Danish legend Bjarne Pedersen hopes spotting “the small things can make a big difference” as he joins Martin Vaculik’s FIM Speedway Grand Prix team for 2022.
Pedersen officially signs off his riding career with his UK farewell meeting at Poole on March 30, which sees the SGB Championship-winning Pirates, his parent club, take on Peterborough – the team he helped to 2021 SGB Premiership play-off glory.
Once that meeting is behind him, the two-time FIM Speedway World Cup winner’s focus will switch to helping Vaculik’s pursuit of Speedway GP success.
Pedersen is set to act as both a coach and a sounding board in the pits for the Gorzow racer. But the former Holsted star insists he’s there to work on the finer details – not tell one of the sport’s top riders how to race.
He said: “I do not need to teach Martin about speedway. He’s a very good speedway rider. He also has a very good team around him. I do not need to teach them how to wash the bike or anything like that! But I hope I can use some of my 30 years of experience to help them.
“Where Martin is now, the small things can make a big difference. I am really just there to be Martin’s left hand, and maybe I can see something his mechanics might not.
“I just really need to help Martin on and off the track as much as I can and support him. Hopefully I can bring something with bike setups during the meeting and so on. It’s really just about making his team stronger around him if possible.”
Pedersen and Vaculik were team mates at Polish club Tarnow in 2010 and 2011, and it was this spell together which put the Dane firmly in the Slovak’s thoughts as he searched for a Speedway GP manager.
But the pandemic put their reunion on hold. Pedersen explained: “Actually we were talking about working together last season, but I delayed my retirement for another year because of Covid, so it never happened.
“Of course I was focused on my speedway last year and Martin was focused on his own racing, so we did not talk that much throughout the season. But Martin got straight back on to me when my season finished and everything just went from there.
“The season continued with Peterborough into the play-offs, and when that finished, I really had to have this time to think if I should stay involved in the sport or just do something completely different outside.
“After a bit of time, I decided to jump on board with Martin. I feel this was something I really wanted to do and I feel very excited about it now.”