How the Bookies See it:
- Winner: Zmarzlik 9/2, Doyle 9/2, Woffinden 5/1, Hancock 8/1 - Sky Bet
Fredrik Lindgren has started well domestically for Wolverhampton Wolves, with a maximum against Belle Vue on Wednesday off the back of a paid 14 in the Good Friday defeat in Manchester.
Jason Doyle opened with paid 12 and 13 point returns for Swindon against Somerset and Poole respectively.
In the opening few exchanges in Poland, defending champion Greg Hancock collected a paid 11 in Torun’s 44-46 reverse against Gorzow on Monday. In the same meeting, Martin Vaculik dropped only one point for the visitors and goes into his first GP meeting in four years with reason for optimism.
For Greg Hancock and Chris Holder, their form in Saturday’s heavy defeat for Torun at Zielona Gora is of some concern, with the pair collecting only two points each from three rides.
It’s difficult to ignore Speedway GP series’ own Peter Pan, Greg Hancock, when looking for pre-tournament favourites. Between the American and Britain’s finest, Tai Woffinden, the pair have largely dominated the GP series in recent years, trading the title back and forth since 2012. Indeed you have to go back to 2010 to find a top three without one of the two being involved in the championship podium places.
Hancock’s age has yet to weary him, but it’s inevitable that, at some point, the King will have to hand over the keys of the kingdom. The obvious successor is Woffinden who, at 27-years-old, would appear to have plenty of time to add multiple titles to his two successes of 2013 and 2015.
Bartosz Zmarzlik had to make do with isolated opportunities in Grand Prix meetings prior to 2016, when he enjoyed his first full programme. An average of 11.64 on his way to third place suggests that he is ready to mount a more sustained challenge to the establishment in only his second full GP season.
Denmark’s three-time champion Nicki Pedersen placed only 13th last year after missing three meetings, his worst showing since 2000. He’ll be keen to return to the form of previous seasons, when he achieved double-figure averages for four consecutive tournaments.
Matej Zagar holds the lap record around the Stadion Matije Gubca track and, with a partisan crowd in support, may be one to watch in this opening round.
If you’re looking for success from riders you can see plying their trade on the UK shores then there’s not a great deal to choose from. Only Jason Doyle, Fredrik Lindgren and 2012 GP Champion Chris Holder have a British club amongst their domestic commitments. That being said, with 2016’s Slovenian GP winner, Peter Kildemand, not in the full series this season, the men he beat in the final of the Krsko meeting last year, Doyle, Holder and Woffinden, will all be confident of going one better this time around.
- Sports.net’s Top Tip: Jason Doyle to win the Slovenien Grand Prix at 9/2 with Sky Bet