Triple world champions Greg Hancock and Nicki Pedersen have been involved in a sensational on-track melee in Motala at a Swedish Elitserien match this evening.
Pedersen took the American’s front wheel away as they charged into the back straight in heat 15 of Piraterna’s 50-40 triumph at home to Dackarna.
Hancock crashed hard down the back straight, but immediately leapt to his feet and sprinted nearly the length of the straight to confront his rival, taking him clean off his bike with a flying shoulder tackle.
The world champion's Piraterna team mate Chris Holder pulled Pedersen back, before fellow riders and mechanics stepped in to separate the riders, with Holder leading a furious Hancock back to the pits.
Pedersen was excluded for causing the unsavoury crash, with Hancock third in the re-run behind Holder and Dackarna’s Michael Jepsen Jensen.
The affable Hancock’s extremely out-of-character reaction to Pedersen’s challenge has set social media alight across the globe with videos of the incident going viral on Twitter and Facebook.
With the pair set to lock horns in the pressure-cooker atmosphere of Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium at the Adrian Flux British FIM Speedway Grand Prix on July 4, all eyes will be on the SGP series’ two most decorated stars to see if there are more fireworks on American Independence Day.
Hancock ended his night with 10 paid 12 points for the Swedish Pirates, with Holder top-scoring on 11 paid 12. FIM Speedway Under-21 world champ Piotr Pawlicki tallied 10.
Polish international Krzysztof Buczkowski led the Dackarna scorechart on 12 paid 14 points, with Pedersen accruing eight. SGP star Michael Jepsen Jensen scored seven paid eight while Aussie champ Jason Doyle notched three.
Elsewhere, World Championship leader Tai Woffinden powered to a 14 paid 15-point maximum for Vetlanda as they laid out Lejonen 57-33.
SGP racer Tomas H Jonasson notched nine paid 11 on his return from a knee injury, while Russian racer Emil Sayfutdinov added nine paid 10 and Polish international Bartosz Zmarzlik and Swedish racer Peter Ljung scored a straight nine points apiece.
SGP stand-in Peter Kildemand, who replaces Jaroslaw Hampel in the Adrian Flux British SGP, scored nine for the Lions.
In the day’s other meeting, Polish star Piotr Protasiewicz stormed to 14 paid 16 points as Indianerna defeated Rospiggarna 50-40 in Kumla.
He was well supported by Artem Laguta on 12 paid 13, while Monster Energy SWC winner Antonio Lindback notched nine and his gold medal-winning team mate Freddie Lindgren added eight paid 11. Danish racer Niels-Kristian Iversen managed just three.
Slovak star Martin Vaculik bagged 13 for the visitors, while Swedish skipper Andreas Jonsson notched nine paid 10.
Watch the video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHtw9xwENlw