Speedway

Adams shapes up for the ride of his life

Author: Mark Fattore

Posted:

Leigh Adams has branded this Saturday's Scandinavian Speedway GP in Sweden as one of the most important of his career. The Australian knows that he must snap out of his indifferent form to remain in touch with tearaway Dane Nicki Pedersen, who increased his world title lead to 27 points at the last round in Prague. "I feel as if my whole career has come to a head and this weekend may be the most important meeting of my life," said Adams. "Many people were disappointed with my performance in the Czech GP, but their disappointment was nowhere near as strong as my own. I was disgusted, but the track just did not allow for passing." Adams was eliminated in the semi-finals at Prague, while Pedersen romped to his third win of the year and is now holding all the aces in the championship battle. Pedersen is on 110 points with five rounds remaining, ahead of Adams (83), Hans Andersen (75), Greg Hancock (73) and reigning world champion Jason Crump (64). The final GP of the year in Germany, which will be the 100th since 1995, will carry a $100,000 prize purse for the winner. The Scandinavian GP has been held at the G&B Arena in Malilla since 2005, with Crump victorious in the first year before local rider Andreas Jonsson prevailed in 2006. Jonsson will miss round seven with a shoulder injury, while Crump will compete less than two weeks after having surgery on a broken left knee cap in London. Crump has since made a stunning recovery, and returned to riding for Poole in a British league match on August 6, winning two of his five heats on his 32nd birthday. "I was a bit worried that this operation might have seen me sitting out the rest of the season," said Crump. "Fortunately, they were able to repair the damage and remove the floating bone fragments with the keyhole surgery, and a more complicated operation wasn't required." Although told to convalesce at home for a while, Crump followed that well worn motorcycle racer's path: ignoring medical advice. "The doctors told me to take it easy for a while. But how does a racer take it easy?" asked Crump. "I know I have a tough job ahead of me for the rest of the season but don't expect me to lie down, I will be fighting until the end." Although clearly restricted in his movements, Crump competed at Prague in a desperate attempt to keep his world title hopes alive, but he's now conceded that was a mistake - despite finishing in a fighting fifth position. As well as Jonsson, young gun Jarek Hampel, who was second behind Pedersen in Prague, is out of the Scandinavian GP with a broken arm, which is likely to keep him out for the remainder of the championship. All the action from Malilla can be followed live at www.speedwayworld.tv. OVERALL STANDINGS (after round six of 11):
1 Nicki Pedersen, Denmark - 110
2 Leigh Adams, Australia - 83
3 Hans Andersen, Denmark - 75
4 Greg Hancock, America - 73
5 Jason Crump, Australia - 64
6 Chris Harris, Great Britain - 61
7 Jarek Hampel, Poland - 50
8 Andreas Jonsson, Sweden - 45
9 Rune Holta, Poland - 43
10 Scott Nicholls, Great Britain - 42

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