Tai Woffinden (blue helmet) races from the start to win the final of the Czech speedway Grand Prix

Tai Woffinden (blue helmet) races from the start to win the final of the Czech speedway Grand Prix

 

Woffy charges into title lead

By Tony Hoare -

Off road

 01 June 2014 14:53

Tai Woffinden stormed into the world speedway championship lead with victory in last night’s Czech Grand Prix.

The defending champion from Scunthorpe ripped to 12 points from a possible 15 in his five qualifying rides and then sped from the start in both his semi-final and the final to take the win on the night.

The 23-year-old’s victorious evening in Prague saw him rise from ninth place in the championship to joint first with American Greg Hancock.

It’s still tight at the top with only 11 points between the top 10 riders after four of the year’s 12 rounds. But Woffinden’s situation is miles ahead of the state of play after two rounds, when he was in 12th place and losing out on speed and confidence.

Woffinden said: "It was a great night for me. I made starts and I worked hard. The rut I was in at the start of the season was pretty deep. I've never worked so hard to get out of it.”

Australian Darcy Ward led the eight qualifiers for the semi-finals in Prague after winning all five of his qualifying rides. But he then was bundled out of contention in a competitive semi-final, leaving Woffinden to make a lightning start to win the final from Hancock, Slovenia’s Matej Zagar and Dane Nicki Pedersen.

Poland’s top pair of Krzysztof Kasprzak and Jarek Hampel slipped down the standings with Kasprzak struggling with injury and Hampel escaping from a horror crash in his second race to continue riding, but he was clearly suffering with the after-effects.

The next round of the championship is in Malilla, Sweden on June 14.