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Jason Crump SWC round 4 review

Crump Regains World Championship Lead Aussie speedway star Jason Crump finished a gallant fourth in round four of the 2004 world title in the UK on June 12, and now shares joint championship leadership with compatriot Leigh Adams. Round...

Crump Regains World Championship Lead

Aussie speedway star Jason Crump finished a gallant fourth in round four of the 2004 world title in the UK on June 12, and now shares joint championship leadership with compatriot Leigh Adams.

Round four, held at the popular Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, saw Crump qualify for his third final in 2004 -- and his 27th in 53 GPs -- with a superb semi-final victory. However, the 28-year-old reigning world number two was then scuppered by a difficult gate position in the final, and despite his best endeavours was unable to add to his two British GP victories in 1996 and 1998.

American Greg Hancock emerged with the spoils from Adams and British rider Lee Richards, becoming the fourth winner in as many GPs -- after Adams, Crump and Bjarne Pedersen. It was the 1997 world champion's seventh GP win, where he now stands behind Tomasz Gollob (eight), Crump (nine) and Tony Rickardsson (12).

"I scored a bit of a bum gate in the ballot, and I had to take a chance off the start," said the Jawa-backed Crump. "I jumped it a little, then I had to check, and by that time I was already behind the eight ball. I was playing catch up the whole time.

"Still, I can't complain too much; I'm back in a final and I'm back in the world championship lead.

"Now I'm heading off to catch some racing of a different sort -- the world Superbike round at Silverstone."

Crump has now appeared in three of the four deciders at the Millennium Stadium, after the British GP moved to the showpiece venue in 2001. His best results are still a couple of seconds -- behind Rickardsson in the inaugural event, and Nicki Pedersen last year.

Now, after his fourth place in 2004, Crump has displaced Rickardsson at the head of the points table -- where he's joined by Adams on 69pts. Rickardsson has slipped two spots back to 62pts, ahead of Hancock (57), with Tomasz Gollob and Jaroslaw Hampel deadlocked on 49. The third Aussie in the world title, Ryan Sullivan, sits in 10th on 39pts.

Round five of the 2004 Speedway World Championship will be held in Denmark on June 26, in a country where Crump has made the final in five of the past six years. Of those appearances, Crump's dossier includes a victory in 2003 and seconds in 2000-01.

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ROUND FOUR RESULTS 1 Greg Hancock America 25 2 Leigh Adams Australia 20 3 Lee Richardson Great Britain 18 4 Jason Crump Australia 16 5 Tomasz Gollob Poland 13 Andreas Jonsson Sweden 13 7 Nicki Pedersen Denmark 11 Scott Nicholls Great Britain 11 9 Tony Rickardsson Sweden 8 David Norris Great Britain 8

CURRENT STANDINGS (after four of nine rounds): 1CRUMP, Adams 69; 3 Rickardsson 62; 4 Hancock 57; 5Gollob, Jaroslaw Hampel 49; 7Nicki Pedersen, Richardson 45; 9 Bjarne Pedersen 43; 10 Ryan Sullivan 39.

-jcr-

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