Speedway GP - Final Round 10/10 Torun Poland - Saturday 6th October - write up and tips from David Corns

ROUND 10 selections and analysis from David is followed by a  reminder of our OVERALL SEASON/ CHAMPIONSHIP picks back in the Spring. Then at the bottom a look ahead to a VERY EXCITING 2019!

ROUND 10 - TORUN -: Saturday 6th OCTOBER

1. Jason Doyle - 1/2pt e/w (13/2 – Bet365)
2. Niels Kristian-Iversen - 1/2pt e/w (22/1 – Skybet)
3. Matej Zagar - 1/2pt e/w (22/1 – Bet365)

Dark Horse: Nicki Pedersen -1/4pt e/w (25/1 – Skybet

E/w terms: ¼ odds 3 places.

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The 2018 Speedway GP series comes to a conclusion this Saturday in Torun, Poland, and I’m pleased to say that I’ll be there to witness the climax to the World Championship in person.

There are still a number of issues to be decided and it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that we may see a run-off to decide one of these.

First of all, of course, we will see the World Champion crowned on Saturday night and, as it stands, Tai Woffinden needs a maximum of 12 points to seal the deal. In reality, it is likely that he will need only 8 or 9 points to be certain. He has led the series ever since winning the Danish GP (round 3) back in June and there is no doubt that he would be a very worthy Champion, having won 3 GP’s and making the final in 7 out of the 9 events so far. Although he has won the title twice before, I believe that this has been his best GP season yet.

Bartosz Zmarzlik has emerged as Tai’s main challenger over the second half of the seasonand has been very consistent ever since finishing on the podium in Sweden in Round 4. That said, his victory at Cardiff, when tipped by Ian for this service, remains his only GP win so far this year. He will, no doubt, be giving his all on Saturday, in a bid to hunt down Tai, and he will certainly get a very vocal backing from the local crowd.

The second ‘battle’ to watch on Saturday will be between Freddie Lindgren and Maciej Janowski as they try to claim 3 rd place and a spot on the podium. They are locked together on 98 points and, although Greg Hancock will still harbour hopes of jumping ahead of them (he is 5 points behind), it does look like a shoot-out between the two for that bronze medal position. I put up both Lindgren (22/1) and Janowski (16/1) as value each-way bets in my pre-season musings, sent out in early April, and it does look like one of them will deliver. But which one?

The third issue that could be decided by a run-off is 8 th place and automatic qualification for the 2019 series.

Outside of the 5 riders already mentioned the current standings are as follows:-

6. Jason Doyle 86 points
7. Patryk Dudek 84 points
8. Emil Sayfutdinov 78 points
9. Artem Laguta 77 points
10. Matej Zagar 73 points
11. Nicki Pedersen 67 points

Jason Doyle has had a marked upturn in form in the second half of this season and looks pretty safe for an automatic spot but the unfortunate Patryk Dudek has to sit out his 2nd GP in a row, as a result of a broken arm, and he looks very vulnerable. There is, therefore, a big incentive for Sayfutdinov, Laguta and Zagar to seal a top 8 placing and they will all be looking to take advantage. Nicki Pedersen is not completely out of it but it does look like the former World Champion is going to be relying on a wild card pick if he is to re-appear in 2019. A good showing here may help to keep him in the thoughts of those who make those decisions and he will, no doubt, as ever be trying everything to get as many race wins as possible. If Zagar misses out on the top 8, like Dudek, he too can count himself a little unlucky as he had to miss the Slovenian GP and he would surely have scored enough points
that night to have him sitting in the top 8 right now.

The track at Torun is 325m in length and is rated by many as one of the finest and fairest tracks in the world. The racing there in recent seasons has certainly borne out this claim and, with this year being the finale, I think we can expect some exciting racing – especially with so much still on the line for so many.

It is a track that quite a number in the line-up will be very familiar with. Greg Hancock rode for Torun last season whilst, this year, the club has enjoyed the services of Jason Doyle, Niels Kristian-Iversen and Chris Holder.Holder has been with the club the longest, so will know the circuit better than most, but he has never won a GP there and has really struggled for consistency this season in what has proved to be a tough year for him. He may make the semi-finals if on a ‘going night’ but he is yet to make a GP final this year and I don’t see that changing here.

So, who do I see as the likely contenders for the podium places on Saturday night?

The current favourite with the bookies is BARTOSZ ZMARZLIK and it is easy to see why given his form in the second half of the series (having averaged 14.43 points in the last 7 rounds), riding in Poland with a partisan crowd behind him and the fact that he has finished 3 rd in this event in both of the last 2 seasons. He is odds-on for a podium finish, with most bookies offering a price on this, but, at a best price of 4/1, I’m going to give him a ‘swerve’ and look for some value elsewhere with riders who may still have something to prove here.

