Australia out of 2005 FIM Speedway World Cup Badly weakened by the late withdrawal of world champion Jason Crump, Australia finished a distant third in the 2005 FIM Speedway World Cup Race-off at Wroclaw in Poland on August 4, and will now...
Australia out of 2005 FIM Speedway World Cup
Badly weakened by the late withdrawal of world champion Jason Crump, Australia finished a distant third in the 2005 FIM Speedway World Cup Race-off at Wroclaw in Poland on August 4, and will now miss the final for the second year in a row.
Crump, who came down ill with a nasty stomach bug, was replaced in the Australian team by the experienced Steve Johnston, but it was always going to be a big obstacle to overcome against the might of Poland and Denmark.
Notwithstanding another classy performance by acting captain Leigh Adams, that's how it panned out, with Australia finishing on 40pts, behind Denmark (46) and Poland, who will now progress to tomorrow night's final. The Czech Republic (16pts) was a distant fourth.
Despite the final margin, there was some glimmer of hope for Australia after Adams, riding as a "Joker", scored double points (six) in winning heat 13. That lifted Australia into second place behind Poland, but the joy was ephemeral, with the Nicki Pedersen-led Danes moving back into the runner-up slot three heats later -- a position they would not relinquish for the rest of the event.
Adams led the Australian scoring on 14pts, ahead of Ryan Sullivan (five), Adam Shields (five), Johnston (four) and Davey Watt (one). Meanwhile, all the Polish riders, buoyed by some fanatical home town support, were in double figures, with Grzegorz Walasek (15pts) becoming just the seventh rider to go through an SWC meeting undefeated, after Crump; Adams; another Australian, Todd Wiltshire; Mark Loram, Pedersen and Tony Rickardsson.
Polish captain, the esteemed Tomasz Gollob, also chimed in with 14pts, while Rune Holta (12) and Piotr Protasiewicz (12) were also prolific.
With Wroclaw also the venue for the final, Poland will now be confident of lifting its first SWC trophy since 1996 -- and redeem itself for a listless performance in last year's decider.
In that meeting, Sweden defeated Great Britain in a breathtaking finish, while Denmark and Poland were way back in third and fourth.
All four teams in the final are multiple SWC winners, with Denmark leading the way on 11, ahead of Sweden (10), Great Britain (nine) and Poland (five). However, since the turn of the century, the SWC has been the sole domain of Sweden (2000, 2003-04) and Australia (2001-02).
For more information on the 2005 FIM Speedway World Cup, visit www.speedwayworld.tv
1 Poland 63 (Grzegorz Walasek 15, Tomasz Gollob 14, Piotr Protasiewicz 12, Rune Holta 12, Jaroslaw Hampel 10)
2 Denmark 48 (Hans Andersen 15, Nicki Pedersen 14, Niels-Kristian Iversen 8, Kenneth Bjerre 5, Bjarne Pedersen 5)
3 Australia 30 (Leigh Adams 15, Adam Shields 5, Ryan Sullivan 5, Steve Johnston 4, Davey Watt 1
4 Czech Republic 18 (Lukas Dryml 7, Ales Dryml 4, Adrian Rymel 4, Tomas Suchanek 1, Tomas Topinka 0).