Aussie icon Jason Doyle admits his side “didn’t do it the easy way” as they clawed their way through to the Monster Energy FIM Speedway of Nations Finals in Wroclaw this Friday and Saturday.
The Newcastle-born racer and partner Max Fricke were forced to go through the knock-out races in Manchester last night to qualify after being pipped to the top two by Sweden, who triumphed on 26, and runners-up Great Britain (23).
The Roos scored 21 to progress to the final knock-out heat, filling the minor places behind Vaclav Milik to beat the Czech Republic to a spot in the Olympic Stadium showdown.
We need to push forward and forget about the Manchester meeting. Hopefully all the bad luck is away now.
Doyle says he never expected an easy ride in Race Off 2, but he admits he was taken aback by some of the competition – not least Finnish duo Tero Aarnio and Timo Lahti, with the former riding the race of his life to beat the world champion in heat 19.
He said: “We didn’t do it the easy way. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. We knew the Swedes, the Brits and the Czechs were going to be hard to beat.
“There were a few surprise packages with the Finns and Timo Lahti and Tero Aarnio being so quick around this track.
“There wasn’t one easy race where we knew we would go out and get a 5-1.”
Doyle says he and Fricke must quickly put a tough night in Manchester out of their minds as they chase a medal at the Olympic Stadium.
He said: “We need to push forward and forget about the Manchester meeting. Hopefully all the bad luck is away now. We start afresh on Friday and Saturday to go for the medals. We have a very good chance.
“The meeting in Teterow was a lot easier than Tuesday. Now we’re in the Finals, we can fight for the medals and we’ll see what happens on Saturday. Hopefully we can be up there at the end.
“I guess this is a learning curve to get another engine sorted for Wroclaw on Friday and hopefully we can do something special.”