Wednesday March 28, 2018
PETERBOROUGH star Emil Grondal has reflected on one of the best races of his career during Sunday’s opener against Lakeside.

Grondal top-scored with 11 (paid 12) in the T.Balfe Construction Panthers’ 46-44 win over the Hammers, including two wins and a stunning second behind team-mate Simon Lambert in Heat 8 after problems on the first bend.

He said: “It was absolutely amazing, I wouldn’t have dreamed of a start like that but it was nice that all the hard work paid off.

“In that race I actually made a decent start from gate three, and then on the first corner I went to the outside to get the fastest line in the dirt, but I hit a rut and my bike went straight out towards the fence and I had to shut off a bit.

“I was the whole straight behind but I kept on going, used my lines and rode my race, and then I managed to overtake two riders, one on the outside and one on the inside just over the finish line.

“It was amazing to get that feeling that your bikes are running quick and your mindset is right. It seemed that everything clicked for me, it was a nice evening and Heat 8 was one of the best races I’ve ever ridden in my career.”

Grondal returns to the Panthers after a year away with real determination to make his mark in the SGB Championship this season.

His UK racing in 2017 was limited to an early-season spell in the top flight with Swindon, but the 22-year-old Dane is eager to deliver on the promise which first attracted the Panthers to him three years ago.

He said: “I have a lot to prove this year. I’ve decided that I’m not going to let any pressure be put on me, which has happened before, but I really have to prove myself.

“I’ve taken a bit of a different mindset this year, I want to enjoy my racing and that’s what I did on Sunday.

“I came to the meeting very calm compared to how I used to be, we had everything prepared from home and we’ve been working hard with a lot of practice in Germany to find the right engines that work for me.

“I’ve had service on all of my engines and a lot of brand-new kit, so we’re definitely keen for this year. We’ve worked really hard on the bikes, and also on the mental set-up. I’ve used some coaches in Denmark to get the right mind-set, and I just feel really calm and up for it.

“Most of all I want to enjoy it, and it definitely showed with my points on Sunday!”

Grondal says the win over Lakeside, which had appeared far more comfortable until a late Hammers fightback narrowed a twelve-point margin to two, shows that Panthers can be a force in an ultra-competitive league this season.

The meetings get no easier with the visit of Ipswich in another Championship Shield clash on Easter Sunday (7pm) but Grondal feels a strong spirit and overall improvement can take them a long way.

He said: “It’s a really tough league, and there a lot of good teams with talented, experienced riders.
“I think we’re the underdogs but Sunday proved we can be towards the top, as Lakeside are a good team and we beat them.

“We want to show everyone that we can do it, just like Peterborough did in the Fours tournament last year. We’ve got to do exactly the same, keep the team spirit up, and everyone has clicked extremely well.

“We have a strong bond in the team, and it’s nice that we can help each other out both before and after the meeting. We have Scotty (Nicholls) who has a lot of experience, and we have some younger riders like myself who can learn from people like Scott, Ulrich (Ostergaard) and Simon who have done many laps of the track.

“For sure we can learn a lot from them, and if we can combine everything then I think we can be a really strong team from top to bottom.”

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