SWINDON ROBINS: Like 'going back to school' for Poole's Hancock
FORMER world champion Greg Hancock admitted finding his feet at British tracks is like ‘going back to school’ as he prepares to make his Blunsdon return with Poole tonight.
The American has returned to British speedway after a seven-year absence as a replacement for injured world champion Chris Holder, and after taking a handful of meetings to get used to his new surroundings managed 11+2 from five rides when the two teams met on Monday.
Hancock was last at the Abbey Stadium when he rode in Steve Johnston’s farewell meeting in 2011 but is looking forward to returning in competitive action for the first time since 2006.
“I’ve ridden all these tracks so much and you think you know them and what’s needed on them but it’s like coming back to school almost and it’s hard trying to find your feet again,” he said.
“You almost have to de-tune and then re-tune yourself for these tracks and it really is an education.
“The last time I rode at Swindon was in Steve Johnston’s farewell meeting which was about two years ago, and it’s always nice to go back to Swindon and I like that place.
“Hopefully I can do my job and help Poole get another win and get some valuable points.”
Hancock was also quick to admit he hasn’t hit the heights he has wanted to since returning to the Elite League as he bids to win his first title in Britain.
“I haven’t really found the form I really wanted to find just yet, but every time it’s getting better and with small changes I’m getting more comfortable on my bike and win more races,” he said.
“It feels crazy that I’ve never had a league title in England and I would love nothing more than to win something like that while I’m here because it was one of the main things when Matt (Ford, Poole promoter) asked me to ride for Poole.
“They’re underdogs who have a shot at it, and if we can get there then I’m sure we can go all the way.”
Hancock came closest to winning the Elite League in 2006 when his Reading side made the final against Peterborough, and the Bulldogs only needed to avoid a 5-1 in heat 15 to win the league in their first season after returning to the top flight.
But as both Panthers made the start Robins captain Hans Andersen was able to hold off Hancock to snatch the crown at the death.
Andersen has been quick to remind the American of the triumph ever since his former Bydgoszcz teammate returned to British speedway last month, and Hancock would like nothing more than to be able to keep his friend quiet.
“That Hans Andersen guy reminds me of this all the time, and that was a dreadful day for us because we ran the gauntlet with Reading all through that year and they stole it from us at the death,” he said.
“That’s racing though, and I’m a big boy who can take it. It was a shame, but that was then and this is now and hopefully I can show him what’s up.”
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