Monday July 23, 2018 at 10:54am
Brit hero Tai Woffinden said “sorry I let the fans down” after missing out on British Grand Prix glory - but increased his World Championship lead to 20 points.
The Wolves idol finished runner-up in the British Grand Prix at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday night.
Woffinden, 28, now leads the standings on 81 points with his nearest rival ex-Wolves team-mate Fredrik Lindgren back on 61 after a tough night in Wales and vowed that “speedway is coming home!”
Woffy admitted: “It’s job done as far as I’m concerned. Yes it would have been nice to win it but it’s awesome to be 20 points clear at the top of the standings.
“That’s the main thing as far as I’m concerned. Every single GP is another stepping stone to the ultimate goal of winning my third world title.
“I’ve not won anything yet. I won’t be happy until the final race and mathematically I can’t be caught. Speedway can be a cruel game, it can change in the click of a fingers.
“The crowd were once again incredible at Cardiff. The support I get from the British fans is simply unbelievable. It’s a huge buzz and I’m pleased I could do a good job for them to thank them for their backing.
“I’ve just got one message for the fans: Speedway is coming home!”
Woffinden had an up and down night and finished the qualifying races with 11 points after one bike problem cost him in one race and a bizarrely ragged start in Heat 13 left him trailing.
But he won the second semi-final in brilliant style from former Cradley Heath and Coventry legend Greg Hancock.
However, super fast Pole Bartosz Zmarzlik had been the quickest all night and top scorer and thus had first pick of gate positions for the final.
He took the advantageous gate one and that proved vital as he roared clear in the final and despite a fierce effort from Woffinden, he just couldn’t catch the pocket rocket Pole.
Defending World Champion Jason Doyle was involved in a horror crash in Heat 20 and that is likely to keep him out of action for his UK club Somerset.
Belle Vue Brit ace Craig Cook had a sensational night with three race wins, having not previously won a race in the Grand Prix series but went out in the semis.
However he also had a bad crash in his final qualifying heat and missed out on the final with last place in the second semi-final.
King’s Lynn’s Robert Lambert had a really tough night with a first race engine failure and two exclusions.
Scorers: Bartosz Zmarzlik 19, Tai Woffinden 16, Maciej Janowski 12, Greg Hancock 12, Patryk Dudek 10, Przemyslaw Pawlicki 10, Craig Cook 9, Emil Sayfutdinov 8, Fredrik Lindgren 7, Chris Holder 7, Artem Laguta 6, Matej Zagar 6, Nicki Pedersen 6, Jason Doyle 5, Martin Vaculik 3, Robert Lambert 1, Dan Bewley 0.