Greg Hancock

Last updated
Greg Hancock
Greg hancock.jpg
Born (1970-06-03) June 3, 1970 (age 50)
Whittier, California, USA
Nickname Herbie
Nationality USA
Website www.greghancock.com
Current club information
Polish league Rzeszow
Swedish league Dackarna
Career history
1989–1996 Cradley Heathens
1992–1994 Getingarna (SWE)
1992–1994 Leszno (POL)
1995–2009 Rospiggarna (SWE)
1996–1997 Gniezno (POL)
1997–2001 Coventry Bees
1998–2004 Wroclaw (POL)
2003–2005 Oxford Cheetahs
2005 Gdańsk (POL)
2006–2007 Reading Bulldogs
2006–2009 Częstochowa (POL)
2010–2017 Piraterna (SWE)
2010–2011 Zielona Góra (POL)
2012,2014 Tarnów (POL)
2013 Bydgoszcz (POL)
2013 Poole Pirates
2018-2019 Dackarna (SWE)
2020-2021 [1] ROW Rybnik (POL)
Speedway Grand Prix statistics
SGP Number45
Starts218
Podiums67 (21-30-16)
Finalist92 time
Winner21 times
Individual honours
1997, 2011, 2014, 2016 World Champion
1995, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2004,
2005, 2006, 2009
USA National Champion
1995, 2004, 2011, 2014 British Grand Prix Champion
1997, 2011 Czech Grand Prix Champion
1997, 2008 Polish Grand Prix Champion
2000 Danish Grand Prix Champion
2002, 2015 Australian Grand Prix Champion
2003 Norwegian Grand Prix Champion
2006, 2009, 2013 Latvian Grand Prix Champion
2010 Croatian Grand Prix Champion
2011 Gorzow Grand Prix Champion
2011 Nordic Grand Prix Champion
2012 New Zealand Grand Prix Champion
2015 Slovenian Grand Prix Champion
1997 Elite League Riders Champion
1991, 1992 Scottish Open Champion
Team honours
1992 World Pairs Champion
1992, 1993, 1998 World Team Cup Winner
1995, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2011, 2013 Swedish Elitserien Champion
2013 Elite League Champion
1989 British League KO Cup Winner
1997, 2000, 2005 Craven Shield Winner
1995 Premier League Fours Winner
2000, 2009, 2010Czech League Champion
1995Danish League Champion
1998Polish Div Two Champion

Gregory Alan Hancock (born June 3, 1970) [2] is an American former professional motorcycle speedway rider.

Contents

He is a former four-time Speedway World Champion and a multiple World Team champion with USA, with whom he is currently captain. Hancock has appeared in all but one of the Grand Prix series, since its creation in 1995, missing the 2019 series to care for his wife during her battle with breast cancer and he has been included on the provisional entry list for every Grand Prix series until 2020. [3]

He rode for the Swedish team Rospiggarna for 15 years, He rode for Piraterna from Motala, Sweden between 2010-2017, before joining Dackarna from Målilla, Sweden in 2018.

After a one year hiatus due to his wife suffering from breast cancer Hancock signed for Clubs in Poland and Sweden and was given a 'permanent wild card' into the 2020 Grand Prix Series but after talking about his return with Hancock his son Wilbur said it would be difficult for Greg to return to speedway at the level he was racing when he took his break. As a result Hancock decided to retire in early 2020. In a statement on February 14 he told the world that "As difficult as it is to make a decision like this, it is the right one.". [4]

Early career

Born in Whittier, California, USA, Hancock first came to the United Kingdom at the end of the 1988 speedway season to ride exhibition races with fellow 18-year-old Californian Billy Hamill. It was during this time that Hancock agreed a deal to ride for Cradley Heath the following year – the same team that his mentor Bruce Penhall used to ride for. Hancock was an instant success for Cradley in the British League. He also won gold medals for the US in the 1992 World Pairs and World Team Cup. However, due to injury and problems with the American Motorcyclist Association, Hancock was not able to contest in the Individual World Championship until 1993. That year he went through to the World Final in Germany where he finished last place. In 1994, Hancock again qualified for the last 'one off' World Final. He went into his last race needing a victory to become world champion but he finished third in the race and fourth overall on the night.

