Jason Doyle stretched his lead in the 2017 Speedway Grand Prix series to 22 points with just two rounds remaining, after a third-place finish at the Stockholm Speedway Grand Prix on 23 September.
The gain came as a result of a top-shelf performance by Doyle and thanks to both his nearest challengers, Patryk Dudek and Maciej Janowski, failing to qualify for the semi-finals.
From the five heats Doyle dropped just one point (to countryman Max Fricke) as he dominated a strange-looking scorechart.
Emil Sayfutdinov (12) and Chris Holder (9) were also clear qualifiers ahead of a quartet on eight points; Bartosz Zmarzlik, Peter Kildemand, Fredrik Lindgren and Antonio Lindback, while Matej Zagar (7) scraped in on countback.
Fricke’s race win took him to six points from three rides, but he failed to add to his tally, finishing as one of four riders tied on six.
Doyle continued his dominance and won his semi ahead of Zmarzlik, as local hopes Lindgren and Lindback bowed out.
Sayfutdinov fell as he again failed to progress to the final, Holder was excluded after Kildemand went sprawling, and the re-run put Zagar and Kildemand in to the final.
Zagar again made the most of his chance as he, and then Zmarzlik, passed Doyle in a wild opening lap in the final with Zagar making it back-to-back SGP wins.
“It’s not all about winning the final; I am very happy with the points I scored,” said Doyle.
The ‘fat lady’ is not singing yet for Doyle, but she’d better think about doing her warm-up exercises!
The penultimate round will be held in Poland on 7 October and fingers crossed Doyle will be crowned world champion by race end, and we can celebrate the new champ at the final round in Melbourne.
By Peter BAKER