Patryk Dudek’s joy at winning the Slovenian Grand Prix in round eight was short-lived. His good run of form came to an abrupt end in a domestic meeting in Poland, and a broken arm means that his season is now over. He can only sit on the sidelines and hope that the 14-point gap between him and ninth place is not overhauled in the final two meetings.
Jason Doyle turned back the clock in Slovenia, finishing in second place and as the evening’s top scorer. The defending champion’s 17-point return is a season’s best and gets him up to eighth spot in the table. If he can continue this form he may yet ensure automatic qualification for the 2019 calendar.
Greg Hancock continued to defy the ageing process, collecting third place in Krsko. Eleven points clear of ninth spot, and with Dudek’s season now over, the 48-year-old looks certain to secure yet another season amongst the elite of a sport for which he is such a good advertisement.
Freddie Lindgren regained some form in Krsko, collecting 13 points on his way to fourth place. His injury-induced two points in round seven now seems even more costly, as he sits 19 points behind leader Woffinden, who had such a poor night in Slovenia. A consistent finish should get Lindgren the medal placing his overall form this season deserves.
Tai Woffinden had gone into the event in Slovenia with a seemingly unassailable lead. However, on a night where by his standards the Briton fell short of the mark the referee in heat 16 excluded the championship leader for allegedly not being ready to race. Replays show that he was treated extremely harshly by the Polish referee, but Woffinden has chosen not to appeal and instead focus on repairing the damage in Germany.
Bartosz Zmarzlik had been in excellent form before Slovenia. The controversy of Woffinden’s exclusion was magnified by the fact that it was in a heat against Zmarzlik. Although failing at the semi-final stage, the Polish rider was still able to take seven points out of Woffinden’s lead on the night and remains in excellent form domestically.
Maciej Janowksi is in a similar position to Lindgren, frustrated that earlier inconsistency puts him just too far behind Woffinden to take advantage of the unusual off-night for the two-time champion. Engine problems denied him a better evening, but his 10 points ensures that he starts in Germany level with Lindgren and still very much in contention for a medal position.
Martin Vaculik’s stunning form fell away somewhat in round eight. His fine efforts in the previous two rounds had left him pondering what might have been had he had an injury-free season, but nine points fell short of his recent returns, despite being enough for a semi-final spot.
Sports.net's Top Tip
The controversial exclusion of Tai Woffinden along with the leader’s low-key form, have dropped the gap between him and Bartosz Zmarzlik to just nine points. With some scores to be settled and the gap having come down from 20 points in July, now seems a good time for Woffinden to let his riding do the talking.