Blogs & Opinion

Hancock so close

American veteran on course to clinch the big prize

Kelvin Tatum Posted 22nd September 2011 view comments

The Speedway World Championships roll into Croatia on Saturday with Greg Hancock within touching distance of a second world title.

With the track at Gorican a favourite with the 41-year-old American, Jaroslaw Hampel and Andreas Jonsson have their work cut out if they are to postpone his coronation. I see Hancock wrapping it up this weekend. He's got a 31-point lead and he might not necessarily need to extend it.

Hancock: Hoping to confirm a second title

Hancock: Hoping to confirm a second title

Hampel and Jonsson both slipped up in Denmark last time out and if that happens again, there's a good chance Hancock can be crowned champion on Saturday. Jason Crump can mathematically still catch him but realistically the threat will come from Hampel or Jonsson. Having said that, there's no doubt Hancock is firmly in the driving seat.


I never got the chance to ride at Gorican. It's a young track and has only been around a few years. It can be tricky as it's got a loose, sandy type of surface and last year we saw when it rained on the Saturday it got quite difficult when the race was restaged on the Sunday. The track was kind of like a moving target - every lap it would sort of rut up a bit.

With the track at Gorican a favourite with the 41-year-old American, Jaroslaw Hampel and Andreas Jonsson have their work cut out if they are to postpone his coronation.

Kelvin Tatum
Quotes of the week

Grand Prix Speedway
6.00pm, Sat, Sky Sports HD4

We have to remember that Hancock won here last year so he'll have fond memories of it. It's always nice to go back to a track where you've been successful and the shape and size of the track suits his racing style. I don't see any reason why he should fear the venue even though he'll have a few butterflies in his stomach because to actually finally seal the deal, you've got to get over the line.

The hard work is done for Hancock. He had a couple of wobbles straight after the summer break. The first couple of Grands Prix he wasn't quite at his best but winning and winning in style like he did two weeks ago at Vojens was brilliant. He's got one hand on the trophy.


With regards to the wildcard, Matej Zagar is a quality rider and has had several wildcards. He's been a full-time Grand Prix rider a couple of seasons back and was pretty good in Italy earlier this season as a wildcard. He's a rider that, certainly on his night, could surprise a few.

It's not just about the championship and the first three at the moment - there's a big scrap going on for the top eight. Three-time world champion Nicky Pedersen is outside the top eight and 10 points behind his compatriot Kenneth Bjerre. Pedersen needs two big, big performances if he's going to secure his Grand Prix future. He may well have to rely on a wildcard pick.

It's a tough one because Bjerre's fast and in good form. Pedersen has struggled over the last couple of seasons and it's a bit of a long shot. He almost needs Bjerre to slip up to make up that 10 points difference so he's under a lot of pressure.

Comments (2)

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

Jill Bryant says...

Why do sky have to put the speedway GP on the red button ? I want to watch the GP series but have other commitments on a Saturday evening. I usually record the GP on sky + and watch when I get home later. Putting GPs on the red buton means this is impossible an infuriating especially as I have sky sports so that I can see Speedway. Please sky don't do this to us speedway supporters.

Posted 16:03 25th September 2011

David King says...

Greg Hancock shows there is still room in this world for winners who win with class, dignity and honesty. There cannot be a more deserving and popular champion in any sport in the world right now. Shame the cynical footballers cannot take a leaf out of the old master's book! Go Greg!

Posted 14:24 24th September 2011

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

back to top

Other Speedway Experts:

Latest Posts in Speedway:

Kelvin Tatum

Back on track

Lakeside can make it two wins over Belle Vue Aces in four days, says Kelvin Tatum, but it'll be close!...


Kelvin Tatum

Hit the road

Swindon are struggling this season but will fancy their chances at Birmingham, says Kelvin Tatum....


Kelvin Tatum

Racing away

Belle Vue are unbeaten at home but Kelvin Tatum asks if they can transfer that form at Swindon....


Latest News RSS feeds

Korneliussen leaves Leicester

Leicester have parted company with skipper Mads Korneliussen on the eve of their final Elite League tie of the season.

Pirates sting Bees to go top

Poole Pirates raced to the top of the Elite League table with a comprehensive 50-40 win over Coventry Bees on Monday.

Jonsson takes Vojens spoils

Andreas Jonsson ended a three-year Grand Prix victory drought by winning the Nordic SGP in Vojens, Denmark.

King Lynn back on top

King’s Lynn returned to the top of the Elite League with a convincing 51-39 win at Leicester.

Speedway HQ given go-ahead

Manchester City Council has unanimously granted planning permission for the Belle Vue Sports Village.


The Sky Sports Open Day on August 16th

The Sky Sports Open Day on August 16th

Sky Sports are giving non-Sky Sports customers a day of world-class sport at no extra cost.

Sky Sports News HQ: Breaking news... but not as you know it, says Mike Wedderburn

Sky Sports News HQ: Breaking news... but not as you know it, says Mike Wedderburn

Now we are starting the countdown to Sky Sports News' relaunching as Sky Sports News HQ.