SPEEDWAY SACKING: Danish racer Hansen shown the door
Kenneth Hansen has been left out of work and facing a costly repair bill following his sudden Peterborough Panthers sacking last night (May 26).
The Danish racer was dropped by the city club immediately after their 60-30 drubbing at the hands of leaders Edinburgh in the SGB Championship.
Hansen withdrew from the clash against the Monarchs after suffering a hip injury in a heat eight crash, which also left him with extensive mechanical damage.
He had also pulled out of a trip to Glasgow tonight (May 27) before learning of his release.
Hansen said: “I’m really disappointed to have been dropped when Ged (promoter, Rathbone) said he would be loyal to riders this year after the mistakes he made last season.
“He could have told me his plans two weeks ago when the club made a deal to bring a new rider in. It would have saved me a trip to Edinburgh and a smashed bike.
“I’m looking at £2,000-plus to fix that and I’m also very sore from the crash.
“It’s also a shame they couldn’t tell me to my face rather than calling me on the phone after I left the stadium.”
Hansen was a high-profile winter signing by Panthers, but he’s had a tough start to 2017. He missed four meetings while dealing with a health issue, and was then involved in a heavy crash in Sweden last week that led to him sitting out both away defeats last weekend.
But he’s sure to remain a popular figure in these parts after impressing for the club back in a 2009 spell, and again when making a series of productive guest appearances last season.
And he is grateful for the fine backing he’s always received from the Panthers faithful.
Hansen added: “Peterborough is a fantastic club with a great track and I will definitely miss the fans.
“I would like to thank them for always supporting me through good and bad.
“It has been amazing to see the great amount of fans at meetings, home and away, this year.
“I wish them all the best and hope they get the success they deserve.”
Panthers supremo Ged Rathbone admits he feels ‘horrible’ for having to release Hansen, and hopes to remain on good terms with the rider.
He said: “I’m deeply sorry to have to release Kenneth after the health problems he has experienced this season, and the way he crashed out of the meeting last night, but we’re at a point where I have to do what we feel is right for the club.
“I can honestly say Kenneth is one of my favourite riders, but this is purely a business decision and one of the toughest I’ve ever had to make.
“It makes feel horrible to have released a rider when he is carrying an injury. I’m sure I’ll get slated for doing it.
“Kenneth left the track before the end of the meeting and I didn’t have chance to speak to him face-to-face.
“I called him as soon as I knew we were definitely going to make the change and I have to do what I feel is best for Peterborough Speedway.
“I hope that Kenneth will remain a friend of the promotion and I know he will always be a favourite of our fans.”