Crump wins Swedish spectacular Jason Crump has continued the remarkable strike rate of Australian riders in the Swedish leg of the Speedway World Championship with a stunning victory in round two last Saturday night. The reigning world...
Crump wins Swedish spectacular
Jason Crump has continued the remarkable strike rate of Australian riders in the Swedish leg of the Speedway World Championship with a stunning victory in round two last Saturday night.
The reigning world No. 1 edged out arch-rival Tony Rickardsson and Dane Bjarne Pedersen in the four-lap Big Final to bring up his 11th GP win in 61 starts. Furthermore, it was Crump's third win in Sweden, and the fifth time in six years that an Australian rider has taken the chequered flag.
"It was a very tough night and I had to fight very hard but the win has given me the boost to know that I can go on with it," said Crump. "The championship is a marathon, not a sprint race and we still have seven races to go."
The grand prix, held at the Smedstadion in Eskilstuna for the first time, saw Crump also joined in the Big Final by 2003 world champion Nicki Pedersen. However, the Dane didn't last too long, and was excluded after officials deemed he was the cause of a melee that sent his compatriot Bjarne Pedersen (no relation) scuttling into the fence.
In the restart, Crump got away last, but managed to pass Rickardsson and Bjarne Pedersen in the space of one searing lap en route to his first win in six grands prix.
"It was extremely satisfying to be able to pass Tony," said Crump. It's better to beat him in Sweden in front of his home crowd than anywhere else."
With Crump and Rickardsson the only two riders to have appeared in both Big Finals so far in 2005, it's no surprise that the duo has now pulled a small gap on their closest pursuer -- Australian Leigh Adams. Rickardsson is on 45pts, ahead of Crump (43), Adams (33), Nicki Pedersen (26) and rookie Antonio Lindback (24). The third Aussie in the field, Ryan Sullivan, is in a three-way tie for 10th on 10pts.
After completing the 20 preliminary heats on 13pts -- three wins and two second places - Adams was despondent after finishing fourth in his semi-final behind Nicki Pedersen, Crump and Hans Andersen.
"I'm really bummed out," said Adams, who was second in round one. "I was flying all night and it was all going to plan, but I spun up off the start and it was over. It hasn't hurt us too much in the overall scheme of things, but it could have been so much better."
In the first semi-final, Rickardsson prevailed from Bjarne Pedersen, with Lindback and Kenneth Bjerre -- a late replacement for the injured Jaroslaw Hampel -- eliminated.
Meanwhile, Sullivan struggled all night, and only managed to eke out a paltry 3pts in his five heat rides. He finished 15th.
After a two-week break, the championship re-convenes in Slovenia on May 28, at the same venue where Sullivan (2002) and Adams (2003) have previously been successful.
<pre> ROUND TWO RESULTS 1 Jason Crump Australia 25 2 Tony Rickardsson Sweden 20 3 Bjarne Pedersen Denmark 18 4 Nicki Pedersen Denmark 16 5 Leigh Adams Australia 13 6 Antonio Lindback Sweden 8 6 Hans Andersen Denmark 8 6 Kenneth Bjerre Denmark 8 9 Scott Nicholls Great Britain 7 10 Tomasz Gollob Poland 6 15 Ryan Sullivan Australia 3
CURRENT SATANDI NGS (after two of nine rounds): 1 Rickardsson 45 2 Crump 43 3 Adams 33 4 Nicki Pedersen 26 5 Lindback 24 6 Bjarne Pedersen 22 7 Greg Hancock (America) 17 8 Nicholls 13 9 Gollob 12 10 Jaroslaw Hampel (Poland) 10 10 Andersen 10 10 Sullivan 10