FIM

SWC: Jason Crump wins championship

Crump wins world championship! Australian Jason Crump is the 2004 world speedway champion. The 29-year-old Australian did enough at the final round in Norway on October 2 -- a semi-final appearance -- to snuff out the stern challenge of...

Crump wins world championship!
Australian Jason Crump is the 2004 world speedway champion.

The 29-year-old Australian did enough at the final round in Norway on October 2 -- a semi-final appearance -- to snuff out the stern challenge of arch-rival Tony Rickardsson, becoming just the fourth Australian speedway champion, and the first since 1952.

"This is just brilliant, and something that I have worked towards my entire speedway career," said an effusive Crump. "I take great satisfaction from this, but I want to thank all the people who have helped me reach the summit; this one is for them too.

"It's been a terrific battle all year, and this night is one that I will cherish forever.

"Last year was a bummer of a final round in Norway, so it's extra special to return and do the business."

Crump supplanted Dane Nicki Pedersen as world champion in a thrilling heat 19 at the Viking Ship Stadium in Norway, which was re-run -- for the first time - after the aforementioned duo and another Australian, Ryan Sullivan, all crashed just seconds after the start.

However, the re-run was minus local hero Rune Holta, who was excluded after he failed to ready himself on the start line within the allotted two minutes.

Then serendipity reached another level when Sullivan crashed at Turn One again, leaving only Pedersen and the Jawa-mounted Crump in the third take on heat 19 -- ensuring a straight path through to the semi-final action (a minimum of 11pts) for both riders.

With Crump only requiring 9pts in the final round to assure himself the championship silverware irrespective of Rickardsson's result, the 10-time GP winner could afford to go through the motions in that heat 19 -- which he duly performed with a wheelstand exhibition for the 8000-strong crowd.

"What a way to win the championship -- just having a bit of fun," said Crump, who was competing in his 59th GP over a 10-year period. "That's the nature of speedway; sometimes those things happen, and I'm glad it was tonight."

Crump is now the second Australian to win a world motorcycle championship in 2004, following in the footsteps of Karl Muggeridge, who recently won the Supersport title in road racing.

With the championship finally in the Australian's keeping, a nonplussed Crump finished fourth in the second semi-final behind countryman Leigh Adams, American Greg Hancock and Swede Andreas Jonsson, with the 11pts taking his final tally to 158 after nine rounds.

At the death knell, that only represented a 3pt win over five-time world champion Tony Rickardsson (155), who won the final round in a canter -- his second win this year and 14th overall.

Rickardsson defeated Hancock in the final, with Adams fourth behind Pole Tomasz Gollob.

Hancock, who was chasing a third consecutive final round victory in the speedway title, finished on 137pts, ahead of Adams (131) and Pedersen and Gollob on 113 apiece. Jonsson (97pts) and Jaroslaw Hampel (81) were seventh and eighth - making them the last riders to automatically qualify for the 2005 Speedway World Championship.

<pre> ROUND NINE RESULTS 1 Tony Rickardsson Sweden 25 2 Greg Hancock America 20 3 Tomasz Gollob Poland 18 4 Leigh Adams Australia 16 5 Andreas Jonsson Sweden 13 Nicki Pedersen Denmark 13 7 Jason Crump Australia 11 Rune Holta Norway 11 9 Mickael Max Sweden 8 Ryan Sullivan Australia 8

SPEEDWAY WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL STANDINGS 1 Jason Crump Australia 158 2 Tony Rickardsson Sweden 155 3 Greg Hancock America 137 4 Leigh Adams Australia 131 5 Nicki Pedersen Denmark 113 Tomasz Gollob Poland 113 7 Andreas Jonsson Sweden 97 8 Jaroslaw Hampel Poland 81 9 Hans Andersen Denmark 80 10 Bjarne Pedersen Denmark 78 12 Ryan Sullivan Australian 65

AUSTRALIAN SPEEDWAY WORLD CHAMPIONS 1936 Lionel Van Praag 1938 Bluey Wilkinson 1951 Jack Young 1952 Jack Young 2004 Jason Crump

-www.jasoncrump.com-

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Series FIM
Drivers Karl Muggeridge