Speedway

Gollob blitzes as Adams loses ground on Pedersen

Author: Mark Fattore

Posted:

Veteran Tomasz Gollob has again displayed a rich vein of form in front of his home crowd, powering to victory in the Polish speedway GP for the fifth time in six years, but the news wasn't so good for world title aspirant Leigh Adams. After lumbering to just 8pts in the heats, the Australian was then eliminated in the opening semi final at the Polonia Stadium in Bydgoszcz. Meanwhile, Adams' rival for the world title, Nicki Pedersen, easily progressed to the final, where he finished third behind Gollob and another Polish rider, wildcard Krzysztof Kasprzak. Sweden's Andreas Jonsson, who rides for Bydgoszcz in the Polish league, was fourth. After such contrasting performances between the two world title contenders, Pedersen was able to extend his lead out to a commanding 31pts (164 to 133) with just two rounds remaining in Slovenia and Germany. And with the 30-year-old Pedersen continuing to rack up points in such a clinical fashion, it's hard to see how Adams will find enough to rein in the formidable Dane - let alone overtake him. As is stands, even if Adams collects a maximum 48pts in the final two rounds, then Pedersen would require just 18pts to collect his second world title. On that basis, Pedersen is all set for an early crowning in Slovenia on September 22 - which would enable him to concentrate on winning the final race of the year in Germany, which is worth a staggering $100,000 to the winner. "I am still not taking anything for granted," said Pedersen. "Anything can happen in speedway, but it was a good result." After completing the heats with two wins and three seconds, Gollob then stepped up to the plate when it really mattered, overpowering countryman Kasprzak in the second semi final before repeating the medicine in the final - after first having to dive up the inside of Pedersen on lap one. The triumph was Gollob's first since he won the same GP in the second last round of 2005, and the 11th in a world championship career that started way back in 1995. In that very first GP-style world title round 12 years ago, also in Poland, Gollob prevailed over Dane Hans Nielsen, etching himself into the speedway trivia books in one fell swoop. After a tardy start to the year, Gollob has now vaulted into fifth in the standings on 91pts, behind world champion Jason Crump (96pts) and Hans Andersen (95pts). Crump, riding in Poland with the re-occurrence of an injured left knee, was a distant ninth overall on 7pts, but he still fared better than Andersen, who was even excluded from one heat after bringing down Pedersen and Jarek Hampel. Finally, the battle for automatic places in next year's title continues to tighten up, with the top eight going through after the GP in Germany on October 13. Great Britain's Scott Nicholls is currently eighth on 67pts, but the next six riders are all within 10pts of each other. POLISH GP RESULTS
1 Tomasz Gollob, Poland - 21pts (1st in final)
2 Nicki Pedersen, Denmark - 19 (3rd in final)
3 Krzysztof Kasprzak, Poland - 17 (2nd in final)
=4 Jarek Hampel, Poland - 11 (4th in final)
=4 Andreas Jonsson, Sweden - 11
6 Rune Holta, Poland - 10
=7 Leigh Adams, Australia - 9
=7 Bjarne Pedersen, Denmark - 9
9 Jason Crump, Australia - 7
=10 Antonio Lindback, Sweden - 5
=10 Greg Hancock, America - 5
=10 Chris Harris, Great Britain - 5
=10 Wieslaw Jagus, Poland - 5

OVERALL STANDINGS (after round nine of 11):
1 Nicki Pedersen, Denmark - 164
2 Leigh Adams, Australia - 133
3 Jason Crump, Australia - 96
4 Hans Andersen, Denmark - 95
5 Tomasz Gollob, Poland - 91
6 Greg Hancock, America - 86
7 Chris Harris, Great Britain - 79
8 Scott Nicholls, Great Britain - 67
9 Wieslaw Jagus, Poland - 66
10 Rune Holta, Poland - 65

Next round: Krsko, Slovenia, September 22

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