NEWS Tuesday 10th March 2020, 7:30pm
Norwegian Lasse Fredriksen arrives in the UK this coming weekend to begin his British Speedway adventure in the colours of the What The Fork Monarchs.
He had his first outing of the year last weekend, and posted a short clip on Facebook. He said, "It was good, it was a bit wet but just to be riding again and checking that the engine was OK, getting a few laps in. I was at Silkeborg in Denmark. It's not a well-known track, they don't host any big meetings. It's open all year but I think it's the first time they've practised there this year because of all the rain that's come down in Denmark."
It's been a busy winter, working and preparing for his first season of racing in this country. "I've been training a lot, and I've built two new bikes to come over to the UK. I've had to travel back and forward to Denmark to get the parts because you can't really get them in Norway. I tried to build four bikes identical to what I am used to, I have been working too, I work in preparing food for a microwave, in their workshop.
"The only one of the Edinburgh team I know is Kyesy, I rode with him in the Denmark First Division. The other teams I rode for last season were in the Swedish Allsvenskan League and a couple of meetings in the Finnish League. This year I will also ride in the qualifiers for the European Championship in the Czech Republic in May, and I have a GP qualifier at Abensberg in Germany on June 1st. I will be in the European Pairs Championship riding with Glenn Moi in Macon in France.
"I think there are some meetings in Elgane in Norway but it has been snowing here so there is no chance of riding at the moment. They haven't published any fixtures yet. I think I will try to ride at least one meeting at my home track because my sponsors are here."
So how does our new Norwegian youngster view his prospects? "I am a little bit nervous but also looking forward to it, it will be great to be riding again and to be busy. It's been a long wait. I think you should be a little bit nervous.
"Armadale is a proper home track. I found it a bit difficult – the first couple of laps were really difficult but later I felt better on the bike. I think I made a bit of progress from my first ride to my last, that's what I took away from it and although it is a hard track to ride I think I can learn it."
There have been quite a few successful Norwegian riders, two of the best being Monarchs in the 1960s, so has his decision to come here caused much interest in his home country? "In the little place I live there is quite a bit of interest in what I am doing. We are just six kilometres from Elgane and everyone in this little village knows about speedway. We watch the GPs in the local pub and I have told them about the Live Streaming of the Armadale meetings, so I think they will want to watch on Friday nights. It is my uncle who has the pub!"
Lasse will also have family support on his trip over. "I will come over with my grandad and he will fly home two days later. He will help me drive through Denmark and Germany to Rotterdam. It will be good to have a bit of company. He's been at tracks in the UK and is really interested in Speedway, so he asked if he could come with me.
"I'm bringing my own van on Sunday and will take it home again in late April. After that I have to arrange another van for myself."
If anyone would like to assist Lasse (or any of the riders) with sponsorship for the coming season, please let us know and we will put you in touch. Lasse's transport alone will be an expensive outlay for him. We are looking forward to seeing how he progresses.