A rider who has also been showing some very good form at the back-end of the season is JASON DOYLE. There is no doubt that the first few months of the season were a bit of a struggle for the 2017 World Champion but in the last 6 weeks or so he has been flying – both in GP’s and in his league racing. It could be that as the season has progressed, and it has become clear that he won’t be successful in defending his title, the pressure has been
lifted off his shoulders. It is fair to say that he has, also, not had the best of fortune at times. Things have improved though and, in addition to two excellent 2 nd place finishes in the last 2 GP’s, Doyle won the prestigious Golden Helmet in Pardubice last month. He showed that he is in good form earlier this week when coming close, almost single-handedly, to guiding his UK league team (Somerset) to the Play-Off Final. A slightly unlucky exclusion proved pivotal on the night and, despite his excellent efforts, they just missed out.

His record at this, his home track, in Poland is rather mixed in GP events but he did finish 2nd in the 2015 GP. Although he has made 3 finals this year, he is yet to taste GP glory but he is a live contender this week-end and I expect him to go well.

Another Torun rider who could go well here this week is NIELS KRISTIAN-IVERSEN. He gets his chance, once again as official GP first reserve, due to the unfortunate injury to Patryk Dudek and, having already secured qualification for the 2019 series, the popular Dane will be hoping to prove to the watching world that he is well worth his place back at this level. He is, of course, no stranger to the GP series and already has 81 GP’s under his belt (winning 5 of them) but, as first reserve this year, things have been rather ‘stop-start’ for him. He rode in place of Martin Vaculik in the first 2 events of the year but was himself suffering with a shoulder injury at the time which probably hampered him somewhat. He has returned for the last 2 GP’s (replacing Zagar and then Dudek) and in the last one, at Teterow, performed very well in accumulating 12 points and reaching the semi-final.
He showed that he remains in good form when scoring 13 points in helping Smederna clinch the Swedish League title on Wednesday night and, alongside team-mate Freddie Lindgren, will no doubt arrive here in good heart (especially as his UK team, Kings Lynn, also clinched a Play-Off final spot this week).

He has ridden in the Torun GP on 3 occasions in the last 5 years and, on each appearance, he has made the final each time. In 2016, he won the event. Given his fine record in this event, his current form and his local track knowledge, NKI looks a decent each-way bet at the stand-out odds of 22/1 with SkyBet.

I must admit that the price on Tai Woffinden (at 8/1 with Bet365) looks very tempting from an each-way perspective, given his consistency in reaching so many finals this year, but his mind is, understandably, going to be focussed on keeping ahead of Bartosz in the points standings and I’m not sure he will want to take any unnecessary risks in any of the races. Who knows, he may clinch the title quite early in the evening if, for any reason, Bartosz doesn’t perform and, with the pressure off, he may just go and win the thing and make my assumption look silly but I am going to leave him out of my selections.

One rider who may well have to take the odd chance in order to achieve what he needs is MATEJ ZAGAR. As mentioned above, he is sat just outside the top 8 and will need a good points haul if he is to break into one of the automatic spots for 2019. He is a rider who, on his day, is as good as any around and, following a rather lacklustre start to his 2018 campaign, he has shown some improved form in recent GP’s. It was a real blow to him having to miss his home GP in Slovenia, and he would, undoubtedly, have gone well there, but he put up a strong performance last time in Germany just missing out on the final. He has reached just the one final so far this season, and made the semi-finals in 3 others, but his average of 9.13 points is his best for 4 seasons in a GP series so he is riding well enough. He has made the final in each of the last 2 years here and, with the motivation of knowing
that a similar showing here would almost certainly mean automatic qualification for 2019, he can go well again at decent odds.

My ‘dark horse’ for this meeting is NICKI PEDERSEN. The Dane is now coming to the end of his 18th successive season in the GP series and whilst he is, undoubtedly, not the force he once was, he is still one of the most entertaining riders to watch on the GP circuit. Barring a freak set of scores on Saturday night, the top 8 looks out of his reach but he will be desperate to claim a wild card into next year’s series and what better way to state a case for one of these than to finish the season with a GP win. He struggled with injury in the early part of the season but the main issue, all year, has been inconsistency. He has struggled with set-ups in a few meetings and, as usual, he has been involved in his fair share of falls and ‘flare-ups’ with other riders. He has, however, recorded 1 GP win to his name and shown glimpses of what he is still capable of. He has a good record at this circuit and won here in 2015. His league form, in the 3 leagues he competes in, has been good and, whilst others may ride a little conservatively to try to protect their position in the standings, he will, no doubt, be going out there to show that he is worthy of a place next year. If it all clicks for him, he could be a big player at a big price.

So in summary, the selections for the Torun Speedway GP of Poland are:-

1. Jason Doyle - 1/2pt e/w (13/2 – Bet365)
2. Niels Kristian-Iversen - 1/2pt e/w (22/1 – Skybet)
3. Matej Zagar - 1/2pt e/w (22/1 – Bet365)

Dark Horse: Nicki Pedersen -1/4pt e/w (25/1 – Skybet)
E/w terms: ¼ odds 3 places.

