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SGP Round 8 - Vojens 7th September

 

With just 3 GP’s remaining we head off to the spiritual home of Danish Speedway. Back in September 1975 shortly after winning his second World Cup title, Ole Olsen cut the ribbon to open the Vojens Speedway Centre.  Over 40,000 are reputed to have been in the stadium with many more turned away and since then speedway at this venue has produced many great moments and great memories. 

 

The inclement weather on Friday meant that practice and qualifying had to be cancelled and, so, the starting positions were determined by the old-fashioned method of a draw. 

 

The track has been covered for a few days, given the wet forecast, to protect it for Saturday night, and that could well mean that the track is 'slick' with good gating being more important than usual. With this in mind, the draw could play a big part in how events unfold.

 

One man who does not look to have been done any favours in the draw is current joint leader LEON MADSEN as his draw position of 6 means that he will have 2 outside gates. He has a tough start to the meeting, with a clash with fellow joint-leader BARTOSZ ZMARZLIK first up and then he goes off gate 4 in his second ride against TAI WOFFINDEN, EMIL SAYFUTDINOV and fellow Dane NIELS K IVERSEN.

 

He knows, however, that winning the world title is not necessarily about winning GP's but more about amassing points on a consistent basis GP by GP. He has done that well so far and that will, no doubt, be the aim again here even though he would love to win in his home country.

 

Fellow Dane and 2020 GP Qualifier, NIELS K. IVERSEN has found some good late form, performing well in Teterow, Germany to make the final and pick up 13 useful points. He now finds himself just one place out the top 8, so has every chance to make the top 8 with 2 of the last 3 GP’s at favoured venues in Vojens and Torun. He has a very winnable first ride but his programme of rides does get tougher and he will be hoping to have secured enough points for a semi-final spot by the time of his final ride in heat 17.

 

Vojens has not staged a GP since 2014 so many of the riders will not have much recent experience of the circuit. 2 riders that have tasted success here are FREDDIE LINDGREN and ANTONIO LINDBACK who were both part of the epic 2015 Swedish World Cup winning Team when they defeated the host nation by 2 points. LINDGREN, after a slow start to the series, has put in some good performances in recent rounds, winning round 6, of course, when we tipped him at 20/1, and then making the semi-finals last time in Germany to now sit in 4th in the table. He could go well again here, if getting his gating right, and looks a solid option for the semi-finals at the very least.

 

On his day, LINDBACK can compete with the best and does have 3 GP wins to his name, in his career, plus 16 finals. He has a good draw here, with two inside gates, and could very well out-perform his big odds.

 

Another with some back-form at this track, albeit that there have been some alterations in recent years, is EMIL SAYFUTDINOV. He currently lies in 3rd in the Championship standings, just 7 points behind the leaders, and will be ready to pounce should they both slip up over the last 3 events. He is not always the most consistent, as his performance at the last GP illustrated perfectly with 2 last places being followed by 3 heat wins, but, if he can get his bike set-up right here, he can play a big part. He has finished on the podium here in the past and may well do so, again, here.

 

Another tough GP to call with BARTOSZ ZMARZLIK  looking to go one better than last time, TAI WOFFINDEN, who is still looking for that extra speed he has been lacking, hoping to build on a more encouraging display in Germany and PATRYK DUDEK, who is looking to re-discover the form he showed in the early rounds, all in the mix. Wildcard MIKKEL MICHELSEN may out-perform against his odds, with the help of home support and JASON DOYLE, with the help of two inside gates, will be trying to make a late move to gain a place in the top 8 to guarantee a place next year.

 

With MADSEN and ZMARZLIK possibly looking to accumulate points rather than taking unnecessary risks to win the GP, it may be worth over-looking the market leaders with the bookies and going for the following as 3 each-way selections:-

 

 1. FREDDIE LINDGREN  - 12/1 (General)

 2. EMIL SAYFUTDINOV   -  7/1 (Skybet)

 3. ANTONIO LINDBACK. - 40/1 (Betfair SB, Bet365)

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