Aussie international Chris Holder admits he is perplexed to see rival Matej Zagar flying on Peter Johns-tuned motors after his season of FIM Speedway Grand Prix struggles.
Holder has used the Brit’s engines for much of his career, but is currently riding Flemming Graversen motors after a nightmare first half of the season, which has left him fighting for his SGP future going into the NICE Torun SGP on Saturday.
The 30-year-old, currently 10th in the World Championship on 75 points, is chasing a spot in the top eight, which would guarantee him a place in the 2018 World Championship.
I HAVE ONE ENGINE THAT SEEMS TO BE OKAY. I MADE THE FINAL IN TETEROW AND I PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN THE FINAL IN STOCKHOLM. I’M BANKING ON THAT ENGINE TO DO SOMETHING FOR ME IN TORUN.
But eighth spot is currently occupied by Zagar – a Slovenian in the form of his life, with back-to-back SGP wins in Teterow and Stockholm to his name.
Zagar switched to Johns’ engines mid-season, as the likes of Holder, Greg Hancock and Tai Woffinden opted for alternative motors, and it was a move that has paid off handsomely for the Ljubljana ace.
While Holder has hit much better form of late, he’s stunned to see Zagar performing so well on PJR motors after his own issues.
He said: “I don’t know what’s happening with Matej. But it’s working for him. Not everything works for every rider.
“Obviously they have something that’s working well and he’s riding well too. It’s frustrating when I have about six Johnsy engines at home and none of them go that well!
“It has been a tough season with not a lot of speed and me just trying everything to get a bike to work. Everything we knew didn’t seem to work.
“I have one engine that seems to be okay. I made the final in Teterow and I probably should have been in the final in Stockholm. I’m banking on that engine to do something for me in Torun.”
Despite his stars’ search for speed this season, Johns’ engines have powered riders to five straight SGP world titles since 2012. So Holder wouldn’t rule out racing PJR engines in the coming years.
He said: “Everything is still sweet there (with Johns). It’s just I have something that’s working at the moment, so I’m going to use that until the end of the season, and then think about what to do next year. Hopefully we can sort something out and get back to where I have been for the last 10 years.”
Holder admits he is still getting to grips with the Graversen motor as he learns to get the best out of it.
“It’s tricky,” he said. “Pretty much my whole career I have ridden Johnsy’s stuff and we know that inside out. This thing has taken us a little while to work out – what changes to make to get it going. But the more I ride it, the better it is.
“I’ve used it on two pretty rubbish tracks – the wet one in Teterow and Stockholm. So I wouldn’t mind getting on a normal, nice track to see what it can do.”