Danish team manager Nicki Pedersen insists “we don’t have any reserve on our team” as he puts his faith in Mikkel Michelsen, Anders Thomsen and Rasmus Jensen to fire Denmark into the FIM Speedway of Nations Final.

Pedersen’s trio compete in Semi-Final 2 at Manchester’s National Speedway Stadium tonight, facing off with Australia, Czech Republic, Latvia, USA, Slovenia and Norway for three spots in Saturday’s Final alongside hosts Great Britain, Sweden, Poland and Germany.

The Danes are among the tournament favourites as they track a side led by skipper Michelsen, who is third in the Speedway GP standings and won his first SGP in Germany on May 18. He is partnered by double Danish champion Anders Thomsen in the starting pair.

Former Danish champion Rasmus Jensen is listed as No.3 – the team’s reserve, who can be called into action by Pedersen at any time.

But the triple Speedway GP world champion insists Jensen – Denmark’s top scorer on 13 points in the 2023 Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup Final – will have more than a watching brief in Manchester. He said: “We don’t have any reserve on our team. We have three riders who are ready to help each other on the track.

“I am going to take the last word and the decision as to what to do, but I am going to talk things through with them all the time, which I started doing last year. We did it with the SON2 in Latvia last year – no-one was stood there for an hour without any racing.

“We are going to continue with that and talk things through. We want to test a little bit in practice and the Semi-Final to see who’s going with what and who is gating best. I am going to talk to them all the way through.

“We are going to do this together as one unit. It doesn’t matter who is in the pits. We are there, working hard and hopefully that will be the key. It’s a bonus that I have three riders who can actually challenge each other.”

While the Danes are without former world No.2 Leon Madsen, who misses the tournament due to personal reasons, three-time European champion Michelsen offers the team a strong spearhead.

Pedersen has been delighted to watch his progress in 2024. He said: “It’s fantastic. Mikkel has built everything around him with the tuners, engines and mechanics. He has stepped up and the credit all goes to him. 

“I spoke to him a lot last year and said, ‘You have to take the decisions and choices yourself. It’s nice to have nice people around you, but you are the boss, you need to make the decisions and you need to tell them what you want. Give yourself that respect.’ All of the things have fallen into place and things are clicking for him at the moment. I am happy for him.”