TROY Batchelor has admitted he went into Saturday’s GP at Vojens almost void of optimism, but was both surprised and delighted to emerge inside the world’s top eight.
Having really struggled on his only previous visit to the Danish track, the Nordic GP was the round which caused the Aussie the biggest headache when looking at the Grand Prix calendar, which was only increased following a crash in Friday practice.
A last place in his opening ride did little to encourage the Robins skipper, but he responded superbly with three heat wins and a second place to book his spot in the semis.
Batchelor was then involved in a crash with Nicki Pedersen which could have seen him excluded but, after the Dane was eventually chucked out, the Aussie made the final.
He may have finished last in the final, missing out on the rostrum, but the 13 points he claimed were a pleasant surprise which rocketed him into the vital top eight with just two rounds remaining.
“It was a really good night overall and if you had told me that would have been the result before the meeting I would have been pumped with it, so there are loads of positives to take,” he told Link Sport.
“I’m up into the top eight now which is massive for me, it’s in my hands with two more to go at an indoor track and then Torun, so it’s getting there.
“In honesty Vojens was probably the one I was worried about most for the whole year, I’ve only ever been there once and didn’t do any good at all, it’s a tricky place to ride.
“I crashed in practice and then in my first ride I ran a last, but I managed to come back with three wins and a second and I have to be happy with that.”
Batchelor is now a point ahead of Freddie Lindgren in ninth and one behind Chris Holder in seventh, with Niels-Kristian Iversen still set to slide down the standings after his season-ending knee injury.
The 27-year-old knows Iversen’s injury and Darcy Ward’s ban have proved to be a stroke of luck for him, but it’s one he’s determined to take advantage of.
“A few doors have opened for me thanks to the Darcy and Iversen things, I have to take advantage of that now because if it had happened the other way around that’s what anyone else would do,” he said.
“There are spots up for grabs and if I can make the top eight this year, then next year I will be aiming even higher. To make the top eight in your first year is a massive thing because it’s so tough.
“It would be like winning for me.”