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Oliver Berntzon: I will try to shake Pawlicki's hand again.

02.08.22
08:57
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 In Rybnik you made your debut as a regular participant in the Speedway Euro Championship series. What were your impressions and feelings about your first appearance in the series?

- I think my first ever SEC round was pretty good for me. Of course, I scored 10 points, which was a great result overall, but I was very frustrated that with such a good result I didn't get to the last-chance race. However, it is what it is. The competition was very close. I'm really satisfied with getting 10 points for the overall classification.

 As you mentioned, you were one step away from performing in the last-chance run. Do you think the final race was within your reach and somewhere you could have scored that one point more?

- Yes, I definitely think so. But of course, very often after the competition we see things that we could have done differently during the competition. It's always easier to see things after the fact. I think my performance in this competition was quite good, but in both, my first run and my fourth run, I lost the victory because I made some mistakes. I hope I learned from this and won't do it again next time (smile).

- What would you say about the organization of the event itself?

- I think the organization of the event was good. They are trying to do it on a larger scale, with a lavish presentation, podium decoration and other things. I hope they will be successful. Perhaps in the future there will be more spectators at the competition, because this time, unfortunately, the stadium was not full. I hope that in the future finals there will be even more fans.

- How would you compare this event to the Speedway Grand Prix series tournaments you competed last season?

- The Grand Prix series is the biggest thing, on a different level, which it should be, because it's the most important series to compete in speedway. I tried to perform there last year. Of course, they did not go my way. I hope that I will be able to ride well in a few rounds of the SEC series this year, which may help me compete in the Grand Prix in the future.

- For several years now, an additional reward for winning the Speedway Euro Championship series has been to secure participation in the Grand Prix without further qualification. Do you think this is a good solution? Alternatively, should it be more than one place in the future?

- Yes, of course I think this is a very good thing. However, as you mentioned, perhaps it should be more than one place. I think it is more fair to qualify for the Grand Prix on your own, rather than getting "wild cards". I think that five permanent invitations to the SGP series is a bit too much. More places should be won on the track.

- As you said earlier, after the first final round of TAURON SEC 2022 you have 10 points, which means you lose four points to the two leaders, Mikkel Michelsen and Janusz Kołodziej. Your chances for medals and a place at the top are still very good. There are three rounds left, so anything can still happen, right?

- Of course, the situation is still open. At this point, however, I don't look at it from the point of view that I have a chance to win the series or finish on the podium. I will simply approach each round separately and try to score as many points as possible. Then I will see what effect it will have at the end of the series. I'm just trying to become a better rider so that I'll be able to ride in the SEC or Grand Prix series for many years to come. This year I'm really not trying to win at all costs. I just want to develop more and become even better.

- The next final will be held on August 6th in Güstrow, Germany. This track is extremely peculiar, as the finish line is actually at the exit of the second turn, which more than unusual. Have you competed there before?

- Yes, actually I competed there this year, in an international individual tournament. I did it for the training, in case I would qualify for the SEC series. So I rode there once this year and I tried it. Of course, this performance did not go well for me (the Swede finished 6th with 8 points), but at least now I know a little more about this track, which may be useful before the next round of the SEC cycle.

- Have you ever encountered this type of finish line solution before?

- No (laughs). This is something very unique. However, the conditions are the same for everyone. You just have to play finish of the run in a very clever way.

- In addition, the oval in Güstrow has a black surface that is not seen too often anymore.

- Yes, this track is really very black. I think it is similar to the one that was previously in Krosno. I think there is also a similar surface in Stralsund, Germany. This material is really unique nowadays. We will see if I can figure out this track.

- The next TAURON SEC 2022 finals will once again lead to your rivalry with Piotr Pawlicki, which has been quite talked about recently. Do you think about these races in particular, or do you pay no special attention to it?

- I don't really think about it in any particular way before this tournament. I'm just going to go there and race normally. It was the same in Rybnik. We had a fight in the first race. I'm a competitor, I have respect for other people. After the race I wanted to shake hands with him, however, he did not wish it. It will be the same in Güstrow. If we put up a good fight on the track, I will try to shake his hand again. If he still doesn't want to do it, it's difficult. It is what it is.

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