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SGP STAT SUNDAY | THE CZECH CHARM

It’s SGP Stat Sunday! This week, we’re looking at the FIM Speedway Grand Prix series’ ultimate lucky omen – winning the Czech SGP in Prague.

18 / 11 / 2018, 11:00

It’s SGP Stat Sunday! This week, we’re looking at the FIM Speedway Grand Prix series’ ultimate lucky omen – winning the Czech SGP in Prague.

There may only be 21 points on offer at the Marketa Stadium – the same number up for grabs at every other venue. But this meeting has gained an incredible reputation for indicating who the new world champ will be.

Nine out of the last 15 winners in Prague have gone on to lift the sport’s biggest prize in the same season – nearly two thirds!

It all started back in 2004 when Aussie icon Jason Crump won his third Czech SGP on the bounce. After three straight silver medals in the series, he went on to win the title – and start an incredible run of results.

Tony Rickardsson topped the box in the 2005 edition. But he also won five more that year on his way to the greatest season in SGP history.

Hans Andersen didn’t have the chance to continue the streak in 2006. Having only entered the series as first reserve, missing the first four rounds, he worked miracles to claim sixth place overall. Had he contested all 10, he may not have been far off championship gold.

Prague’s magic worked twice for Nicki Pedersen as he did the double in 2007 and 2008. But it didn’t happen for him in 2012, when he topped the Czech SGP box, only for Chris Holder to pip him to the crown in Torun.

Russian racer Emil Sayfutdinov made some SGP history when he won on his series debut there in 2009. In only his first year in the World Championship, finishing the season with a bronze medal was pretty special.

After years of terrible luck, Gollob made the most of the Czech charm in 2010, winning on his way to a famous title triumph.

Another history-maker repeated the trick in 2011 – this time Greg Hancock. He won the very first Czech SGP in 1997 en route to title No.1, so it was only right he did it again 14 years later as he claimed No.2.

The Tai Woffinden years followed Pedersen’s triumph in 2012. He won his very first SGP in Prague in 2013, going on to win the big one. Woffy couldn’t repeat the trick in 2014, triumphing at the Marketa, only to finish fourth overall. But after completing his Czech hat-trick in 2015, title No.2 was on its way back to Britain.

Next up was a Doyle double – and it should have been a double double. After winning his first SGP in the Czech capital in 2016, he romped to three more SGP successes. But disaster struck at the penultimate round in Torun, when he sustained season-ending injuries in his first ride, allowing Greg Hancock to snatch the main prize.

Even with a broken foot in 2017, Doyle wasn’t letting another title get away. He powered to top spot, a victory sparked by another Prague win.

This year’s winner Freddie Lindgren looked every inch a champion, but an incredible season for Woffinden and Bartosz Zmarzlik forced the Swede to make do with bronze – still his first World Championship medal.

Even if a Prague victory doesn’t lead to a world title; it always leads to a successful season. Every winner of the longest-running SGP event on the calendar has achieved at least a top-six finish in the World Championship in the same year – even if they ended the campaign injured or didn’t race enough rounds to win a medal.

Who will claim the Czech charm in 2019? Get your 2019 ANLAS Czech SGP tickets here and find out: http://bit.ly/2RTWTZE.

 

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