Speedway World Cup Team Heads To England
PICKERINGTON, Ohio – Following a successful showing at the initial qualifying stage, the U.S. Speedway World Cup Team is focused on the next round of FIM Monster Energy Speedway World Cup competition on July 15 in King’s Lynn, Great Britain, the American Motorcyclist Ass’n reports.
Managed by former FIM World Champion and current U.S. Champion Billy Hamill, the U.S. team of Ryan Fisher, Billy Janniro, Gino Manzares and Ricky Wells advanced at the May 20 round in Miskolc, Hungary. Greg Hancock, 2011 FIM World Champion, is expected to join the team for the next stage at King’s Lynn.
“We went to Hungary with a vision of winning despite being without our No. 1 rider Greg Hancock,” Hamill said. “As I explained to the riders, though, if we could win without Greg, it would be a huge statement, and it wasn’t easy, but we never gave up and we won it in the final four races. Before those final four heats, I pulled them together and we talked about how it was time to deliver as a team, and they certainly did with two wins, a second and a third.”
Hamill gave a lot of the credit to U.S. Team Coordinator Steve Evans.
“Planning and preparation were key to this victory, and without the foresight and work put in by Steve, none of this would have been possible,” Hamill said. “He put together a unit of European personnel with Laurence Rodgers and others to help coordinate this trek across the globe. It truly was a team effort by all involved — riders, mechanics, sponsors, the AMA and many other great people.”
If the U.S. team wins at King’s Lynn, it will advance directly to the July 20 finale in Prague, Czech Republic. A second- or third-place finish at King’s Lynn will send the team to a race-off on July 18, also in Prague.
The FIM Speedway World Cup features six total rounds and 14 countries, bringing together the best speedway motorcycle racers in the world. The teams compete for ultimate bragging rights in the “Olympics” of this oval-track sport where the bikes run without brakes. Contested since 1960, the event was re-launched under a new format in 2001.
The winner of the Speedway World Cup collects the Ove Fundin Trophy, named after the five-time world champion.