Leading the way ahead of this weekend’s event in Germany is Jason Doyle. The Aussie regained the lead with a third place in Poland which, combined with Janowski’s poor return, sees him take a three point lead to the event that he won in 2016.
Shock winner in Gorzow was Tai Woffinden. Sports.net forewarned that his form was on the up and the two-time champion’s event victory also saw him outscore his closest rival, Doyle, by four points. This means the Brit’s hat is very much back in the ring. At just eight points off the lead, despite not having reached an event final until his Polish win, he may well have the momentum to claim a third title.
Patryk Dudek arrived in Sweden level with Doyle but, like his rival, he had an awful meeting that saw him drop down the order. He responded in fine fashion in Poland to claim second place and steady the ship of his title bid. He currently stands four points behind Doyle and one behind Janowski.
The last of the Poland finalists was Bartosz Zmarzlik. Following his victory in Sweden, his ten point haul consolidates his position amongst the title hopefuls, but with a seventeen point gap he will be looking for greater returns if he is to significantly challenge.
Defending champion Greg Hancock’s season has been confirmed as over following his unfortunate shoulder injury, so the title is guaranteed to change hands. With four meetings remaining there are seven riders in the running, and eighteen points covering them. It might seem like a significant gap, but with seven different winners in the first eight meetings there can be no doubt that the title challenge is going to the wire.
The one man in amongst those seven without an event victory is Emil Sayfutdinov. At the back end of the seven, he knows that consistent point scoring is unlikely to elevate him far enough up the order so he very much needs a significant event to stay involved.
In contrast, the only rider with more than one event victory is Maciej Janowski. Janowski’s problem has been that when he doesn’t perform at his peak he scores very badly, with one five and two six-point hauls. If he is to win the title he has to do better at damage limitation on his off nights.
Early season pacesetter Freddie Lindgren has rescued his season at the last two events, and with his current consistently high domestic form he may well feel that this represents his best opportunity to claim the title.
The German track is not one in regular use by any of the GP event riders, so there may well be some more shocks to come as the title race reaches the business end of the season. Home fans have wildcard Kai Huckenback and Martin Smolinski, riding for injured Nicki Pedersen, to cheer for.
Given his success in Germany last year, Jason Doyle should snatch victory this time around too.
Sports.net’s Top Tip
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