Grand Prix years

In 1995 Hancock finished in 4th place in the first year of the Grand Prix (GP). He won the final round, the British GP at the Hackney Wick Stadium. The following year he joined with fellow American and Cradley teammate Billy Hamill to form Team Exide. With this new found sponsorship, the two young Californian's began to dominate world speedway. In 1996 Hamill won the world title and Hancock finished with the bronze medal in third place. In 1997 Hancock moved from Cradley Heath (due to the club's closure) to the Coventry Bees. He won the first GP of the year in Prague and continued the season in the same form. He won the world title (with Hamill finishing second for a Team Exide one two) and won the Elite League Riders' Championship.

In 1998 to Grand Prix format changed to a more cut throat elimination system. Hancock did not fare so well and finished the year in sixth place but won the World Team Cup with Hamill and Sam Ermolenko. The next year was even worse for Hancock and he finished in 11th place in the Grand Prix. 2000 saw Hancock win his first Grand Prix since his title winning season and he finished in fifth place and in 2001 he finished in 13th place. In 2002 Hancock won the last Grand Prix round in Australia and finished 6th overall. He went one better in 2003 finishing in 5th place after again winning the final round, this time in Haamar, Norway. The following season Hancock was back amongst the medals, finishing the season in third place. That year he won the British GP at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. In 2005 Hancock slipped back to fifth in the world unable to win a GP. A 36-year-old Hancock finished the Grand Prix series in second place in 2006 and remained unbeaten in that year's World Cup but the USA did not qualify for the final as the rest of the team struggled. In 2007 Hancock finished in sixth place. Although he failed to win a GP, he finished in second place on three occasions. In 2008 Hancock finished fourth overall in the Grand Prix series. He was on the podium four times, winning the Polish Grand Prix in Bydgoszcz.

Hancock finished the 2009 Speedway Grand Prix season in fourth position and achieved two podium places as runner up at the Danish Grand Prix and winner of the Latvian Grand Prix. He became the USA Speedway National Champion for the eighth time in 2009 and was subsequently named as the Racing Athlete of the Year by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA). [5] [6]

Greg finished 1st place in the 2011 Czech, British and Nordic Grand Prix. He secured the 2011 World Championship during the Croatian Grand Prix on 24 September, reclaiming the title after a record 14 years at the age of 41 years and 113 days. Hancock clinched the 2014 World Championship during the Polish Grand Prix on October 11, 2014 and broke his own record of oldest title winner at 44 years and 130 days.

After having competed in every Speedway Grand Prix event since its inception in 1995, Greg Hancock missed his first SGP round in 2014 when he was forced to sit out the Nordic Grand Prix at Vojens with injury after his crash with Niels Kristian Iversen Polish GP two weeks earlier.

Hancock had a slow start to the 2015 Speedway Grand Prix season in defense of his title, only scoring 14 points in the first two rounds and not gaining a podium finish until his second place in Poland II at the Edward Jancarz Stadium in Gorzów for Round 8. He then won the Slovenian GP in Krško in Round 9, finished second in Round 10 in the Scandinavian GP in Sweden, before finishing off the year in style by scoring an unbeaten 21 point maximum in the Grand Prix of Australia at the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne to secure second place in the championship, 16 points behind England's Tai Woffinden and 14 points clear of third placed Nicki Pedersen. [7]

He regained his speedway world title in 2016 as he consistently piled up the points, including victory in the Swedish Speedway Grand Prix in Malilla in July. He wrapped up the championship after his first ride in the final Grand Prix of the season in Melbourne, Australia.

Despite only competing in six events in 2017, he finished in fourteenth place with 45 points.

As at the start of the 2019 speedway season, Hancock remains the only rider in the sport to be competing at the top level from the 1980s and in four decades, an unparalleled achievement in speedway's 91-year history.

Personal

Hancock lives in Costa Mesa, California. During the European speedway season he is based in Hallstavik, Sweden with his wife Jennie and three sons Wilbur, Bill, and Karl.[ citation needed ] On 14.02.2020 Hancock has announced his retirement from Speedway.

