Blogs & Opinion


Crump time

'Aussie should be strong in Cardiff but may be foiled by Holder'

Kelvin Tatum Posted 24th August 2012 view comments

Jason Crump will be looking at the British Grand Prix as a real opportunity to close the gap on the tournament leaders.

The Australian, third in the standings behind Greg Hancock and Nicki Pedersen, has a fabulous record in Cardiff, winning the meet three times in the last six years, a record I know he is very proud of.

Jase the ace: Crump is searching for his fourth Grand Prix title

Jase the ace: Crump is searching for his fourth Grand Prix title

Crump will be hoping to rack up more points on Saturday as he pursues a fourth Grand Prix crown, having previously lifted the trophy in 2004, '06 and '09, and really needs a good score with only three races remaining after this weekend.

I wouldn't be surprised if he puts in a top performance in the Welsh capital - although I do think Chris Holder will emerge victorious on the night.

Desperate

Chris Harris, bar his win in 2007, has not fared that well at the British Grand Prix and I think that's because he is not a great starter.

All the riders love coming to Britain because of the fans; our crowds are not quite as passionate as the Poles or as partisan as the Danes but they are very fair.

Kelvin Tatum
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The track at Cardiff has improved and it is now very difficult to overtake on it, meaning Chris' lack of energy out of the blocks becomes a severe disadvantage.

Harris' fellow Brit, Scott Nicholls, will be in action, having earned the wildcard spot after winning the British Final last month. The track should suit him but he is still carrying a shoulder/collarbone injury and hasn't ridden too much of late.

I may not be painting a great picture for the Brits' but I know Scott will give it everything and Chris is desperate for points to try and keep his Grand Prix tenure going, so I wouldn't rule out the possibility of a good showing.

Antonio Lindback won the Italian Grand Prix in Terenzano last time out; it was his first victory at this level and I'm really pleased for him because he has had a roller-coaster career.

The Brazilian-born Swede burst onto the scene but then went off the rails and took time out of the sport to deal with some issues. However, he is now a father, has a partner and seems focussed - although he is still a pretty lively and flamboyant character.

Lindback is a talented rider and certainly has the speed to make his win in Italy more than a one-off, but he still remains a little inconsistent, often following a sensational performance with a poor one.

His primary goal between now and the end of the season will be to pile on enough points to ensure he is a Grand Prix rider again next term.

Major

All the riders love coming to Britain because of the fans; our crowds are not quite as passionate as the Poles or as partisan as the Danes but they are very fair and will cheer for all the competitors, not just the home ones.

Hancock and Crump are extremely popular because they have a long history of racing here, while Poole rider Holder is well known to the fans and is looked upon equally fondly.

We are a major speedway nation and I'm sure no-one would complain if we had a second Grand Prix on the calendar, but in the end it comes down to appropriate venues.

We've had World Cup Finals in the UK at Poole and other places but to host a second Grand Prix I think we would need something bigger than that.

So at the moment Britain has just a solitary meet - but it's definitely the best one of the year.

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