Holding his nerve
Chris Holder is under pressure ahead of the world title shoot-out with Nicki Pedersen, says Kelvin.
Last Updated: 05/10/12 3:52pm
It has been sometime since we have had this type of head-to-head battle going into the last round of the World Championship. Realistically, it is a straight shoot-out between two boys to decide the title in Poland on Saturday.
It is a fabulous track and stadium so it should be a super Speedway meeting with the focus of attention on the two top men, Chris Holder and Nicki Pedersen.
Pedersen trails Holder by two points but I would say Pedersen has the psychological edge. He has more experience, he has been in this position before and the way things have worked out it has fallen nicely for him.
He has closed the gap, he is just two points behind and there is no question he is playing that card. Right now, I would suggest that he has the upper hand.
Holder is a strong individual, no question of that. He would not be in this position if he was not focused on what he needs to do. But the pressure will test him for certain. As much as a rider will deny it is affecting him, he is human after all and he is aware of what is going on.
Everything about the next 24 hours is going to test his mettle. Pedersen will use every trick in the book to try to assert that pressure. These are the challenges you have to cope with to become world champion.
A racer's track
Holder knows the track better than Pedersen because it is his Polish Ekstraliga's home track and he has ridden there for the last four years. That will be to his advantage. He is the fastest rider in the world and therefore, with it being an out and out racer's track, there is no question that is a benefit to him.
The track conditions won't be quite the same as what he encounters in league events but I know that he had a day's testing out there last week. If he is going to win on Saturday night, that is the one thing in his favour.
He could get the upper hand there. But Pedersen's form in the last Grand Prix and his starting ability could exert a lot of pressure early on. It is set up very nicely.
KELVIN'S CALL: I am finding it very difficult to pick between them - it is that close. But I am just leaning towards Pedersen.