Hampel doesn’t suspect home advantage

POLISH star Jaroslaw Hampel doesn’t feel he will benefit from a huge home advantage when returns to the Grand Prix series in the FIM European SGP at Leszno on Saturday.

POLISH star Jaroslaw Hampel doesn’t feel he will benefit from a huge home advantage when returns to the Grand Prix series in the FIM European SGP at Leszno on Saturday.

The 28-year-old rides his Ekstraliga home meetings at the Alfred Smoczyk Stadium, along with wild card Janusz Kolodziej.

But, while he is not short of experience around the circuit where he has lifted two Speedway World Cups with Poland, Hampel admits his local knowledge could count for little against the SGP elite.

He said: “Everyone knows this track. It is a very simple circuit to ride. Everyone has raced over here a lot of times.


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“I’m racing at home and of course, I can have some practise on it every single week. But you never know when this competition comes. Everyone is very strong.

“You can race there every day, but sometimes when the Grand Prix comes, everything is different.”

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While racing on familiar shale may have its advantages for Hampel, it also comes with a huge weight of expectation from the thousands of Poles packed into the stadium.

But Hampel is older and wiser since his last full season at this level in 2007, and he is confident he can stand the pressure.

He added: “A lot of people want to see me in the final and see me at the top. I feel there is pretty big pressure but I know how to deal with it. It was like this a few years ago. I’ll try to concentrate on my starts and forget everything else. It should be good.

“I love when it’s a full stadium and I love it when it’s noisy. That’s going to be good for me and I like to race when there’s a big crowd in the stadium. I love it and it will help me very much I think.”

Hampel’s preparations for his SGP comeback have not been aided by the cancellation of two rounds of Ekstraliga fixtures following the air crash which killed President Lech Kaczynski on April 10.

Despite his lack of competitive racing over the past fortnight, the Elit Vetlanda rider is confident his performance in Leszno will not suffer.

He said: “This is a small problem because of course, we could not race. I lost contact with my bike for over a week and that’s bad. It’s the beginning of the season and you need to have a lot of time on the bike.

“But I’ve had a few practises and I feel quite good on the bike – pretty comfortable. So it should be fine.”

speedwaygp.com

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