Even though there are five rounds left of speedway's Grand Prix series this year it is shaping up to be one of the closest fought for years.
Looking at the standings I think anyone of six riders could still claim the gold medal and it is down to who turns in the most consistent performances over the remainder of the season.
However, it is hard to work out who that will be in one of the most unpredictable seasons for years.
Nicki Pedersen’s victory in Gorican two weeks ago was the first time a rider has won two Grand Prixs this season and he has vowed to pile the pressure on current leader Greg Hancock.
Hancock has been the model of consistency this year reaching the semi finals in nearly all of the rounds this year, but has not won a round since the first meeting in New Zealand in March, and he would dearly love to retain the title he won last year.
But Pedersen will want a fourth world title after years in doldrums and don’t forget he needed a wild card to get into this year’s series.
While those two are currently at the top of the standings riders are queuing up behind if any of them should slip up with Chris Holder, Jason Crump and Tomasz Gollob all not too far behind and none of them will give up on hopes of the title without a fight.
There are sure to be many twists and turns left in the series and speedway fans are sure to be glued to their screens and what is guaranteed to be a fascinating end to the season.
ALTHOUGH it a few weeks away people will flocking to Cardiff for the British Grand Prix at the end of the month.
The Cardiff round is always the jewel in the crown of the series and has a reputation for providing some of the most exciting racing of the series.
Not since the days of Carl Stonehewer have we had a West Cumbrian in the British Grand Prix but Cleator youngster and former Comet Craig Cook has been picked as second track reserve for the meeting.
We have all known for years about the undoubted talent that Cook possesses but in recent season has let things slip towards the end of the season.
However, he seems to have put that behind him and is riding better than ever for Edinburgh and piling in the points for Belle Vue in the Elite League as well.
His performance in the British Final was very high quality and Cook deserves his place on the biggest stage of all.
There is of course with being second reserve that he might not get a ride but I’m sure he will enjoy the experience nonetheless.
We never like to see riders disqualified but a few of us secretly will be wanting some in Cardiff just to give Cook a chance on the biggest stage of all.
A few fisticuffs between riders wouldn’t go amiss either as they are always entertaining - me for one nver tire of seeing Scott Nicholls and Emil Sayfutdinov’s bust up from a few years ago, which always seems to get replayed without fail.
WITH the Grand Prix series hotting up so is the race into the play-offs in the Premier League.
With the monsoon conditions we have had this year making tracks more suitable for jet skiing rather than speedway riding it meant there has been a fixture pile up for many clubs.
But providing there are no more rain offs it has left us with a bumper amount of fixtures for us to enjoy through August and September.
By the end of August we will have ridden 10 matches throughout the month and every weekend sees at least two matches every weekend.
Although the riders will tell you they like to be busy there is a difference between that and having so many matches in a short space of time but that puts strain on man and machinery.
However, the riders feel about it, it means us the fans should be treated to more than enough action over the final two months or so of the season.
Published: August 9, 2012
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