CHRIS HOLDER ARRIVES IN MELBOURNE “HAPPIER THAN I HAVE EVER BEEN” AS HE BIDS TO END A TOUGH 2017 WITH QBE INSURANCE AUSTRALIAN SGP GLORY.
The Sydneysider heads to the nation’s sporting capital 10th in the standings on 82 points – 15 short of Matej Zagar, who occupies the eighth and final automatic qualifying spot for next year.
Barring a disastrous night from the Slovenian, Holder must rely on a wild card from the SGP Commission to book his place in the 2018 series.
I’M HAPPIER THAN I HAVE EVER BEEN NOW AND I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO HAVING A GOOD ONE HERE TODAY AND THEN HAVING A GOOD OFF-SEASON AND COMING BACK AND GETTING IN AMONGST IT.
But he’s already looking forward to starting with a clean slate after being dogged by years of personal problems and injuries since he stormed to FIM Speedway World Championship gold in 2012.
He said: “I have had so much going on for the last four years. If it’s not injuries, it’s off-track stuff that has affected me.
“I’m the type of person who if I’m not happy, I don’t ride well. It’s hard for me to get motivated and interested. But when I’m happy, that’s probably when I am at my best. I enjoy it and things work.
“I haven’t been a really happy person for the last four years, but hopefully everything is changing now and things are sorting themselves out. I’m looking forward to getting over this year and coming back next year with no problems.
“It has just seemed to be one thing after another. I’d get over an injury and then something would happen in my personal life that would screw me over. Darcy’s crash was a massive blow obviously.
“I felt last year was one of the best I’d had for a while and that fell apart with more personal problems. It’s the way it goes, and this year was probably written off before I even started. I tried to race through it, but it’s not that easy.
“I’m happier than I have ever been now and I am looking forward to having a good one here today and then having a good off-season and coming back and getting in amongst it.”
Realistically, Holder requires a near perfect score, with catastrophic performances from Zagar in eighth and Martin Vaculik in ninth to have any chance of reaching the top eight.
But whatever happens Holder is keen to give his friends, family and Aussie fans, who rarely get the chance to see him live, a great night.
He said: “It’s my home Grand Prix and I had a great one last year. I’ll just come here, hopefully have a great night and enjoy it, and I don’t have the pressure on me at all I don’t think. If it works out, it works out. But with a bit of luck, Doyley will be the champ.
“It has been a pretty rough year. I have been up and down and it hasn’t gone anywhere near as well as I hoped it would. But obviously, being back here, it would be great to have a great night in front of everybody and finish on a good note.
“You always want to do well in front of your family and friends. They don’t get to see you race a lot. When they’re here, their support is great and you want to give them something to cheer about.
“Last year was awesome – we still talk about it. It was so cool to get the win here and it was something I’ll never forget. Hopefully I can do it again, but if not, just have a good night and finish on a good note – that’s the main aim.”