Blogs & Opinion


Eureka, Jonsson!

Swede can cement top-three place in Poland, says Kelvin

Kelvin Tatum Posted 6th October 2011 view comments

With Greg Hancock crowned as 2011 Grand Prix champion in Croatia last month, the final event of the season in Poland is all about who will join him on the podium.

Andreas Jonsson has shot up the standings with three victories from the last six meetings and is in pole position to grab the silver medal.

The Swede began the season slowly with a series of single-figure scores, but he is now in the form of his life.

Jonsson: set for podium finish

Jonsson: set for podium finish

He hooked up with Canadian engine tuner, Carl Blomfeldt, who previously worked alongside six-time World Champion Tony Rickardsson.

Blomfeldt had been out of the sport for three or four years and told me it took him a bit of time to get going again.

But the partnership has really clicked in recent weeks and I expect Jonsson to put on another good show in Poland.

Run out of steam

In contrast, third-placed Jaroslaw Hampel will be looking anxiously over his shoulder. He has run out of steam in the last two meets and could still be caught by the likes of his countryman Tomasz Gollob and Australian Jason Crump.

Jonsson began the season slowly with a series of single-figure scores, but he is now in the form of his life.

Kelvin Tatum
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Reigning champion Gollob, a podium finisher for the past three seasons, looks like his heart's not in it, though.

We saw a fantastic performance from him at this venue in the World Cup where he inspired his team to victory, but since that time he's been out of sorts.

However, the Jancarz Stadium is Gollob's home track and I hope his pride will allow him to put on a performance because when it's his night, he's something special.

Inspiration

Crump, meanwhile, will be desperate to sneak into the top three, having done so for the previous 10 years.

He's had a difficult week following the death of his grandfather, the legendary speedway rider Neil Street, but I expect him to use that as an inspiration.

The track at Jancarz is a fair one and it's pretty tough to overtake. You need to be incredibly fast away from the tape and have plenty of horsepower in your bike.

This will be the third Grand Prix in Poland this season and I think that's because the country is recognised as a speedway hotbed.

It's very well supported, gains a lot of media attention and over the past five or six years, the nation has been dominant in the World Cup. Plus, they have big-name riders like Hampel and Gollob.

I'm expecting the locals to bring fervent support to Saturday's meet, which will round off a terrific Grand Prix campaign.

KELVIN'S CALL

Andreas Jonsson and Jaroslaw Hampel should do enough to cement their places on the podium alongside this term's champion, Greg Hancock.

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