All-time speedway great Bjarne Pedersen wants to bow out in style by piling up the points for Peterborough Panthers

Bjarne Pedersen insists he wants to bow out in style this season – by piling up the points for Peterborough Panthers.

By Nigel Pearson
Thursday, 20th May 2021, 6:00 am
Bjarne Pedersen.  Photo: David Lowndes.
Bjarne Pedersen. Photo: David Lowndes.

Danish racer Pedersen is retiring in October after a glittering career which included a successful spell at Grand Prix level.

He makes his Panthers debut tonight (Thursday) at Sheffield with his side looking to prove the pundits wrong.

“I’m not here just for a farewell tour,” Pedersen, the current Panthers number one, said. “I want to score lots of points for Peterborough and that’s what I’ll be aiming to do.

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Panthers number one Bjarne Pedersen flying around the Showground on Press and Practice Day. Photo: David Lowndes.

“I’ve prepared well, and I have good machinery, and I’ve planned out all my travel arangements and the testing that needs to be done with that. It seemed like test after test after test when I came over from Denmark last week!

“I’m looking forward to going racing with Peterborough.

“Sheffield are a great side so they will be tough tonight for sure, but we’ll give it everything we’ve got.”

Former Poole rider Pedersen, who is regarded as one of that club’s all-time greats, is delighted to be racing in the UK again after a four-year absence.

“It’s good to be back in England,” Pedersen added. “I’m also pleased to be here at Peterborough. I’ve always enjoyed this track. It was good doing some laps and good to catch up with my teammates (on press and practice day last Friday). I know them all anyway apart from young Jordan (Palin).

“We’ve got a lot of experience and that can help us. We know all the tracks and I know everyone seems to be talking about our age, but we’re a good team.

“Peterborough have made me very welcome. I’m delighted to be here and I know it’s a well run club with Keith Chapman as the owner.

“The Peterborough fans are always passionate about their club so I’m looking forward to meeting them when we get going.”

As for clashes with Sheffield to start the season – Tigers visit the Showground for the opening Premiership home meeting on Monday (May 24, 7.30pm) – Pedersen admits they will be tough.

“They’ve got a good team with Jack Holder and Troy Batchelor at the top end,” Pedersen said. “We will respect them of course and we know what a tough test it will be for us, but we’ll go there to give it our very best.

“I’m as prepared as I can be. I think I’ve done everything right and to be honest I just want to go racing now. I feel like a youngster again. I just want to race my bike.

“It’s exciting to have Peterborough as a home track too. I’m really looking forward to that.”

Pedersen turned 42 in July and is the oldest member of an experienced Panthers’ team dubbed ‘Dad’s Army’ by many.

He’s a former Danish champion and winner of the European Grand Prix. He has also won the Elite League Riders Championship. Pedersen has twice helped Denmark to World Cup titles and won the Elite League, KO Cup and Craven Shield with Poole during a sparkling career in Dorset.

Pedersen will also ride for the Plymouth Gladiators in the Championship.