World final appearances

Individual World Championship

World Pairs Championship

World Team Cup

World Cup

Speedway Grand Prix results

YearPositionPointsBest FinishNotes
1995 4th82WinnerWon British Grand Prix
1996 3rd883rdThird in Danish Grand Prix
1997 1st118WinnerWon Czech Republic and Polish Grand Prix
1998 6th694th
1999 9th622ndSecond in Czech Republic Grand Prix
2000 5th76WinnerWon Danish Grand Prix
2001 13th438th
2002 6th122WinnerWon Australian Grand Prix
2003 5th121WinnerWon Norwegian Grand Prix
2004 3rd137WinnerWon British Grand Prix
2005 5th1002ndSecond in Danish Grand Prix
2006 2nd144WinnerWon Latvian Grand Prix
2007 6th1062ndSecond in Italian, British and German Grand Prix
2008 4th144WinnerWon Polish Grand Prix
2009 4th121WinnerWon Latvian Grand Prix
2010 5th107WinnerWon Croatian Grand Prix
2011 1st165WinnerWon Czech Republic, British, Nordic and Poland II Grand Prix
2012 3rd148WinnerWon New Zealand Grand Prix
2013 4th129WinnerWon Latvian Grand Prix
2014 1st140WinnerWon British Grand Prix
2015 2nd147WinnerWon Slovenian and Australian Grand Prix
2016 1st139WinnerWon Swedish Grand Prix
2017 14th452ndSecond in Czech Grand Prix/Missed six rounds due to injury
2018 5th1023rdThird in Danish and Slovenian Grand Prix

[9]

See also

Related Research Articles

Tony Rickardsson

Tony Rickardsson svenska is a Swedish former professional motorcycle speedway rider. He competed in the Speedway World Championships from 1989 to 2006. Rickardsson is notable for winning six Speedway World Championship titles in 15 attempts. He most recently rode for Masarna from Avesta in the Swedish Elitserien league, Unia Tarnów in the Polish Ekstraliga and for the Ipswich Witches, Poole Pirates, King's Lynn Stars, Arena-Essex Hammers and Oxford Cheetahs in the British Elite League. In 2011, Rickardsson was named an FIM Legend for his motorcycling achievements.

Jason Crump Australian speedway rider

Jason Philip Crump is an Australian international motorcycle speedway rider. He is a three-time Speedway World Champion, a World Cup winner and a former World Under-21 Champion.

Billy Hamill American speedway rider

William Gordon Hamill is an American international motorcycle speedway rider. He is a former Speedway World Champion, winning the title in 1996.

Leigh Adams Australian motorcycle speedway rider (born 1971)

Leigh Scott Adams is a retired Australian motorcycle speedway rider. He is a multiple Speedway Grand Prix winner and World Team Champion. He also won a record 10 Australian Solo Championships, four Australian Under-21 Championships, the 1992 Individual Speedway Junior World Championship, and was the 1986 Australian Under-16 Champion.

Mark Loram

Mark Roysten Gregory Loram is a former British motorcycle speedway rider who won the World Speedway Championship in 2000 and won the British Championship in 1997, 1999, and 2001.

Craig Boyce

Craig Boyce was a motorcycle speedway rider who primarily rode for the Poole Pirates in the British Elite League. After retiring from riding, Boyce became manager of the Australian national team until 2012.

Ole Olsen (speedway rider) Danish speedway rider

Ole Olsen is a Danish former professional motorcycle speedway rider.

Chris Holder Australian speedway rider (born 1987)

Christopher Robert Holder is an Australian speedway rider currently riding for Lejonen in the Swedish Elitserien and for Unibax Toruń in the Polish Speedway Ekstraliga. He became the Australian Individual Speedway Champion in 2008 and followed up with wins in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014 as well as winning the Australian Under-21 Championship in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. He finished as runner-up in the Under-21 World Championship in 2007 and 2008. He is 2012 World Speedway Champion. His brother, James, also rode in the UK with the Plymouth Devils in the Premier League and younger brother Jack Holder also rides for the Somerset Rebels in the SGB Premiership.

Chris Louis

Christopher Louis is an English international speedway motorcycle rider who rode for the Ipswich Witches and Hackney Kestrels. He is the son of former Great Britain International John Louis.

Sam Ermolenko American speedway rider

Guy Allen 'Sudden Sam' Ermolenko is a former speedway rider. In 1993 he won the Speedway World Championship in Pocking, Germany. He is the older brother of Charles 'Dukie' Ermolenko who also rode in the UK.

