World Championship speedway returned to Germany for the first time in nine years this weekend and it’s fair to say it was worth the wait as thousands of fans in Teterow were served up an incredible night of racing.
The Bergring Arena may not have the stature of some of the bigger venues on the tour but the atmosphere was electric and the 314 metre circuit produced some breathtaking action and at the end of the night it was that man again, Jason Doyle, stood proudly on top of the podium for the second consecutive GP.
The Aussie charger is the fastest rider in the world right now and he proved that yet again by storming to his third GP victory of the season to pile the pressure on Greg Hancock at the top of the standings.
Doyle may well have got the victory, with Hancock in third place, but he actually only clawed back two points in the overall standings and halfway through the night it looked like it was going to be a lot worse than that for Greg.
After four races Doyle was unbeaten on 12 points and actually drew level with GH overall, but the old master pulled something special out of the hat to win his final two qualifying races and then his semi-final to get back on terms with Doyle, with both men lining up in the final.
Hancock was off the inside gate and Doyle the outside, but with the dirt moving wide on the track it was the Aussie who got the extra speed and he flew by his rivals in a blur to take the chequered flag and confirm to anybody who doubted it that he is a very serious challenger for the world title this year.
He is, quite simply, the man to beat at the moment but Hancock keeps piling up the points and he’s still the man on top right now, and he was delighted with his night’s work again;
“It was a good night in the end, we had a rough start with the first race but we managed to bring it back. It was so slippery, as soon as I dropped the clutch it just felt like someone had lifted my back wheel and I was like woah, can I do that again?!’
“We made a few small adjustments to the bike and got it going again, but then I didn’t make the best start in the final and I just couldn’t get there. I looked at the guys in the final and Doyley is making great starts so I didn’t want him to get gate one, and gate two wasn’t great, so that’s why I went for one.
“Unfortunately I needed Zmarzlik to take Doyle wide in the first turn to let me come through but Doyley is a machine at the moment, he’s got so much pace and so much form so well done to him.
“I’ve got a lot of confidence, I’m still leading the championship and I know what I’ve got to do so I’m looking forward to the final three rounds.”
The third man in the title scrap is current champ Tai Woffinden but he slipped back here as he finished on 10 points, battling on valiantly whole nursing a thumb injury suffered racing earlier in the week.
Tai is as tough as they come – this is a man who won a world championship with a brokem collarbone – but even he couldn’t pull off a miracle and was left disappointed to bow out at the semi-final stage.
He finished one place ahead of fellow claw-bearer Chris Holder, who had to make do with eight points on the night.
All this means that we have an intriguing battle for the title and right now, nobody knows where it’s going to end up. Can Hancock use his experience to claim a fourth world crown or will Doyle upset the odds and come through to grab the glory? Or, can Tai Woffinden find something special and catch them both by surprise?
We don’t know but we cannot wait to find out.
German Speedway Grand Prix Result
1 – Jason Doyle (17 points)
2 – Bartek Zmarzlik (13 points)
3 – Greg Hancock (15 points)
4 – Niels-Kristian Iversen (11 points)
Series Top Eight
1 – Greg Hancock (109 points)
2 – Jason Doyle (104 points)
3 – Tai Woffinden (96 points)
4 – Bartek Zmarzlik (88 points)
5 – Chris Holder (85 points)
6 – Maciej Janowski (72 points)
7 – Piotr Pawlicki (71 points)
8 - Antonio Lindback (70 points)