SP2A Speedway News
Speedway GP Round 9 Cardiff WalesAt the penultimate stage of the Speedway World Grand Prix season, Cardiff finds itself in an unusual position in the calendar due to the stadium's availability during Rugby World Cup year. This means that the showpiece in the British Speedway calendar will have even more attention than normal as the outcome could prove pivotal to the final destination of the world title.
The winner of last year’s event, when a winning tip for this service, was Bartosz Zmarzlik and he currently leads the way in the title race. He will again be very difficult to beat in Cardiff and no surprise to see him as favourite at a best price of 7/2. He won the last GP in fine style and has raced well at this venue for the last 3 years now and having a win ‘saver’ bet on the Polish star is not the worst recommendation in the world. There is no doubt he would be a worthy World Champion were he to emerge victorious in home country in a fortnight's time.
There is another rider who is finding fine form in the GP series at the moment and that is Matej Zagar. He has reached the podium in the last 2 events and now finds himself in the top 8, having already qualified for the 2020 series. If he can get his bike set ups right for the man made circuit, the Slovenian, with the pressure of qualification off, could find himself in a good position for 3 podiums in a row. He's a lively outsider in his current form.
Tai Woffinden’s championship hopes realistically ended after his Wroclaw Polish league meeting crash, causing him to miss a couple of events and allowing the correct amount of time to help his body heal. He has had to slowly find his way again since his return and has struggled to find the speed needed to get back into contention for a top 3 finish. He showed glimpses of a return to form in Vojens, picking up a useful return, but it looks likely he will need to rely on a wildcard pick for 2020. A guaranteed pick for next year, surely, he will have looked at the delayed Cardiff fixture as a target and this meeting in itself could be his world title for this year. He is yet to win at The Principality Stadium but has put in some fine performances over the years, none more so that last year when finishing 2nd, and with the British crowd backing their Number 1, if he were to win here then an atmosphere reminiscent of that created back in 2007 when Chris ‘Bomber’ Harris triumphed could be the outcome.
Maciej Janowski has, over the past few years, had some good nights in the Principality, picking up plenty of heat wins along the way. He finished 3rd in last year’s event and won it back in 2017. He also has a semi-final appearance from previously so he is capable of adapting to a temporary track and is one who can achieve success from any gate if he gets his set up right. He is a rider who had a slow start to the season, due to injury, but has been very competitive since. Indeed, in the last 5 GP events only title leader Zmarzlik and Emil Sayfutdinov have scored more points than him and that is only due to a below par effort from him last time in Denmark. He looks to have a decent draw, following qualifying, and is very much one for the short-list as he strives for a place on the end of season podium.
The aforementioned Sayfutdinov is very much a rider to take seriously and he is another former winner of this event. Throughout this season, he has been riding better than at any stage since his return to the series and, not only would he be a popular winner of this event, a victory here would leave it all to play for in the World Championship come the final round in Torun in a fortnight’s time. He can sometimes be let down by his inconsistency but he is a rider in form, which is important at this stage of the season, and he showed with his 4 race wins in Vojens that he is very much up for the fight in this title race.
Sitting one place back in third in the title race is Leon Madsen. He was disappointing last time out in Denmark when heading into that event as joint leader and now faces an uphill task if he is to win the World Championship. He is a rider who seems to thrive on the big fast tracks in Poland (and recorded another maximum there this week in the league) but is less at home on tighter more ‘technical’ circuits and I’m not certain that he will be suited by the Cardiff track. Add to this the fact that he has been riding through the pain barrier in recent weeks, with a couple of injuries plaguing him, and it’s enough to look elsewhere when looking for some each-way value in the betting market.
Two other riders who have both won here before are Niels-Kristian Iversen and Antonio Lindback. Iversen, of course, is another who has already secured his spot in next year’s series and he has had a steady campaign so far, reaching 2 finals in Warsaw and Teterow. In addition to winning a GP here, Iversen has also made a final in the past and, at a big price, he could out-perfom his odds. The same can be said for Lindback. He was a speculative pick of ours at the last GP, at odds of 40/1, and he gave us a really good run for our money when reaching the semi-finals. He is another with a favourable looking draw, based on past gate trends, and, in fact, has the same number 1 draw that he had when winning this event in 2016. He started off with 3 straight wins on that occasion and will be hoping for the same flying start here. He does, however, have a very tough looking second heat to contend with this time around and it will be tough to repeat that feat. He may, however, accumulate enough points to make another semi-final here at least.
In summary, Bartosz Zmarzlik is the worthy favourite here and is the one to beat. At 7/2, I would not put anybody off having a ‘saver’ win bet on him but, if looking for some value then the 3 most likely to contend for the Cardiff GP title and recommended bets are:-
1. MACIEJ JANOWSKI - 10/1 (Skybet)
2. TAI WOFFINDEN. – 13/2 (Bet 365)
3. EMIL SAYFUTDINOV - 7/1 (Skybet)