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Woffinden edges closer to championship after Swedish success

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Current Speedway Grand Prix leader Tai Woffinden has kept his title chances alive after winning the FIM Stockholm SGP.

Woffinden, who is chasing his second title, picked up his second win of the season after fending off his closest rival Greg Hancock who came second in the final.

But Woffy, who earned 16 points on the night, failed to extend his advantage after the American also finished on 16 points, ahead of Niels-Kristian Iversen and Maciej Janowski in the final.

The Brit has a 25 point lead over Hancock with just two stages of this year’s Grand Prix remaining, with a trip to Torun next weekend before ending this year’s event in Melbourne.

And despite his advantage, Woffinden is keeping his feet firmly on the ground, insisting last year’s lack of silverware has spurred him on this time around.

He said: “I’m excited. This year has gone really well for me. I can probably say that after 2013, I got a little bit arrogant. Not to the public or to anyone; just within myself. I had a tough year last year and I’ve bounced back. I needed that year to level me again.

“This year I’m just in cruise mode. When it happens, it happens. It’s a strange feeling to get on the bike and know you can put it anywhere you want, whenever you want, and it’s going to go well.”

After disappointment in Stockholm in the past two years, which included breaking his collarbone in 2013 before racing with an injured hand last year, Woffy was elated to leave the Swedish capital with as many points as possible.

He said: “I guess I was thinking a little bit about my previous years here. The first season I broke my collarbone, so that was a tough one.

“The following year was after I had an injury. I scored seven points in both those years. I’m glad I got this out of the way and got the points I needed.”

His closest rival Hancock made his 35th SGP appearance in Sweden, and despite not winning the event, he was delighted to have reached his third successive Swedish final.

He said: “It looks pretty good. I’ve still got this bad omen that I can’t win a round in Sweden.

“I’ve had some good success here at the Friends Arena, though. It’s a great place, and you know I’m a big fan of Sweden.”

The American hasn’t ruled out catching the Brit up, but added; “When you have a guy like Tai, who is riding on top of the world, it’s tough. You can only cling on to a little hope, but the reality is this guy is fast.”

Niels-Kristian Iversen was pleased with his third placed finish, moving the Danish champion up to fourth, ten points behind Nicki Pedersen, who only managed seven points on the night.



So Woffinden maintains his 25 point advantage ahead of Hancock with just two events remaining, with Pedersen a further 13 points behind the American. Janowski’s 12 points lifts him into 7th in the riders championship, behind Jason Doyle, Matej Zagar and Niels-Kristian Iversen.

FIM British Speedway Grand Prix Niels-Kristian Iversen

About Dale Ventham

Dale Ventham is an editor at The Sports Lowdown. He writes on the lower leagues of English football and Speedway in particular.

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