SP2A Speedway News
Speedway GP Teterow - August 31stThe GP series moves onto Teterow in Germany this week-end and with just 4 rounds to go the race for the title is the closest it’s been for many years with no less than 6 riders still in with a very good chance of standing on top of the podium in Torun in just 5 weeks time.
The current leader is LEON MADSEN. The 30 year-old Dane qualified for the series as a wildcard entry but has been a revelation in making 5 of the 6 finals so far and winning the opening GP of the season. His 2nd place last time out, in Sweden, summed up just how consistent he has been and he achieved that placing despite carrying an injury. He is now 6 points clear at the top and will be determined to stay at the top of the standings. He is the current favourite with the bookies for this GP but has been drawn in position 1 which means that he will have to ride after each track grade. Whether that turns out to be an advantage only time will tell.
BARTOSZ ZMARZLIK lies in 2nd place at the moment ( a position he filled at the end of 2018) and he will want to finish the season strongly. After his efforts last year, he will be desperate to follow in the tyre-tracks of his great hero Tomasz Gollob and win the World Championship for Poland and you can be sure he will be doing everything he can to chase down Madsen and, at the very least, give himself a realistic target to chase in the final event in Torun. He has already won 2 GP events this season, which is, actually, 1 more than last year but has been let down by not having the same consistency as his main title rival right now. He has only made 2 finals, compared to Madsen’s 5, but the good news is that he has a 100% winning record when doing so.
He has a rather mixed record at this track in the 3 events that have been held here so far with podium spots last year and in 2016 sandwiching a very poor return of just 2 points in 2017.
Just behind Zmarzlik, by a single point, is EMIL SAYFUTDINOV and is having his best GP season since returning to the series in 2017 after a 4 year absence. He made the semi-finals here 2 years ago but then rather under-performed here last year. He has a GP win under his belt this season but his performance last time in Sweden saw him slip from his position as joint leader and he will need to improve here. He has 2 tough-looking heats to open his night with but, if he can yield a decent crop of points from those, it may set him up for a strong finish to the regular programme of races. I can see him making the semi-finals at least here.
Level on points with Emil is MARTIN VACULIK and he has been performing with much consistency so far this year. He was another wildcard pick, having had his season disrupted by injury last season and is proving a good pick. He is yet to win a GP this time around but he has made the final on 3 occasions and it is that consistency that has put him right into contention this year. He had a night to forget here last year when an early crash ended his meeting but he did finish 2nd in the 2017 event and this circuit may well suit him. He’s another who I see making the semi-finals at the very least.
Last year, this GP was won by TAI WOFFINDEN. The reigning Champion has, of course, had his hopes of retaining the title well and truly scuppered this year by injury and, although he has competed in the last 2 events, it is taking him time to get back to his 100% GP best. Amazingly, in his 4 GP appearances so far this year, he is yet to register a single heat win! There are, however, just signs in the last couple of weeks, in league racing, that his form is returning and, with proven track form and undoubted ability, he may just be a shade over-priced here. The chances of the title are gone but he would dearly love to add to his 11 career GP wins and when he is determined to achieve something he can take a lot of stopping.
A couple of riders who have proven form at this circuit are JASON DOYLE and MATEJ ZAGAR. The former finished 2nd here last year, 3rd in 2017 (when he finished the season as World Champion) and won the GP in 2016. That makes excellent reading and he could go well again here. Enthusiasm is tempered somewhat, however, by his general form this season. His scoring is a couple of average points down on last year, when he had a number of niggling injuries and bad luck plaguing him, and he will need to improve his gating.
ZAGAR made the semi-finals here last year and won the GP in 2017 when, along the way, he also broke the track record (which still stands to this day). He may not be quite the force he was in past years but he showed with his win in last week-end’s GP Challenge that he is still more than capable on his night. That win ensured that he will be back for the 2020 series and, with the pressure now off him in terms of having to fight for a top 8 place, he may just be relaxed enough to go well here again. He has made 21 GP finals in his long GP career and it is not beyond the realms of possibility that, with a little luck, he could do so again at a nice each-way price.
Another close and competitive GP looks to be on the cards here and the current championship leader, MADSEN, deserves his position at the head of the betting market. However, with a need to keep up the pressure on the current front-runner, I think that ZAMARZLIK will be pushing strongly for a place in the final at the very least whilst with the pressure off, for different reasons, two others at bigger prices may be worth an each-way bet too. Those two are TAI WOFFINDEN and, at much bigger odds, MATEJ ZAGAR.
In summary, recommended bets are:-
1. BARTOSZ ZMARZLIK - 11/2 (Bet 365)
2. TAI WOFFINDEN - 9/1 (Bet 365)
3. MATEJ ZAGAR. - 25/1 (Skybet, William Hill)
Each-way terms – ¼ odds for first 3 places.