MADSEN: WORLD TITLE JUST A MATTER OF TIME

PAUL BURBIDGE

Determined Danish ace Leon Madsen insisted “I am going to be world champion – it’s just a matter of time” as he bids to roar into red-hot form after a season of setbacks.

Madsen’s 2021 campaign was hampered by a knee injury suffered at the Speedway European Championship round in Bydgoszcz last June, and he ended the year seventh in the Speedway GP World Championship standings.

It wasn’t so long ago that the Czestochowa and Brovst star was second in the 2019 series, winning the rounds in Warsaw, Cardiff and Torun as he finished just two points short of eventual champion Bartosz Zmarzlik.

The 33-year-old has taken some time off this winter to heal some injuries and, with a clean bill of health, Madsen believes his Speedway GP dream can be realised in the years ahead.

He said: “First of all, I don’t say I want to be world champion – I know I will be world champion. I am going to be world champion – it’s just a matter of time.

“This year, you are going to see an even better version of the 2019 Leon! You haven’t seen the best of me yet. There is more to come and I will show everyone this year. I know I can. I have just been a little bit unlucky since 2019 with injuries and my equipment and so on.

“I feel that last year I got there at the end and I am sure I can continue with that.  Last year I started out in very good shape and I scored a lot of points. Then we came to the SEC meeting in Bydgoszcz and I had that stupid crash. I twisted my knee and suffered a lot from that all season. I had a lot of pain.

“At the same time, I was also struggling with my equipment. I was testing new things because I wanted to improve. But everything went backwards. We went back to my old tuner and eventually, at the end of the season, we came up with something very, very good – everybody could see that in my final GPs in Torun and at the SON meetings in Manchester.

“I was back to the old Leon from 2019 and I know we are going to carry that on this year. Without any injuries, I will be back at the top, fighting for the World Championship again.”

Madsen reached a very healthy eight Speedway GP semi-finals last year, but converted just two of them into final appearances. That doesn’t worry rider No.30, who reached seven finals from a possible 10 on his way to the silver medal three years ago.

Back in 2019, riders received a championship point for every race point they scored. Now they are awarded championship points according to their finishing position in the final meeting classification – meaning reaching the podium regularly is vital for riders with title aspirations.

“If we had the current scoring system in 2019, I would have been world champion,” he said. “So it’s okay. I know I can do it. I feel very confident this year. I feel in very good shape.

“Bartosz and Artem can be beaten. I almost proved that in 2019. I was two points off and if everything comes together in the season, I don’t have any bad injuries and I don’t have any problems with my equipment, it can be done. Everything has to come together to win a World Championship. I aim to have a season like that this year.”

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