Gjedde Podiums after slow start in Australian Speedway Title
25-year-old Danish International, Charlie Gjedde has his Australian Speedway Solo Championship back on track following a third placed finish at round two at Newcastle Showground aboard the Speedway Racing News Magazine GM.
Gjedde arrived in Australia on his 25th birthday, the day before the opening round at Gosford. Having had little time to acclimatise himself with Australia, much less prepare his equipment, by his own admission he was a little underdone, fatigue seeing him record a solid eighth placed finish in the B final.
After spending a quiet New Year's Eve on the New South Wales Central Coast property he is calling home during his time in Australia, a 36 degree day welcomed Charlie to Newcastle in the Hunter Valley - a hotbed of Motorcycle racing in Australia, having given birth to the careers of World Supercross Champion, Chad Reed, World Supersport racer, Broc Parkes and World 125cc Championship contender, Casey Stoner to name a few.
Although the track was not something he was used to, the Dane revelled on the 400-plus metre venue, recording three heat race wins, a second and a last placing, before placing third in the A-Final, silencing many of the critics that claimed he should not have been in the Australian title.
"Newcastle was very fast. You would just wind it on and hold it flat! The track was fairly slick and difficult to pass on," reflected Gjedde. "You really had to make your starts and that is what happened to me in the heat I finished fourth. I missed the start a bit and I wound up last, but I am happy with the third position overall, that puts us about sixth on the points headed into the final two rounds."
Attention for Gjedde now switches to Adelaide this Wednesday night. The young Dane has not seen either the Gillman (Adelaide) circuit or Mildura's Olympic Park (where the final will be held on Saturday), however from what he has been told of them, he believes they will suit his style. "They tell me that both of these circuits are technical circuits, so this should suit my style very well. I feel very good, I have settled in now and I'm quite relaxed. The fight for the minor placings is so tight, you cannot afford to score badly in one ride, so we'll be out there giving it our best shot. We aren't here for the fun of it."
Gjedde's team-mate at Swindon in the British Elite League, Leigh Adams recorded his second consecutive win in the title, whilst newly departed team-mate, Western Australia's Steven Johnson won the B-Final on the line in what was the race of the night. Gjedde is only a handful of points off second placing in what is a closely fought tussle for the minor placings and a new Speedway bike for the first non-SGP rider home in the four round tournament.