ROWE HAILS HANCOCK'S WORDS OF WISDOM AFTER STORMING TO SGP2 SEMIS
Great Britain racer Anders Rowe admits some expert coaching from four-time Speedway GP world champion Greg Hancock helped him star on his FIM SGP2 debut in Prague last Friday.
The Poole rider was only called into the Prague FIM SGP2 of Czech Republic with 48 hours’ notice but put in a fantastic performance to reach the semi-finals in the biggest meeting of his career to date.
Rowe put himself firmly on course for the last eight with a win and two second places in his opening three rides.
He almost made it a fourth victory in heat 14 after holding off PGE Ekstraliga stars Mateusz Cierniak and Bartlomiej Kowalski for three laps, but the pair found a way through before finishing first and second in the final.
Rowe was only listed as championship second reserve after missing out on a full series spot in a five-man run-off in the Vojens qualifier on May 20.
But the Weymouth-born man admits he received a few words of wisdom from American great Hancock that day in Denmark, and Rowe was delighted to get some more pointers in Prague.
He said: “Greg has been absolutely brilliant with me. He has helped me so much and he did at the qualifier in Vojens as well.
“My dad has known Greg for a long, long time now. We got talking in Vojens and he has been helping me a lot. He’s an absolute legend of the sport. You can’t buy having someone like that helping you.
“I can’t thank Greg and (Great Britain joint team manager) Olly Allen enough for all the help they gave me last Friday.”
Rowe was delighted he made the last-minute dash to the Czech capital along with father and mechanic Delwyn to take his FIM SGP2 shot.
He said: “I got told just before the Poole meeting on Wednesday that I was in, and I was never going to say no to it.
“We flew out to Krakow on Thursday morning and got a taxi down to Rzeszow. We changed an engine and drove to Prague. We got there at 1.30am on Thursday night and it was a whirlwind.
“But I have loved every minute of this. We worked so hard to get here and I was so unlucky in Vojens not to get a place. I think I proved what I could do here, and I had a ball.
“I didn’t get a very good time in qualifying, but I wasn’t going into that to be top of the board. I was going out there to perfect my style and get my leg and body positioning right.
“We went out, did the job and had fun. My mum flew out on the Friday as well, so that was really cool. She hadn’t seen me race in ages and she had never seen me race in a different country. I am so happy with everything.”
Rowe has been in fine form for Polish Second Division side Rzeszow, averaging 1.600 points per race. He would love to bring his continental scoring to Cab Direct Championship side Poole where he has had a mixed start to 2023.
He admitted: “It’s weird. I come over to the continent and I am a totally different rider and person. I don’t understand why. I am trying to figure that out. We have the same bikes. The only difference is the engines. Maybe I just have a lucky bike there!
“It was crazy. I went to Oxford and scored one paid two points last week. Then I went and made an SGP2 semi-final on the Friday.”
Rowe replaced Francis Gusts in Prague, with the Latvian shooting star nursing a broken scaphoid. If the Brit is called up for the FIM SGP2 of Poland – Gorzow on Friday, June 23, he’s ready to make the most of a golden opportunity on his home track from the 2022 Under-24 Ekstraliga season.
“I hope Francis gets better soon,” he said. “You never want to see a rider injured. Best wishes to him, but if I get that opportunity, then I am going to take it with both hands because I love Gorzow. I love everything about it. It’s brilliant. Every track in Poland is fun to race.”