Plucky British speedway rider Tai Woffinden scored a surprise rostrum finish in last night’s Polish Grand Prix, just two weeks after shattering his collarbone. His third place in Gorzow means he remains in second place in the world championship standings.
Woffinden had surgery to plate the collarbone two days after crashing out of the British Grand Prix at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, and doctors warned him that another crash in Poland was likely to mean an immediate return to the operating table.
But the 22-year-old overcame obvious pain to score eight points in his qualifying heats in Gorzow, which was enough to qualify for the semi-finals at the expense of Denmark’s Nicki Pedersen, his nearest challenger in the championship standings. He then won his semi-final and finished third in the final, won by home favourite Jaroslaw Hampel.
“I came here to do a job, and I did that,” said Woffinden after the meeting. At the halfway point of the 12-round championship he is 11 points behind leader Emil Sayfutdinov, the Russian who was in a class of his own in the qualifying heats at Gorzow before missing the cut in his semi-final.
No Briton has been in the top three of the world championship since Mark Loram won the title in 2000. Woffinden now has two weeks for his collarbone to recover before the Danish GP in Copenhagen.