Denmark’s Nicki Pedersen clinched his second World Championship in Krsko, Slovenia on Saturday with another stunning display.
Nicki Pedersen, who has been leading the championship all season, entered the penultimate Grand Prix needing a maximum of 18-points from the last two rounds to make sure of the title.
His nearest challenger Leigh Adams of Australia kept the pressure on the Dane by opening with two race wins that included relegating him to second place in heat six.
Then surprisingly his challenge fell away and Nicki Pedersen only needed third place from heat 20 to secure the World Championship. And he rocketed from the start and won the race to become the fifth Danish rider to win the world crown.
However, he maintained his concentration to race to victory in the semi-final and final and win the Slovenian Grand Prix.
“It’s unbelievable,” said a delighted Nicki Pedersen. “It’s something we’ve been working on all year. The way everyone in the team has been working is fantastic, and very professional.
“We had made plans over the winter, and I needed to lose some weight. I kept my weight the way I should and I kept my focus, and here we are, World Champion.
“It’s not just one thing, it’s a lot of things that I tried to change this year and all of a sudden things have come good. I don't think I really had any luck, and I’m just glad I managed to finish it off.
“I’m glad to finish the Championship off in Slovenia, and now we’ll go ahead for the last one in Gelsenkirchen (Germany). But I’m just happy with the World Championship, that’s the most important thing for me right now.”
Leigh Adams, who finished the night on nine points, and secured the silver medal said: “Nicki has been strong all year, making great starts and even tonight he made a couple of blinders when he needed to and pulled things out of the bag. But it’s been a constructive year for me too,” he added.
“I’ve had a great year and we’ve pushed him right to this stage but just didn’t have enough left in the tank.”
The 36-year-old Australian’s future plans remain in doubt and he has yet to confirm whether he will return for another attempt at the world title.
“I’ve now got to sit down with the family and work out what happens, we’ll settle down and get the season out of the way and then make some decisions. We’ve had a really good atmosphere within the team, we’ve had a lot of fun on the way and the season’s not over yet, we still have $100,000 to try and win.”
Britain’s Scott Nicholls had his best performance of the season finishing in second place and battled hard for 16 points.
He’s currently in eighth place in the standings which guarantees a place in next year’s series, but he’s just two points clear of ninth-placed Rune Holta. And with one round left in Germany on 13 October, he can’t afford any mistakes.
Result: FIM PartyPoker.net Grand Prix of Slovenia:
N. Pedersen (Denmark) 23
S. Nicholls (Great Britain) 16
R. Holta (Poland) 16
J. Crump (Australia) 13
T. Gollob (Poland) 10
L. Adams (Australia) 9
B. Pedersen (Denmark) 9
W. Jagus (Poland) 9, C.Harris (Great Britain) 8
A. Jonsson (Sweden) 6, J. Hampel (Poland) 6
M. Zagar (Slovenia) 6
J. Pavlic (Croatia) 5, G. Hancock (USA) 4
H. Andersen (Denmark) 3
A. Lindback (Sweden) 1
N. Pedersen 187
L. Adams 142, J. Crump 109
T. Gollob 101
H. Andersen 98
G. Hancock 90
C. Harris 87
S. Nicholls 83, R. Holta 81
W. Jagus 75, A. Jonsson 70, J. Hampel 67
B. Pedersen 66
M. Zagar 48
A. Lindback 31