Happy Hampel heading for the stars?

FORMER Ipswich Witches star and Polish international Jaroslaw Hampel says his FIM Dansk Metal Danish SGP triumph has given him the belief to end his country’s 37-year wait for a world champion.

FORMER Ipswich Witches star and Polish international Jaroslaw Hampel says his FIM Dansk Metal Danish SGP triumph has given him the belief to end his country’s 37-year wait for a world champion.

The 28-year-old claimed his first ever Grand Prix round win in Copenhagen on Saturday night after defeating fellow countryman Tomasz Gollob, British champion Chris Harris and home hero Hans Andersen in the final.

This result puts him five points clear at the top of the World Championship on 60 points, five ahead of Kenneth Bjerre and six in front of Gollob.

On a night where many riders struggled for consistency, Hampel finished his heats with 11 points. He then kept his cool to win a re-run semi-final ahead of Gollob and Kenneth Bjerre.


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This was before he came out on top in a furious first corner and roared home for a famous victory.

While Gollob is usually the man touted as being Poland’s biggest hope for the gold, Hampel has established himself as the most likely rider to win the nation’s first world crown since Jerzy Szczakiel triumphed back in 1973.

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And he admits his maiden SGP win has given him the confidence that he could go all the way.

He said: “It’s very important because right now I know I can stay in first place. I am stronger.

“I feel great this year. I prepared everything very carefully before this season and it’s working very well at the moment.

“It’s a great feeling to be here and stand in first place. I’ve worked very hard this season and it’s not that easy.

“But everything is on the way and I’ll try and keep up my good start later in the season. This was terrific.”

While there was very little passing in the opening stages of the meeting, the track exploded into life in the third set of heats.

Riders had to be on top of their game to ensure their bike set-ups matched the changing track conditions.

Hampel said: “I was going on to the track and looking at what was going on all the time. I needed to change the set-up to keep the good speed in my bikes, but I did a good job with my boys in the pits.”

The new World Championship leader will bid to defend his advantage in his homeland at the FIM Torun SGP of Poland on June 19.

With Gollob also close to the summit, the Poles have plenty of reason to be excited. So Hampel hopes he and Gollob can maintain their flying start to 2010 and continue giving their home fans plenty to celebrate.

He said: “I will try with Tomasz to get another big result in Torun. Of course it is so hard, but we are on the game.

“Everything looks good now and everything is on track, but there are a lot of meetings in front of us and it’s not that easy to keep up this good performance every time.

“For me, everything is on the way and we will try to keep it like it is now. Hopefully we can still get the good results later in the season.”

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (after four rounds):

1 Jaroslaw Hampel 60, 2 Kenneth Bjerre 55, 3 Tomasz Gollob 54, 4 Jason Crump 43, 5 Andreas Jonsson 43, 6 Hans Andersen 37, 7 Nicki Pedersen 36, 8 Chris Holder 35, 9 Magnus Zetterstrom 31, 10 Chris Harris 31, 11 Rune Holta 29, 12 Greg Hancock 28, 13 Emil Sayfutdinov 27, 14 Fredrik Lindgren 27, 15 Tai Woffinden 15, 16 Janusz Kolodziej 12, 17 Antonio Lindback 6, 18 Matej Kus 3, 19 Leon Madsen 3, 20 Nicolai Klindt 1.

speedwaygp.com

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