swoop around in front of Greg Hancock, Lindgren and Nicki Pedersen.
What followed was a brutal battle between the Dane and Holder, with the Aussie twice appearing to gently nudge the three-times world champion.
Third-placed Pedersen, though, was clever and appeared to simply lay his bike down in a bid to be granted a re-run. It worked and Holder was again excluded by Grodzki.
After speaking to Grodzki and confronting Pedersen, Holder insisted in an interview that the Dane had “dived off his bike”.
And in a moment of real karma for the Aussie, just minutes after ending his big-screen interrogation by claiming “every dog has its day”, Pedersen clashed with Lindgren in the re-run and, his luck running out, was thrown out of the race by Grodzki.
While Jason Crump emerged victorious in the final, Parken 2012 was more about the twenty-somethings showing the old guard they refuse to be intimidated, with Emil Sayfutdinov also clashing on track with Nicki Pedersen following a hard move from the Russian.
And however this engaging, gripping world championship ends come October, the old dogs will know that the young pups are very much on their tails.
GP standings: (top-eight) 1 Greg Hancock 75, 2 Jason Crump 73, 3 Nicki Pedersen 66, 4 Chris Holder 61, 5 Tomasz Gollob 52, 6 Freddie Lindgren 52, 7 Emil Sayfutdinov 48, 8 Jarek Hampel 46.