Blogs & Opinion


Kelvin Tatum:

Most Popular Posts:

Opinion Archive:

First and foremost

Hancock can move a step closer to the title in Sweden, says Kelvin

Kelvin Tatum Posted 7th September 2012 view comments

When you look at the way the Grand Prix season is shaping up, we really should have a 'Thriller in Malilla' at the Scandinavian Grand Prix on Saturday night.

Only one point separates leader Greg Hancock and second-placed Chris Holder in the standings, while three-time champion Nicki Pedersen is just six points off top spot in third.

Jason Crump lies fourth and having won the Grand Prix series on three occasions you cannot rule out him making a late surge, but there are question marks over his fitness, with the Australian having reinjured his collarbone.

Hancock: the American has a one-point lead over Holder heading into the Malilla meet

Hancock: the American has a one-point lead over Holder heading into the Malilla meet

So it looks like a three-way showdown for the title, but the momentum could really be with Holder after he won the British Grand Prix in Cardiff last time out on what surely must be the night of his life so far.

He is bang in contention to win his first World Championship and, at 24 years of age, has the youthful vigour that Hancock, 42, and Pedersen, 35, do not. However, there is now doubt that those experienced campaigners will come out all guns blazing.

Harris is rapidly running out of meetings to force his way into the top eight and I think he needs to win at least one Grand Prix to earn an invite for 2013.

Kelvin Tatum
Quotes of the week

LIVE ON SKY SPORTS
Scandinavian Grand Prix (Malilla)
6pm, Sat, Sky Sports 4 HD
Watch on the move with Sky Go
How to remote record

The Swedish crowd will have plenty of hometown stars to cheer for on Saturday and the meet could be a crucial one for Antonio Lindback, Freddie Lindgren and the enigmatic Andreas Jonsson.

Lindback has turned his season around by winning the Italian Grand Prix and making the final in Cardiff, while Lindgren has impressed this campaign, claiming victory in Gothenburg and proving he can mix it with the elite.

However, both they and Jonsson are battling to secure a top-eight berth that would guarantee them a spot in next year's Grand Prix campaign.

A victory in Malilla would alleviate a lot of the pressure on those guys and I wouldn't be surprised if Jonsson took the spoils, just as he did at this venue in 2006.

Miracle

Another Swede, Thomas H Jonasson, has been handed the wildcard spot and I think that is a good decision; he has ridden well in Grands Prix before and I see no reason why he shouldn't do himself justice this weekend.

But Saturday's show will also feature the return of Polish rider Jaroslaw Hampel, out since June with a nasty ankle injury; the 30-year-old hasn't got an awful lot to gain by riding because he would almost certainly have been given an invite for next year anyway, but all credit to him for wanting to get back on the motorbike.

Briton Chris Harris, meanwhile, was disappointing in Cardiff and he needs a minor miracle to preserve his Grand Prix spot for next season.

He is rapidly running out of meetings to force his way into the top eight and I think he needs to win at least one Grand Prix to earn an invite for 2013.

The passionate Swedes will be desperate for the one of their own riders to win on Saturday night, but I think Hancock will grab the victory; his lead over Holder has swiftly disappeared and he needs a big performance to stay out in front.

back to top

Other Speedway Experts:

Latest Posts in Speedway:

Kelvin Tatum

'Poole inspirational'

Kelvin Tatum reflects on the 'most exciting' season he can remember - and Poole Pirates' heroics......

Kelvin Tatum

Back on track

Lakeside can make it two wins over Belle Vue Aces in four days, says Kelvin Tatum, but it'll be close!...

comments

Kelvin Tatum

Hit the road

Swindon are struggling this season but will fancy their chances at Birmingham, says Kelvin Tatum....

comments

Latest News RSS feeds

'Poole inspirational'

Kelvin Tatum reflects on the 'most exciting' season he can remember - and Poole Pirates' heroics...

Poole beat Coventry in final

Poole Pirates completed a successful defence of their Elite League title with a 90-71 aggregate win over Coventry Bees.

Poole second in Poland

Poole Pirates finished a creditable second in the inaugural World Speedway League event in Poland on Saturday.

Elite League Final preview

Poole and Coventry go into the second leg of the Elite League Grand Final with all to play for after Friday's rain-hit opener.

Poole lead as rain halts final

Poole Pirates will take a 37-34 lead over Coventry Bees into the second leg of the Elite League Grand Final on Monday.

Features

Good Week/Bad Week: We take a look at the winners and losers from the last seven days

Good Week/Bad Week: We take a look at the winners and losers from the last seven days

The sporting theatre offers unadulterated highs and soul-destroying lows on a weekly basis and the past seven days have once again delivered moments of sheer quality, matched by adrenaline-fuelled madness.

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on Twitter

Follow @SkySpeedway on Twitter for all the latest news, info and updates from the world of Speedway.