Crump Aiming For More Glory in Wroclaw Buoyed by a brilliant last-start triumph, Australian speedway star Jason Crump heads into round three of the world championship in Wroclaw (Poland) on May 29 in search of back-to-back wins for the first...
Crump Aiming For More Glory in Wroclaw
Buoyed by a brilliant last-start triumph, Australian speedway star Jason Crump heads into round three of the world championship in Wroclaw (Poland) on May 29 in search of back-to-back wins for the first time since 2001.
Crump, who rides for Torun in the Polish national league, is determined to continue the swashbuckling form which has seen him make the best start to any of his eight world championship campaigns dating back to 1996 -- the year he became the youngest ever GP winner at 21 years and 25 days old.
In fact, Crump's accumulation of 45pts in the opening two rounds on his factory Jawa -- he was second in round one -- has only been bettered once since the world championship went multi-round in 1995. That honour belongs to the nine-time GP winner's arch-rival, Sweden's Tony Rickardsson, who scored maximum points in the opening two hitouts in 1998.
After two rounds of this year's title, the reigning world number two has a 7pt lead over compatriot and round one winner Leigh Adams (38), followed by Rickardsson (36), Tomasz Gollob (29) and American Greg Hancock (24). Crump and Rickardsson are the only two riders to have made both finals.
At the same time last year, Crump was languishing on a modest 16pts -- but was still able to move back into championship contention with a batch of sizzling mid-season rides. Now, with this year's glittering start behind him, the 28-year-old has built the ideal foundation to break the oft-mentioned Australian speedway drought -- Jack Young was the last champion way back in 1952.
"I'm absolutely stoked with the start I've made this year, but it's still only early in the piece," said Crump. "However, I feel fit and my bikes are running superbly, so I'll continue to keep my head down and do my own thing -- it's worked a treat so far."
Crump, who won the Polish GP in 2001, will saddle up for his 52nd GP at the 40,000-seat Olympic Stadium on Saturday night, in a country which is the nerve-centre of Continental speedway.
"The Polish just love their speedway, and the media coverage it receives is on a par with cricket and football in Australia," says Crump. "Because the fans are so passionate, it's extra special to do well there -- and of course a lot of my sponsors are from Poland.
"The Olympic Stadium is a great venue, and it holds some fond memories for me -- it's where Australia won the revamped Speedway World Cup in 2001. I also rode there about six weeks ago and did very well, so I'm very confident about what lays ahead."
Last year's Polish GP was won by Gollob from Crump, with the 33-year-old again expected to lift a notch in front of his home crowd.
"Gollob is always fast in Poland -- which is understandable -- and the Olympic Stadium is the home track for (Jaroslaw) Hampel and Hancock, so they'll be more guys to watch," added Crump, who has made it to at least the semi-finals in the last nine GPs.
The third Australian in this year's championship, Ryan Sullivan, is another member of Saturday night's ensemble cast, and currently lies in equal sixth in the standings alongside Hampel.