Tommy Knudsen

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Tommy Knudsen
Personal information
Nationality  Denmark
Date of birth (1961-11-09) 9 November 1961 (age 53)
Place of birth    Roager, Denmark
Current club information
Career status Retired
Career history
Coventry Bees 1979-1988, 1990-1992
Individual honours
Danish Under-16 Champion
Danish Under-21 Champion
World Under-21 Champion
Nordic Final winner
Pride of the East winner
Danish Gold Bar winner
Midland Riders' Champion
Mr Melbourne winner (AUS)
Lobos Tomicek Memorial winner
Danish Champion
Danish Final winner
1975, 1976
1977
1980
1981, 1985, 1993
1982
1985, 1987, 1994
1986
1987
1988
1997
1997
Team honours
World Team Cup

World Pairs Champion
1981, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988,
1991, 1995, 1997
1985, 1991

Tommy Knudsen (born 9 November 1961 in Roager, Denmark)[1] is a former Motorcycle speedway rider who won 11 World Championships in speedway competitions.

Career[edit]

Knudsen first became known when he won the Danish Under-16 Championship in 1975 and 1976 before becoming the Danish Under-21 Champion in 1977.

He became Speedway World Pairs Champion in 1985 with individual World Champion Erik Gundersen and again in 1991 with Hans Nielsen and Jan O. Pedersen. Tommy was also European (World) Under-21 Champion in 1980.

In his first World Final appearance, Knudsen finished a career best 3rd in 1981 at Wembley Stadium in London after losing a ride-off for 2nd to countryman Ole Olsen. Knudsen had earlier defeated Olsen to win the opening heat of the World Final.

After winning the European U/21 title in 1980 and finishing 3rd in the World Final in 1981, a number of fans and members of the speedway press believed that Knudsen would become Denmark's next World Champion. Unfortunately for Knudsen, Denmark's next champion was Erik Gundersen who won the title in 1984 and 1985. Hans Nielsen would go on to win 4 World Championships while Jan O. Pedersen would win in 1991. Although he rode in a further five World Finals (1985, 1986, 1991, 1992 and 1994), Knudsen would never again finish on the podium in a World Final, his best placing being 4th in 1992.

Knudsen was also a member of the Danish team that won the Speedway World Team Cup in 1981, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1991, 1995 and 1997. At the 1985 Final held in Los Angeles, Knudsen was undefeated on the night, famously holding out US team captain Bobby Schwartz in the penultimate heat to ensure Denmark could not be beaten.

He rode in the UK for the Coventry Bees from 1979 to 1988 and then from 1990 to 1992.[2]

Knudsen also raced in Australia during the 1980s, winning the "Mr Melbourne" title at the Melbourne Showgrounds in January 1987, and a week later finished third behind fellow Dane Hans Nielsen and American Rick Miller in the West End Speedway International at the Wayville Showground in Adelaide.

World final appearances[edit]

Individual World Championship[edit]

World Pairs Championship[edit]

World Team Cup[edit]

Individual Under-21 World Championship[edit]

Speedway Grand Prix results[edit]

Year Position Points Best Finish Notes
1995 10th 67 Winner Won German and Swedish Grand Prix
1996 11th 44 Winner Won Polish Grand Prix

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tanner R. Speedway Star magazine (30 August 1986)
  2. ^ http://www.coventrymotorspeedway.com/halloffame.htm Accessed 4 August 2007
  3. ^ Bamford, R. & Shailes, G. (2002). A History of the World Speedway Championship. Stroud: Tempus Publishing. ISBN 0-7524-2402-5