Tai Woffinden, our tip for success in Germany, re-asserted his position at the top of the Championship table by winning round nine in Teterow. It was the perfect response to his disastrous and controversial eighth round effort, with Woffinden scoring top to extend his lead to ten points. With the prospect of becoming the first British rider to claim three world titles, the Scunthorpe-born star is in the form to bring home the trophy.
Bartosz Zmarzlik achieved third step on the podium in round nine, but losing a point to Woffinden means the Pole’s challenge is largely out of his hands. As well as needing a significant points haul in Poland, he is reliant on the Championship leader having a particularly poor night. With Woffinden having only had one single-figure return all season, Zmarzlik’s hopes are slim, but his form is exceptional, so he will certainly be keeping his side of the bargain.
Jason Doyle finished between the two contenders in Germany, equalling Woffinden’s 16 points and showing the sort of form that earned the Australian the SGP title last season. The two halves of the season have been night and day in terms of form and with a spot in next season’s line-up almost secured, he should be among the heavy scorers once again in Torun.
Greg Hancock had to settle for fourth spot in the Germany final, but the veteran is still in with a chance of claiming a medal position. The American veteran’s disappointing final position was his second last of the evening and he will need to avoid any zeros in Poland if he is to overhaul the five-point gap to current third-placed man Maciej Janowski.
Maciej Janowski collected nine points in Germany, a disappointing return given his good current domestic form. Having claimed a maximum in Sweden for Dackarna, he comes into the final round in confident mood and needs to outscore Freddie Lindgren and lose no more than four points to Hancock to ensure third place.
Freddie Lindgren matched Janowski in Germany, claiming a hard-earned nine points. His hand injury continues to bother him and it would be the second successive season where an injury has prevented him from finishing in the top three should he not have a good enough night in Torun. His task for the night is the same as Janowski – outscore the man level with him in the table without letting Hancock gain more than four points.
Emil Sayfutdinov scored eight points in the ninth round and a repeat performance in Poland would almost certainly secure another season among the elite. With Patryk Dudek unfortunately sidelined through injury, Sayfutdinov is one point ahead of ninth-placed man Artem Laguta but only six points behind the injured Dudek, so anything above seven points should seal the deal.
Artem Laguta collected only four points in Teterow, seemingly hitting poor form at the worst possible time. The surprise package of the season needs a stronger return to get a second season in the GP series, and with Matej Zagar just four points further behind, the Russian needs one more push to achieve his first ever top eight finish.
Sports.net’s Top Tip
With Tai Woffinden holding a ten-point lead going into the final round he should be able to secure his third world title with ease, but his closest rival Bartsoz Zmarzlik needs a high-scoring evening and he is our pick to win the final event as consolation for missing out on the World Championship.
The final round of the 2018 Speedway GP series takes place at the Marian Rose Motoarena, Torun, Poland, on Saturday 6th October 2018. Tapes up 18.00 BST.