GOLLOB: I'M BACK ON THE UP
Saturday 8th September 2012, 23:39
Polish icon Tomasz Gollob is certain his form will go “up, up, up” after putting an indifferent 15 months behind him to win the FIM Scandinavian Speedway Grand Prix in Malilla on Saturday.
The 41-year-old finished with a whopping 21 points as he topped the rostrum ahead of Australian champion Chris Holder, whose haul of 17 puts him top of the World Championship – eight points clear of pre-meeting series leader Greg Hancock.
Antonio Lindback finished third, but even the flying Swede, who reached his third straight SGP podium, had no answer for Gollob.
The Bydgoszcz-born man was a point clear at the top of the World Championship after his last Grand Prix win in Copenhagen on June 11, 2011. But a procession of bike problems saw the 2010 world champion plummet to fifth in the final rankings.
Despite winning the silver medal in Leszno and bronze in Prague and Gorican this year, Gollob’s campaign has been blighted by setup struggles and a serious crash at Swedish track Hammarby on May 22, which left him heavily concussed.
So the five-time FIM Speedway World Cup winner was delighted to put all this behind him and produce a commanding victory in Malilla.
"Every time, it has just been more problems. Now I just think it will be up, up, up. Iâ€™ll have more good results and good races."
- Tomasz Gollob
He said: “More and more meetings have passed and I haven’t won. I’ve had a lot of problems with bikes, crashes, everything.
"I’ve had broken engines, had defects and crashes in the Swedish league and Polish league.
“Every time, it has just been more problems. Now I just think it will be up, up, up. I’ll have more good results and good races.
“Everybody in my team has put in so much work – every time, every week, every month. The result is the win in this Grand Prix.”
Gollob’s triumph saw him edge up to fourth place in the SGP standings on 114 points – putting him nine behind Nicki Pedersen, who occupies third place.
A World Championship medal is now within his reach ahead of the penultimate round, the FIM Dansk Metal Nordic SGP at Vojens on September 22.
And Gollob knows the heat is on the riders ahead of him in the battle for the rostrum places.
Asked if he felt he could get there, he said: “There’s no pressure on me. I’ll be working hard in the last two Grand Prix rounds to get good points and have some good races. But I don’t know now.”
Gollob is often asked how long he plans to continue his glittering career. Thoughts of retirement will be far from his mind after his 22nd SGP win, and the evergreen Pole plans to be around for a few more seasons. Asked how long he planned to race on, he said: “Maybe for the next two or three years …”
While Gollob had to wait until the age of 39 to become world champion, runner-up Chris Holder could join the elite club this season. But he isn’t taking his eight-point edge over Hancock for granted with two rounds to race at Vojens and Torun.
He said: “Being eight points in front now means absolutely nothing. You can pull that back in one meeting – no problem – and put some points on top of that.
“I just want to keep making finals and, if you’re doing that, you’re in the points. That’s the plan, it’s going well and I’ll just keep doing that.”
Antonio Lindback surged up to eighth in the World Championship to occupy the final automatic qualification berth for the 2013 series.
He is 15 points clear of Andreas Jonsson in ninth, who crashed out of the meeting in heat five with one point and was taken to hospital for checks.
Lindback has been on the highest of highs since winning the FIM Fogo Italian SGP in Terenzano on August 11 and is determined to build on his run of three straight podium places.
He said: “It’s going well. I like to race speedway at the moment. When you’re up on the podium three times in a row, you’re happy and your confidence is high.
“I want to finish the season well and I hope I can get into some more finals and maybe win one. My goal for this meeting was to come here and take the top-eight place. I did that. I’ll just keep looking forward and see if I can climb up one more spot.”
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 1 Chris Holder 134, 2 Greg Hancock 126, 3 Nicki Pedersen 123, 4 Tomasz Gollob 114, 5 Jason Crump 111, 6 Emil Sayfutdinov 107, 7 Fredrik Lindgren 100, 8 Antonio Lindback 92, 9 Andreas Jonsson 77, 10 Hans Andersen 58, 11 Chris Harris 57, 12 Martin Vaculik 55, 13 Jaroslaw Hampel 52, 14 Bjarne Pedersen 49, 15 Peter Ljung 49, 16 Kenneth Bjerre 41, 17 Tomas H Jonasson 16, 18 Krzysztof Kasprzak 13, 19 Bartosz Zmarzlik 13, 20 Jurica Pavlic 12, 21 Josef Franc 9, 22 Przemyslaw Pawlicki 7, 23 Michael Jepsen Jensen 7, 24 Scott Nicholls 7, 25 Mikkel B Jensen 4, 26 Nicolas Covatti 3, 27 Peter Kildemand 2, 28 Jason Bunyan 1.
FIM SCANDINAVIAN SGP SCORES: 1 Tomasz Gollob 21, 2 Chris Holder 17, 3 Antonio Lindback 18, 4 Nicki Pedersen 11, 5 Fredrik Lindgren 11, 6 Emil Sayfutdinov 11, 7 Greg Hancock 8, 8 Jason Crump 8, 9 Bjarne Pedersen 6, 10 Martin Vaculik 6, 11 Jaroslaw Hampel 6, 12 Tomas H Jonasson 5, 13 Peter Ljung 5, 14 Chris Harris 5, 15 Hans Andersen 5, 16 Andreas Jonsson 1, 17 Kim Nilsson 0, 18 Linus Sundstrom 0.
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