Britain’s double world champion Tai Woffinden insisted “I know if I keep reaching the finals, I will be world champion” ahead of the Adrian Flux British FIM Speedway Grand Prix in Cardiff this Saturday.
The Scunthorpe-born hero heads to the Principality Stadium having won two of the opening four SGP rounds this year, topping the podium in Warsaw and Horsens. He also finished fourth in Prague and Hallstavik.
His rampant run of form has given him an 11-point advantage over nearest rival Fredrik Lindgren at the top of the World Championship and British fans are getting excited over the prospect of Woffy becoming potentially the nation’s first triple world champion.
But as ever, the Wroclaw man is keeping his feet firmly rooted to the ground and is determined to keep his run of finals going in the Welsh capital.
He said: “The media and pundits will talk it up. Everyone is getting excited about me being 11 points in front. But it means nothing, zilch, zero.
“Speedway is a crazy sport. Everything can change in a split second. You can’t take anything for granted until you pass the winning chequered flag.
“Trust me, it doesn’t enter my mind what I’m doing in the series. Of course I know roughly what’s happening but all I do is focus on making finals.
“I know if I keep reaching the finals, I will be world champion. That’s the way I have done it before with both previous World Championship wins, and I’ll do that again.”
Woffinden, world champion in 2013 and 2015, is yet to win a home round and would blow the roof off Principality Stadium with a victory.
Despite all the hype surrounding his current form and the support he and GB stars Craig Cook and Robert Lambert will receive this weekend, Woffinden is keen to focus on piling up the points.
He said: “Of course Cardiff means a lot to me. The fans make it a very special occasion and it’s my home Grand Prix. It’s unique. But it won’t affect me when I’m at the stadium. I have a job to do. I know the fans want me to win but they’d want me to be world champion too.
“So I’ll only be happy if I come away from Cardiff by making the final and extending my lead in the standings. It’s going to be a great event; it always is. I hope I can make it extra special.”
One man who knows all about topping the Principality Stadium podium is Woffinden’s Wroclaw team mate Maciej Janowski. He became the first Polish rider to triumph in Cardiff last year.
It was a special victory for both Magic and a nation which is always so well supported in the stands, with thousands of Poles making the trip to Wales.
Janowski said: “Over the last few years before Cardiff, a lot of people always said – probably not only for me but for every Polish rider – ‘we need to hear the Polish national anthem in Cardiff.’ They wanted that really badly and finally I was the person who won. It was very special for me.”
Speedway fans truly take over Cardiff this weekend, with the Principality Stadium opening its doors for the Adrian Flux British SGP practice session from 2.30pm this afternoon, with access for all ticket holders.
There’s a full day’s entertainment ahead on Saturday as Britain’s biggest speedway event gets underway with the fanzone on City Hall Lawn from 11am, featuring a Monster Energy Rig Riot, two signing sessions, live music, stunt performances, photo opportunities and much, much more.
Then the action switches to the Principality Stadium, with racing getting started at around 5pm.
Tickets are no longer available online, but are still available from the WRU store near gate 3 at Principality Stadium from 12pm today and 9am tomorrow.
ADRIAN FLUX BRITISH SGP LINE-UP (in ranking order with rider numbers): 69 Jason Doyle, 692 Patryk Dudek, 108 Tai Woffinden, 71 Maciej Janowski, 95 Bartosz Zmarzlik, 89 Emil Sayfutdinov, 55 Matej Zagar, 66 Fredrik Lindgren, 54 Martin Vaculik, 23 Chris Holder, 45 Greg Hancock, 110 Nicki Pedersen, 59 Przemyslaw Pawlicki, 222 Artem Laguta, 111 Craig Cook, 16 Robert Lambert, 17 Daniel Bewley, 18 Jason Garrity.
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 1 Tai Woffinden 65, 2 Fredrik Lindgren 54, 3 Emil Sayfutdinov 48, 4 Maciej Janowski 47, 5 Greg Hancock 41, 6 Artem Laguta 41, 7 Patryk Dudek 36, 8 Bartosz Zmarzlik 36, 9 Jason Doyle 35, 10 Chris Holder 31, 11 Matej Zagar 28, 12 Nicki Pedersen 25, 13 Przemyslaw Pawlicki 14, 14 Craig Cook 9, 15 Niels-Kristian Iversen 9, 16 Krzysztof Kasprzak 7, 17 Andreas Jonsson 7, 18 Vaclav Milik 6, 19 Martin Vaculik 4, 20 Michael Jepsen Jensen 4, 21 Maksym Drabik 2, 22 Bartosz Smektala 2, 23 Mikkel Michelsen 1.