Speedway

Adams keeps the dream alive

Author: Mark Fattore

Posted:

Australian Leigh Adams peaked at just the right time to win the Scandinavian Speedway GP in Sweden last Saturday night, keeping his dream alive of winning the world championship. After scoring a modest 10pts in his five qualifying heats, Adams jumped out of his skin to win his semi-final and final, the latter ahead of veteran Tomasz Gollob, compatriot Jason Crump and Dane Hans Andersen. It was Adams' fifth GP win, and he joined Nicki Pedersen as this year's only other multiple winner. He said after the stunning victory: "Sweden is obviously pretty kind to me, but we needed it desperately. We had a bad one in Prague (last round) and we needed to pull some points back on Nicki, and we did that tonight so I'm ecstatic. "With my gate choice I just felt you could get locked down on gate one on the inside, but it was so difficult to make the choice because on the outside you could turn back, but it worked well for me. "It's never over until it's over with four rounds to go, and we'll keep battling away." After the late burst, Adams finished as the equal top scorer (19pts) with Gollob at the G&B Arena in Malilla, and trimmed Nicki Pedersen's world championship lead back to 24pts (126 to 102) with four rounds still remaining. The title now appears to be a two-rider battle between Pedersen and Adams, with Andersen (87pts), defending world champion Crump (79) and American Greg Hancock (78) just a little too far behind to remain serious candidates. Pedersen, who scythed through the previous round undefeated, was again on target for another perfect evening, but his frolic came to a halt in the opening semi-final when he finished an aggrieved third behind Crump and Andersen. With Crump controlling the tempo, it was a pulsating battle between the two Danes for the second spot in the final, with Pedersen disgruntled after he was unceremoniously pushed aside by Andersen. Pedersen said: "I thought it was dirty, and the referee had got to look at it. I hit the fence and he also took my clutch right in so my bike started spinning. I could have won it, I was faster than anyone." Minutes later, Adams and Gollob went 1-2 the second semi-final, with Briton Scott Nicholls and Wieslaw Jagus eliminated. Adams then made a clean break in the final and led from the get-go, with Gollob and Crump unable to mount a serious attack. Crump, on the road back to fitness after surgery to mend a broken knee cap, was still delighted with his third place. "It's the start of what will hopefully be a decent run-in to the end of the year for me, so it's not a bad effort. But I think I need some tips on my gating," said Crump. "I've got a proud record of medals in previous years, and I'd like to keep that going if possible. It was a hectic night on a slick track and it took us a while to get the bike working." The championship now moves to Latvia for the first time on August 25. MALILLA RESULTS
1= Leigh Adams, Australia - 19 (1st in final)
1= Tomasz Gollob, Poland v19 (2nd in final)
3 Nicki Pedersen, Denmark - 16
4 Jason Crump, Australia - 15 (3rd in final)
5= Hans Andersen, Denmark - 12 (4th in final)
5= Wieslaw Jagus, Poland - 12
7 Scott Nicholls, Great Britain - 8
8= Fred Lindgren, Sweden - 7
8= Bjarne Pedersen, Denmark - 7
10 Chris Harris, Great Britain - 6

OVERALL STANDINGS (after round seven of 11):
1 Nicki Pedersen - 126
2 Adams - 102
3 Andersen - 87
4 Crump - 79
5 Greg Hancock, America - 78
6 Harris - 67
7 Gollob - - 56
8= Nicholls - 50
8= Jarek Hampel, Poland - 50
10 Rune Holta, Poland - 48

Next round: Daugavpils, Latvia, August 25

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