Tai Woffinden became Britain’s greatest-ever rider with a third World Championship title and then vowed: “Now I want to win six!”
On an epic night in Torun, the Scunthorpe-born star clinched the world crown in dramatic style despite a broken metatarsal in his foot after a high-speed crash.
Woffy, 28, won his opening two races but then in his third ride a horror moment going into the first turn fence looked like it might end his gold dreams.
But he limped away from the incident only to watch nearest rival Bartosz Zmarzlik close his title lead down to just three points before his final qualifying ride in Heat 20.
However the Brit defied the intense pressure to win that race and then pick up a second place in the semi-final, beating the Pole to wrap up the title.
Just for good measure, Woffy then inflicted the first defeat of the night on Artem Laguta to win the Grand Prix of Poland.
He admitted: “No doubt 100 per cent this is my hardest one to date. After I won my 2013 championship we were sat in a room with Nicki Pedersen, Jason Crump, Greg Hancock and Chris Holder. I mentioned I wanted to break the six-times World Championship record and they all had a laugh amongst themselves.
“Now I’ve done it three-times in six years and I will do it six times.
“The hardest thing is being World Champion but even harder is being World Champion the following year. Because when you’ve got that target on your back, it’s tough. So I’ve had a few cracks at trying to win in back-to-back and now it’s a third time. So hopefully it’s third time lucky for me.
“But I’ll put the work in to give it my best shot next year.”
In an emotion-charged moment, Woffinden raced over to see his family after clinching the title and believes it is his best win to date.
He said: “I feel good, just soaking it up. I always say I don’t like to start the season good, that’s what I did this year and it was tough.
“It’s always nice to be behind chasing. This year was the hardest year for me physically and mentally. I’m pretty strong in the head. But there were times when I was sitting there like ‘Man this is tough’.
Despite a tense night as Zmarzlik attempted to snatch the prize away, Woffinden once again kept his cool to win the big races.
He added: “It’s been an amazing season. I’ve never doubted my ability. I always know when I bring my A game I can win it. I believe that in my heart.
“That’s why I can go out there when the pressure is on and do it.
“I made a mistake in that race with Doyley and had the crash. I think I’ve broken my metatarsal. I can’t move my toes or walk properly. But it all just adds to the story.”
Woffinden will now take time to celebrate with his wife Faye, daughter Rylee-Cru and family. He decided his win to his daughter and to former Wroclaw team mate. He added: “I want to dedicate that win to Tomasz Jedrzejak. He’s one of my really close friends who lost his life earlier in the season.”
Picture: DANIEL SIEVERS