ANDERSSON EYES SAFE ROUTE TO MANCHESTER
Swedish team manager Morgan Andersson admits his side is determined to avoid the jeopardy of tonight’s Final Qualifier.
17 / 09 / 2021, 11:50
Swedish team manager Morgan Andersson admits his side is determined to avoid the jeopardy of tonight’s Final Qualifier as they race for Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations Final qualification.
Andersson brings world No.3 Freddie Lindgren, Pontus Aspgren and under-21 star Philip Hellstrom-Bangs into Semi-Final 1, where they take on Poland, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, USA and Finland.
Only the top two countries after 21 races are guaranteed places at the Final in Manchester on October 16 and 17, with the teams placed third and fourth forced to battle it out in the Final Qualifier for the last remaining spot at the National Speedway Stadium.
We really want to try and get into the top two places after 21 heats – that’s the aim. If you get an engine failure in that Final Qualifier, you are in big trouble!
That’s a race Andersson is keen to avoid as he knows anything can happen over four laps of speedway against a team with nothing to lose.
He said: “We know we have a hard Semi-Final. Three teams go through and, on paper, we should probably be one of them.
“But we don’t want to be in that run-off for third place against the team that finishes fourth. We really want to try and get into the top two places after 21 heats – that’s the aim. If you get an engine failure in that Final Qualifier, you are in big trouble!”
Andersson led Sweden to FIM Speedway World Cup gold in his debut season as Swedish boss in 2015.
But he’s still chasing his first Monster Energy SON medal and would love to make it to Manchester. He said: “We have had all the positions – we have had sixth, fifth and then fourth last year when they stopped the meeting in Lublin. It’s a hard, hard tournament, but we have had good success in the Semi-Finals before in 2018 and 2019. Today is a new day, though.”
Hellstrom-Bangs will be among the under-21 riders making their Monster Energy SON debut tonight and Andersson looks forward to seeing the 18-year-old in action.
He said: “He’s a talented guy – very, very talented. He comes from Avesta – Tony Rickardsson and Antonio Lindback’s town. He’s the best junior we have based on form, so he’s the one we picked.
“He has trained with Antonio. They know each other well and I’m sure he has got some advice from him.”