Great Britain racer Tai Woffinden declared “It’s the business end of the season now and I mean business” after taking a giant stride towards an historic third FIM Speedway World Championship with German SGP victory in Teterow.
The Scunthorpe-born star topped the Bergring Arena podium ahead of reigning champion Jason Doyle, title rival Bartosz Zmarzlik and American legend Greg Hancock.
Woffinden ended his night on a total of 16 points, extending his advantage at the top of the standings to 10 after Zmarzlik scored 15. This means 12 points at the Torun SGP of Poland on October 6 will guarantee Woffy his third world title irrespective of what Zmarzlik scores in his homeland.
Indianerna and Wroclaw rider Woffinden was delighted to bounce back after scoring five at the AZTORIN Slovenian SGP in Krsko on September 8. And now he’s determined to end his season by becoming Britain’s first ever triple world champion.
He said: “I think I’ve had three or four GPs, where I wouldn’t say I have been struggling a little bit, but I was just not on my day.
“But it’s the business end of the season now and I mean business. I’ve proved that and I’m ready to go to Torun in two weeks and lift that trophy.
“Tonight was about making sure I didn’t lose a lead or I could extend it. I extended it by one point, so it’s job done. I can go home, relax and focus on two week’s time.”
Second-placed Doyle surged up to sixth in the standings after storming to 16 points. He has now racked up 33 in just two rounds as he moves closer and closer to guaranteeing his place in SGP 2019.
But the Newcastle-born racer knows there’s plenty of work to do on one of the world’s great race tracks in Torun.
Doyle, who has never finished below fifth in the World Championship, said: “Hopefully I can get in that top eight. That’s the main goal now and the last one in Torun is going to be very difficult. There are some fast riders who can go there and score big points.
“I know the job is not over yet. It’s very hard this year. If you don’t make a semi, you feel pretty disappointed. It’s such a fine line between making a semi and getting straight into the final.
“But it’s exciting. I thought I was going to have to beg for a place for next year! So it’s nice to be in the top six.”
Third-placed Zmarzlik was content with his night’s work – not least after a dramatic improvement on the two points he scored in Teterow last year.
He said: “Today was not so bad. I am happy because I scored 15 points and it wasn’t such a bad result.
“All the time I remember last year here – I only scored two points. This was a little bit better and I am happy because I stayed in the top two.”
There was bad news for SGP duo Craig Cook and Martin Vaculik after the pair withdrew from the Teterow event following crashes in heat four. Cook sustained a suspected broken wrist, while Vaculik had concerns over a shoulder problem.
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
1 Tai Woffinden 124, 2 Bartosz Zmarzlik 114, 3 Maciej Janowski 98, 4 Fredrik Lindgren 98, 5 Greg Hancock 93, 6 Jason Doyle 86, 7 Patryk Dudek 84, 8 Emil Sayfutdinov 78, 9 Artem Laguta 77, 10 Matej Zagar 73, 11 Nicki Pedersen 67, 12 Chris Holder 60, 13 Martin Vaculik 44, 14 Przemyslaw Pawlicki 35, 15 Craig Cook 30, 16 Niels-Kristian Iversen 26, 17 Szymon Wozniak 8, 18 Krzysztof Kasprzak 7, 19 Andreas Jonsson 7, 20 Vaclav Milik 6, 21 Peter Ljung 5, 22 Michael Jepsen Jensen 4, 23 Oliver Berntzon 3, 24 Kevin Wolbert 3, 25 Maksym Drabik 2, 26 Kai Huckenbeck 2, 27 Bartosz Smektala 2, 28 Robert Lambert 1, 29 Mikkel Michelsen 1, 30 Martin Smolinski 1, 31 Joel Kling 1.
GERMAN SGP SCORES
1 Tai Woffinden 16, 2 Jason Doyle 16, 3 Bartosz Zmarzlik 15, 4 Greg Hancock 12, 5 Matej Zagar 12, 6 Niels-Kristian Iversen 12, 7 Maciej Janowski 9, 8 Fredrik Lindgren 9, 9 Nicki Pedersen 8, 10 Emil Sayfutdinov 8, 11 Chris Holder 7, 12 Artem Laguta 4, 13 Kevin Wolbert 3, 14 Przemyslaw Pawlicki 3, 15 Kai Huckenbeck 2, 16 Martin Smolinski 1, 17 Martin Vaculik 0, 18 Craig Cook 0.