Mikkel Michelsen has insisted there are 'no friendships' when riders take to the track at the Speedway Grand Prix.
Michelsen is one of three riders from Denmark among the qualified riders this season, but, ahead of the second race of the season in front of 50,000 fans at the national stadium in Warsaw, Poland, said they "we're all rivals."
Asked if there would be any sense of camaraderie or teamwork with his compatriots, the 27-year-old baulked at the idea.
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“Absolutely not!” he responded when asked by Eurosport after qualifying in 12th place. “We’re all rivals here.
“There’s 16 riders in total and we’re all battling to be world champion and cross the finish line first.
“Just because my fellow countrymen are here that doesn’t mean there is any friendship
“When we’re on the track it’s business and when we’re not racing, we can be friends.”
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Michelsen finished third in the opening race of the season pushing fellow Dane Anders Thomsen into fourth, denying him a podium place.
Placing just behind them in fifth on the day after being eliminated in the semi-final was Leon Madsen – another Danish rider.
Following his qualification in second place in Poland, Madsen reiterated the point made by Michelsen.
“This is a world championship we’re racing,” he said.
“Everyone is your rival and I’m here for one thing and that is to be world champion.”
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Speaking exclusively to Eurosport earlier in the week, Robert Lambert admitted it was "tricky" coming up against people he is otherwise friendly and familiar with, but stated that everyone remains professional.
Brit Lambert, who races for Polish team KS Torun in the Ekstraliga, is up against team-mates Patryk Dudek, Pawel Przedpelski and Jack Holder in this year’s SGP.
“One day you can be racing in a team with them, the next day you're racing against them. So, yes, quite familiar, but at the same time, sometimes tricky.
“With the Torun team, we've got three other guys who are in the Grand Prix series and then myself. We were racing in Croatia on the Saturday and then racing in the team on the Sunday, so there can be some rivalry there, but we're all professional about it.
“When we come with our team suits on, we look for each other, play as a team because the team obviously comes first.
“But when you're on your own, the blinkers are on and then you're only going for what you want and not worrying about the other three people around you.”
The 2022 Speedway Grand Prix will be available live and ad-free on discovery+ with live race action also on Eurosport 2.
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