As the World Championship FIM Speedway Grand Prix Series gets underway on Saturday night with the Slovenian Speedway Grand Prix, we take a glance at the top 10 riders and bring you the latest odds.
Nicki Pedersen – Denmark
Current world champion and at the top of his form is the best rider in the world. A fast and fearless competitor, who takes no prisoners on the track.
He had a reputation for being a bit too hard in his early days but now is hard but fair. You just wouldn’t want to be in his way!
World championship odds 11/10
Jason Crump – Australia
Two time world champion in 2004 and 2006 he is the man most likely to be challenging Nicki Pedersen for the title.
He is riding for Belle Vue in the Sky Sports Elite league and in great early season form. Compact, Ginger and you don’t want to argue.
World championship odds 2/1
Leigh Adams - Australia
Has been dubbed the best rider never to win the World Championship. Now approaching the veteran stage of his career but the fire still burns and he can read a racing line like no one else.
Rides for Swindon in the Sky Sports Elite League. Perhaps lacks the ultra aggressive spark of his closest rivals.
World championship odds 6/1
Hans Andersen – Denmark
Hans is another from the same hard-riding-school as Nicki Pedersen and has replaced the world no 1 as captain of Denmark.
He rides for Peterborough in the Sky Sports Elite League and is never short of an opinion, but is a rider of real quality. Makes you realise why Viking’s were so feared.
World championship odds 9/1
Andreas Jonsson – Sweden
Andreas is another rider of huge ability and unflappable nerve. He skippers Lakeside Hammers in the Sky Sports Elite League.
He held his nerve brilliantly in winning the final grand prix of last season, which carried a bonus prize of $100,000 to the winner, celebrating the 100th Grand Prix. Speed, style and bravery.
World championship odds 10/1
Tomasz Gollob – Poland
He could be described as the Dimitar Berbatov of speedway, on his day sublime, but doesn’t always seem to give it 100%.
He always seems to be at his best when skippering the Poland national team or when riding in a home Grand Prix.
World championship odds 25/1
Greg Hancock – USA
The California kid. Greg is another former World Champion; winning it way back in 1997. He is a consummate professional and a hugely talented motorcyclist.
He is also getting towards the latter stages of his career. He can still mix it though, but style over aggression is his key.
World championship odds 28/1
Scott Nicholls – Great Britain
The golden boy of British speedway and the best British rider of his generation. Scott has been unlucky with injuries in the past couple of seasons but given a clear run he is capable of beating anyone in the world.
He captains Eastbourne in the Elite League and also the British Lions. He has become a more aggressive rider over recent season and these are attractive odds.
World championship odds 33/1
Chris Harris – Great Britain
Chris is lining up for his second Grand Prix season and his first was a revelation. He finished on the podium in only his second Grand Prix and then went on to lift the roof of the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff by winning the FIM Meridian Lifts British Speedway Grand Prix.
It will be an interesting season for Chris, who captains Coventry in the Elite League. Doesn’t know when to give up.
World championship odds 40/1
Freddie Lindgren – Sweden
Freddie is embarking on his first full Grand Prix season and it will be a steep learning curve for the talented 22 year old. As a one-off wild card entrant at last seasons FIM Swedish Grand Prix he finished on the podium in third place. A big step up but has undoubted ability.
World championship odds 50/1