5:30am Wednesday 4th June 2014
By Andy Warren
TROY Batchelor remains focused on securing a top eight spot in the Grand Prix series but now has the fall back of a place in the qualifying rounds.
After a knee injury ruined the Australian’s chances of claiming one of his country’s spots from his national championship in January, it looked as though Batchelor was going miss out on a chance to again progress through the qualifying series which he successfully negotiated to earn his GP slot last season.
However, after a number of riders turned down the chance to enter the qualifying rounds the opportunity has now fallen to Batchelor and, while he still has designs on the top eight, the Robins skipper is pleased to have a back-up plan if he is unable to secure an automatic return to the series for 2015.
“It took a while because I was a long way down the list after my knee injury, but there was still a spot left which is cool.” he said.
“It’s good for me because if that top eight doesn’t come then I still have another chance to make it in.
“Anything can happen in the World Championship because it’s so open. When do you see Hampel score only three in a GP?
“I will put in 100 per cent in every GP and see what comes from it.”
The Robins skipper’s most recent GP outing came in Prague at the weekend where he only managed three points, thanks mainly to an exclusion in his second ride, but the Aussie is trying to remain positive.
“It was a tough day and I’m still dusting myself off from it now,” he said. “That exclusion was pretty tough and there’s not an awful lot to say on it.
“The ref hasn’t changed his opinion on it, which they never do, so there’s no use arguing about it.
“I had two gate fours as well and the gate stats showed one win off there out of 23 so that made it hard. I couldn’t do much about it because, although the track was prepared well, it was too much of follow the leader without many passes.
“You see more passes in one race at Swindon than you did in this Grand Prix which was a shame.
“It’s onto the next one now and I’m looking forward to Malilla.”
Batchelor will be joined by Robins teammate Peter Kildemand in Copenhagen on June 28 after the Dane was handed the meeting wild card on Monday, with the Swindon skipper pleased for his friend.
“There’s a few good Danish riders but I think Pete has showed and is showing that he is one of the top ones.
“Me and him being against each other for once will be fun because we are usually on the same team, but I’m really happy for him and it’s a big opportunity.
“I think he will be in the mix.”
The first round of Grand Prix qualifiers take place this coming weekend in Berwick, Ljubliana in Slovenia and Abensberg in Germany.
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