28 June 2022
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New signing Jonas Knudsen had his first taste of the unique Berwick speedway experience over the weekend – and says he can’t wait to go racing.
The 20-year-old, who put pen to paper last week for the Fire Training Service Bandits, powered by Keenwood Karpets, was in town at the weekend checking out his new surroundings and took the opportunity to put in some impressive laps around Shielfield Park following the Bullets’ National Development League victory over Mildenhall.
Earlier in the day he had been at the GHT Training Academy at Duns putting his machinery through its paces and again looking stylish, accomplished – and fast. As you would expect from the 2017 250CC World Champion and 2022 SGP2 competitor.
“It was a case of trying out different set-ups and looking at the various lines around the track,” Jonas explained. “It all felt good and I was watching the Bullets match too and paying attention to how they worked the track.
“Obviously, Kyle (Bickley) seemed to have it all worked out while the number four (Greg Blair) was interesting and looking good.”
A product of the Skaerbaek Motor Club in his native Southern Jutland, whose most famous graduate was former Coventry star Tommy Knudsen (no relation) – known in Denmark as “the talent factory” – Jonas beat Pole Karol Zupinski and Swede Phillip Hellstrom-Bang to win the 2017 World Final in Prague.
The following year he travelled to Britain and had some trial laps trial at Birmingham but decided to concentrate on domestic racing at Esbjerg and in Poland.
After two years he switched to the newly-formed Sonderjylland Elite Speedway club based at Vojens and run by Ole Olsen’s son, Jacob and in their first season SES finished second in the Metal League and won the cup competition.
Brother Jesper, three years his junior, completed a unique family double by lifting the 2020 World title and the pair are team-mates at SES and at Unia Leszno in Poland while cousin Mads Hansen completes an impressive family racing pedigree.
“I’ve always wanted to race in England and, largely by knowing the Flint family through racing against Leon around Europe the opportunity to join Berwick arose a few days ago and I jumped at the chance.
“The tracks will all be new to me but the whole point is to challenge myself and do the best for Berwick in the process.
“I’ve met the owners and management and some of my new team-mates and been made to feel welcome and fully supported.
“I’ve already met a lot of supporters and they seem very enthusiastic. I’m looking forward to getting back on track this Saturday.”
After his long weekend in the Borders Jonas, who showed an unlikely affinity for Newcastle Brown Ale while mingling with his new-found fan club in the Black and Gold, returned to Denmark on Sunday.
Having qualified for SGP2 and made a steady start in the history-making opening round in Prague, Jonas is now looking to the second round in Cardiff the day after the British Grand Prix in August.
He was named in the Unia side to face Grudzadz on Tuesday afternoon, returning in England in time to prepare for the visit of Scunthorpe to Shielfield on Saturday alongside Berwick’s other debutant, Nathan Stoneman, being livestreamed around the world via the British Speedway Network.