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A reminder of our OVERALL PICKS made back in April before ROUND ONE and it looks likely we will have a NICE PAY OUT from those as well as finding no less than 7 or the 10 Round winners and numerous placed (1-2-3) positions so far. Here are the "overall picks who need to finish 1-2-3 to win a profit)-:

1.      Who are your top 3 predictions for the Overall 2018 season?


DAVID @dctipping


Jason Doyle has to have another very good chance of winning this year but it is always extremely difficult to defend the crown and it takes a very special rider to do so. He’s the man they’ll all want to beat and may struggle to repeat last year’s triumph. I think he should be in the top 3 however and signalled a return to form with a win in The Premier League Riders Championship this week.


As I wrote in my season preview last month, Freddie Lindgren was possibly denied a podium finish last year by a season-ending injury and, with him not riding in the UK this year, he can concentrate a little more on the GP series. He has been heavily backed in recent weeks and rates a live contender for a top 3 finish.


Patryk Dudek has an excellent first full season in the GP series and looks well capable of going one better than his second-place last year. He is a very strong top 3 contender.


My final predictions therefore:- 1. PATRYK DUDEK, ( 10/1  Bet 365)  2. JASON DOYLE,(  11/2 Bet 365) 3. FREDDIE LINDGREN ( 4/1 Coral / Lads)


IAN @sp2a


I keep coming back to the "c word" consistency, points win prizes and it is the guys who will make the most semi-finals and finals, and then convert finals in to wins who will win or make the Podium. The longer you are at this level, the more you learn in my opinion, and possibly the more tuned you are to the accumulation of points. I also make the definition between "riders and racers"; some may think that's barmy but history shows "riders" like Mauger; Neilson and Rikardsson and to a degree Hancock in the modern age, win titles whilst the racers, like Peter Collins; Kelly Moran and in the recent past Gollob and some of the Polish guys are the ones who can get you off your seat. What I'm really looking for is a combination of the two.


I do sense that Tai (Woffinden) whose talent has never been in doubt; is now "at peace" with himself, fit and fresh; reconciled back to ride for the UK Team, and has the dual ability to ride for points but also to race hard when necessary. He knows how to win this, and I can honestly see no better prepared rider this year. Jason Doyle is a magnificent advert for the sport, his Country and himself, a path that gives every rider hope and the understanding that if you put 100% in every day, you can reap the rewards. I just wonder with riders of his type how much is down to "hunger" and I think he will be near the top this time, not at the top. Freddie Lindgren is a similar type, clever; studious almost and I think without the distraction of the UK he can arrive at GP weekends better prepared and more rested.


The Poles are fantastic to watch but that League is uber-competitive and they will knock spots off each other in it week in and week out; it may be the survival of the fittest, not necessarily the fastest and I see Patrick Dudek as the most dangerous in that regard.


1 Tai Woffinden (13/2 Unibet + 888)  2 Freddie Lindgren (4/1 Coral / Lads) 3 Patryk Dudek (10/1 Bet 365) 


2.      Who are the 3 dark horses to look out for?


David @dctipping


When I wrote my season preview, I picked out 3 ‘dark horses’ worth an each-way bet. At the time, Freddie Lindgren was 22/1 and, hopefully, a few have taken the advice and are on that price. He is, however, now best-priced at 4/1 so can hardly be described as a dark horse. Therefore, in addition to MACIEJ JANOWSKI and CHRIS HOLDER, already advised, I would add EMIL SAYFUTDINOV. He looked a future world champion when first emerging on the scene a few years ago but injuries and inconsistency have rather held him back in recent times. He put in some solid performances last year, however, eventually finishing 6th overall and it would not surprise me if he had a good year.


My 3 dark horses therefore: 1. MACIEJ JANOWSKI, (16/1) 2. CHRIS HOLDER,  (33/1) 3. EMIL SAYFUTDINOV (14/1)


Ian @ sp2a


I think as I have said in my preview that ARTEM LAGUTA could light up not just various Rounds but also the Series. When he is "on" he can run through the Card and only his GP inexperience keeps him out of my Top 3. I think the more "experienced riders" like Pedersen and Holder could have a big year left in them but both have had so many knocks and injuries and in the case of Holder, off track issues, that you wonder how long they can stay fit and healthy for. I think that BARTOZ ZMARZLIK is a very serious contender, and as I have indicated a future World Champion in my opinion and MATEJ ZAGAR will I am sure make 2-3 Finals and perfectly capable of nicking one.


My 3 dark horses therefore : 1 ARTEM LAGUTA ( 33/1) 2. BARTOZ ZMARZLIK (5/1) and 3. MATEJ ZAGAR (33/1)


THERE ARE 1/4 th Odds each way for Places 1-2-3 on all season long bets with all Bookmakers and BETWAY go 1/5th the odds for Places 1-2-3-4.