Kelly Moran was an American professional speedway rider who rode for a number of British clubs and also represented USA. Kelly's younger brother Shawn Moran was also a successful speedway rider who won the European (World) Under-21 World Championship in 1981 and the Long Track World Championship in 1983.

Shawn Moran American speedway rider

Shawn Moran is an American former professional motorcycle speedway rider who was one of the most popular and talented riders ever to race for Sheffield Tigers who also represented the United States in international speedway competitions.

Jan Osvald Pedersen is a former Speedway rider who became Speedway World Champion in 1991 after finishing runner-up in 1986 and in third place in 1988 behind fellow Danes Erik Gundersen and Hans Nielsen. He also won the Speedway World Pairs Championship in 1990 and 1991, both times partnered by Hans Nielsen.

Richard Leonard (Rick) Miller is a former American international motorcycle speedway rider, and an automotive and motorcycle stuntman. Miller won two national BMX titles as a Webco-sponsored rider in his early teens. Miller then rode motocross in the southern California area before switching to Speedway.

Henrik Anders (Henka) Gustafsson is an international Motorcycle speedway rider who won the 1993 World Pairs Championship with Tony Rickardsson and the Speedway World Team Cup with Sweden in 1994 and 2000. Early in his career Gustafsson was known as much for his long, curly blonde hair as he was his riding, though his riding soon outshone his locks.

Peter Nahlin is a former Motorcycle speedway rider who became the 1988 World Under-21 Champion.

Jason Doyle Australian motorcycle racer

Jason Kevin Doyle is an Australian motorcycle speedway rider. He became World Champion in 2017. He won the 2015 Australian Solo Championship. He has also won the South Australian Championship in 2014, and the Elite League Riders' Championship and the Master of Speedway meeting in Germany in 2015.

Brandon Stadium

Brandon Stadium also known as Coventry Stadium, is located 6 miles east of Coventry in Brandon, Warwickshire, England. It was the home of the Coventry Bees motorcycle speedway team. It also hosted BriSCA F1 Stock Car Racing on the 1st Saturday of the month from April through to November. From 1978 until early 2016 it intermittently hosted greyhound racing. As 2020, it is closed and dilapidated after several fires.

The 2014 Speedway Grand Prix season was the 20th season of the Speedway Grand Prix era, and decided the 69th FIM Speedway World Championship. It was the fourteenth series under the promotion of Benfield Sports International, an IMG company. Tai Woffinden was the defending champion from 2013.

The Vojens Speedway Center is a Motorcycle speedway track located in Vojens, Denmark. The track has been part-owned since its opening by Denmark's first three time Speedway World Champion Ole Olsen.

References

  1. Sign contract 15.11.2019, but retired before start of the season on 15.02.2020
  2. Oakes, P.(2005). British Speedway Who's Who. ISBN   0-948882-30-1
  3. "Greg Hancock". Speedway Grand Prix. 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-11-01. Retrieved 2009-10-18.
  4. "FOUR-TIME WORLD CHAMPION HANCOCK ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT". Speedway Grand Prix. 2020. Retrieved 2020-02-14.
  5. "Herbie Honoured". BSI Speedway. 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-06.[ permanent dead link ]
  6. "Speedway Champion Greg Hancock wins AMA Athlete of the Year award". American Motorcyclist Association. 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-06.
  7. 2015 Speedway Grand Prix of Australia - Final
  8. Bamford, R. & Shailes, G. (2002). A History of the World Speedway Championship. Stroud: Tempus Publishing. ISBN   0-7524-2402-5
  9. speedwaygp.com
2011 Speedway Grand Prix riders
1 Flag of Poland.svg Gollob 2 Flag of Poland.svg Hampel 3 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Crump 4 Flag of Poland.svg Holta 5 Flag of the United States.svg Hancock
6 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Harris 7 Flag of Denmark.svg Bjerre 8 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Holder 9 Flag of Sweden.svg Jonsson 10 Flag of Denmark.svg Pedersen
11 Flag of Sweden.svg Lindgren 12 Flag of Russia.svg Sayfutdinov 13 Flag of Russia.svg Laguta 14 Flag of Sweden.svg Lindbäck 15 Flag of Poland.svg Kołodziej