Jesper raring to go
Speedway by Mike BaconIPSWICH Witches new-boy Jesper B Jensen has promised Foxhall fans he is back to his best, more relaxed and raring to go in 2004.The 26-year-old Dane, who has joined the Suffolk side after five years at Wolverhampton, admits he feels 2004 should be a terrific year for him and the Witches.
IPSWICH Witches new-boy Jesper B Jensen has promised Foxhall fans he is back to his best, more relaxed and raring to go in 2004.
The 26-year-old Dane, who has joined the Suffolk side after five years at Wolverhampton, admits he feels 2004 should be a terrific year for him and the Witches.
Ever the colourful character, who is renowned for his flamboyant hair-styles, Jensen is hoping to light up Foxhall Stadium this season.
And taking time out from a holiday in Madeira, Jesper B (the B stands for Bruun), said last night he is far more settled personally – a situation he hopes will rub off on his riding even more in 2004.
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"Last year was my best ever," he said.
"I decided not to ride in England after five years at Wolverhampton. It did me good and I'm back in good shape.
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"But to be honest the main thing that has changed in the last year or so is my personal situation. I had some family problems during my last couple of seasons at Wolverhampton and my form suffered.
"But that is all behind me know. I have a new girlfriend and am far more relaxed. I am content in myself and am smiling when I go on to the track."
And his new found lifestyle has certainly paid dividends.
Jensen's ability has never been in doubt. He was world under-21 champion in 1997 and tipped as a future world champion at the time.
But injuries and personal problems have blighted his progress, although he now appears to be heading in the right direction – and the Witches could be the beneficiaries.
Last year he qualified for the Grand Prix series after a stunning performance at Poole in the World Championship final, coming through to gain a GP place after a disastrous start to the meeting.
"I'm really looking forward to coming to Ipswich," he continued.
"I have ridden there a number of times and always liked the track. It is small, with tight corners and I know it will help my technique.
"At the moment the Ipswich team looks good and with Scott Nicholls and Hans Andersen, Ipswich have good riders on board.
"I rode last year at Smederna, in Sweden with Scott and we team-rode well together. We had a good year."
Jensen will be based in Suffolk when he rides for Ipswich. And he will be riding in Sweden and Denmark as well, although Poland is looking doubtful at the moment.
"In Poland this year each team is allowed just two GP riders in their squad and are only allowed to use one per meeting.
"So if, for instance, I was paired at a club with say Tony Rickardsson or Jason Crump, I am not likely to get too many chances, that is why I'm looking forward to England so much."
Jensen's signing means the Witches now have just two places left to fill for their 2004 line-up. World No.7 Nicholls is set to sign this week and with Andersen and Jensen, the Witches will have three Grand Prix riders in their side.
Swedish youngster Kim Jansson, who has proved such a popular figure since his arrival, gets a well-deserved chance to prove his potential, and Danny Bird will again play an important floating role.
But where Ipswich will find their two missing links remains to be seen.
Rumours circulating in Reading suggest Ipswich are talking to Pole Janus Kolodiej, who rode just six meetings for the Racers last year, but made a big impression in Berkshire, averaging nearly nine points a meeting.
With four points still to play with, Ipswich could obtain two two-point riders or a three-point and a one-point man.
Kolodiej is a one-pointer, which would leave Ipswich the possibility of Toni Svab or Ryan Fisher as a three-pointer.
However Oxford are known to be interested in Fisher, but his arrival at Cowley could leave Travis McGowan without a club. And he could interest Ipswich.
Whatever happens at Foxhall this year, co-promoters John and Chris Louis are already putting together an impressionable and exciting-looking side.
Team spirit is already guaranteed to be better than last year and if the right results can be obtained on-track, the Foxhall fans, so poorly served last season, should be in for a treat in 2004.