SGP STAT SUNDAY | RICKARDSSON & PEDERSEN WRITE HISTORY
Today on SGP Stat Sunday, we feature the two top-scoring SGP title wins, which saw Tony Rickardsson and Nicki Pedersen at their greatest.
25 / 11 / 2018, 11:35
Today on SGP Stat Sunday, we feature the two top-scoring FIM Speedway Grand Prix title wins, which saw Scandinavian heroes Tony Rickardsson and Nicki Pedersen at their greatest.
With the current SGP field stacked with talent, dominating the sport for a season is getting harder and harder to do. While Tai Woffinden led the World Championship for much of this year, the likes of Bartosz Zmarzlik and Freddie Lindgren made sure he didn’t have it all his own way.
But TR and Nicki P produced seasons that will go down in SGP legend in 2005 and 2007 respectively as they racked up 196 points.
When Rickardsson claimed his record-equalling sixth and final world title, the Swedish legend took the sport’s history books and gave them a dramatic re-write as he won five of the opening six rounds that year – dropping only five points when he finished second to defending champion and eventual series runner-up Jason Crump in Eskilstuna.
After triumphing in the opener in Wroclaw and taking second in his homeland, Rickardsson produced four victories on the bounce in Krsko, Cardiff, Copenhagen and Prague. While others have won four in one year since then – TR remains the only man to have topped the box at four in a row.
He then raced to third pace in Malilla, before eight points sealed the title in Bydgoszcz and he signed off in style with victory at the Italian SGP in Lonigo to record an unequalled six wins in one series.
Rickardsson retired from the sport midway through the 2006 season, making his last SGP final appearance at the series-opening Slovenian SGP and farewell SGP ride in Copenhagen as he battled with the effects of head injuries.
But Pedersen decided the greatest act in SGP history could be followed and raced to 196 of his own in 2007.
Like TR, he reached five of the first six finals. He started with a 24-point maximum in Lonigo before dropping just one point on his way to glory in Wroclaw. Pedersen finished fourth in Eskilstuna and second in Copenhagen and then claimed 12 points in Cardiff, but returned to the final in style with another 24-pointer in Prague.
He didn’t reach the final, but still amassed 16 points in Malilla after blazing through his heats unbeaten.
He then finished second in Daugavpils, third in Bydgoszcz and dropped just a point on his way to victory in Krsko, before ending the year with nine as he collected his gold medal in Gelsenkirchen.
While Rickardsson’s score was boosted by having 25 points available to the final winner, 20 for second, 18 for third and a guaranteed 16 for fourth, Pedersen only accrued the points he recorded in each heat, with just double points up for grabs in the final. This meant if he scored maximum points, he had to win every race, making his result pretty remarkable.
But while Pedersen won his 196 points over 11 rounds with 264 on offer, Rickardsson claimed his record haul over nine meetings with 225 up for grabs.
There’s no doubt it was harder to score big points in 2007. But claiming just over 87 percent of the points on offer is a staggering result and one that makes TR’s 2005 heroics a sensational season which may never be surpassed.