Mythman's picture

This speedway malarky can be a bit brutal at times can't it?

Anybody associated with the Bandits this season will tell you that, a combination of rotten luck, injuries and seemingly more rotten luck has contributed to or lowly league position so far this season.

Of course this isn't for the lack of effort from the riders, promotion or anyone else, it's simply been a case of when you're down, you're down and your luck is out. Or so it would seem.

Now it is pretty well documented that we haven't been strangers to a team change or two this season, so perhaps I shouldn't have poked fun at Peterborough on an earlier edition of my blog.

But with that being said, Peterborough have made a massive change to their side, bringing in former GP star Chris Harris to spearhead their side, at the expense of Kenneth Hansen.

Hansen was a big winter signing for the Panthers and big things were expected of him upon his return to the club almost a decade after his first spell there. For one reason or another Hansen struggled for form and took a few knocks which will have undoubtedly affected his scoring.

Fast forward to Friday past, Hansen crashes out of the Panthers clash against Edinburgh at Armadale, through no fault of his own I might add, picking up another injury and a hefty repair bill for a bent bike too.

And add into that he got a text on his way home to tell him that he was dropped from the side and Chris Harris would be taking his place the following evening at Glasgow. Remember what I said about this sport being brutal?

Understandably, Hansen was a little upset about this, but such is the brutality of our great sport.

Speedway, as with many other sport has a way to turn the highest of highs and turn them into lowly lows. If you don't believe me just ask reigning World Champion Greg Hancock.

On top of the world last season, "The Grin" finds himself in 12th position in the standings after three rounds, some 18 points adrift of the top spot. They do say that it is easier to win the championship than it is to defend it, and that point is being hammered home more than ever this season.

Now don't think for a second that I am writing Greg Hancock off, far from it. While he has found the going pretty tough so far this season, with the young guns so far showing him the fast way round, Hancock has shown us plenty of times in the past that he has the ability to bounce back when you think he is down and out.

You don't have a career as long as his at the top level and win championships over a decade apart by not being able to bounce back and they don't call him the old master for nothing you know!

When the GP series lineup was announced for this season I stated that it was potentially the strongest field ever and so far we haven't been disappointed. With three different winners in three rounds and only 8 points separating the top eight riders the series is bubbling along nicely.

Freddie Lindgren started the season like a train, scoring points for fun and he stormed to victory in Warsaw and he looked set to mount a serious challenge for a medal this season. A knee injury picked up in a league meeting at Wolverhampton saw him struggle in Latvia, allowing those behind him to close the gap, but that isn'y to say he won't remain in the hunt.

Tai Woffinden looks to be riding his way into form, scoring lots of points in Poland and Sweden and with the next round of the series being in Prague, a track he has won at three times in the past, you wouldn't bet against him starting to stamp his authority on the Championship.

Of course Jason Doyle won in Prague last season, kick starting that wonderful run of form that almost took him to the top of the mountain, before injury cruelly took that away from him. While he hasn't quite hit that same form this season, he has been able to turn mediocre nights into productive nights. A hard earned 10 point return in Latvia when he wasn't at his best proved that.

It is often said that the man who has the best of the bad nights will prevail, and so far Jason Doyle has managed that to great effect and has in fact, reached all three finals so far this season.

Obviously consistency is the key to success, and series leader Partyk Dudek currently heads the standings in his debut season, despite being the only man in the lineup to have never actually won a Grand Prix.

I'm sure it won't be long before he sits on the top step of the podium at a GP, he is simply too good not to. But should he go on to win the Championship and not win a GP round, he will become the first man to do so since Mark Loram back in 2000.

Another fun fact...Mark Loram happens to be Patryk Dudek's sporting hero so perhaps there is some sort of strange fate in there somewhere!

Obviously there is a hell of a long way to go and anything can happen between now and October but what I do know is that there is an awful lot more brutality to come before it's all said and done!

Of course if you wish to agree, or disagree with the Mythman, have an idea for a feature, or you simply want to chew the fat over all things speedway, you can email me Mythman666@hotmail.com. If your compliments, or indeed, gripes can be contained to just 120 characters, you can send me a tweet @Mythman666.

Until next time...and there will be a next time.

Right I'll hae'tae gan