2019 TAURON Speedway European Champion, Mikkel Michelsen, sits in fourth place with 23 points after the first two rounds. He is just 3 points away from leader and fellow Dane, Leon Madsen, but he is taking it all in his stride, “I only had 15 points at this time last year, so there’s nothing to worry about!” he laughs.
Coronavirus has affected everyone, including the speedway world, and the 25 year old Dane is starting to look at things differently, “I spent 7 years living out of a suitcase, so it is kind of nice just to be in one place,” he says with the maturity that has come with his rise to the top of the speedway world.
“I feel really good on the bike right now, I feel at one with it. I think a lot changed for me last year,” he goes on, “I really enjoyed my racing and I am much more sure about my ability now”.
The first two rounds have gone well for the current champion, with 6th in Torun and 2nd place behind Madsen in Bydgoszcz. He knows his compatriot is the man to beat, “Leon’s going really well right now,” he reflects.
There are three more rounds, including a return to Torun, but the reigning champion is not too concerned about where he races, “It is not so much about the track, but the preparation. The TAURON SEC always chooses really good venues, but the preparation at Torun was really slick and is does not suit my racing style at all. Bydgoszcz was much better, because even if you were in last place, you still had a chance to win.”
He goes on, “I’ve had some good finishes at Gniezno and Rybnik but - whatever - I’m the defending champion, I am here to win every race,” he says, oozing confidence from a man who knows he has got what it takes to beat the best.
“I live really close to the track in Rybnik and it’s really cool. It has strange geometry that can really catch people out. And as regards Torun? Well, you cannot just talk about the preparation. I’ve been analysing the videos and a few times I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. So, I know what I can do different next time”.
This is Michelsen’s third TAURON SEC in a row and he has never come less than fourth place. And there is a steely determinism in his voice that tells you he will not let go of the title of European Champion without an epic fight.