Swedish champion Andreas Jonsson is determined to keep his incredible roll going after winning a second SGP gold medal in three rounds at the FIM Enea Torun Speedway Grand Prix of Poland on Saturday.
The Stockholm-born racer held off a ferocious charge from world No.2 Jaroslaw Hampel and got revenge for the Pole’s last-bend smash and grab in the Scandinavian SGP at Malilla on August 13. World Under-21 champion Darcy Ward made an incredible Grand Prix debut to claim the bronze medal, while GP Challenge winner Antonio Lindback powered to fourth place.
Jonsson was tenth in the World Championship after five rounds and four points adrift of the top eight. But after bagging 20 in the Marian Rose Motoarena, he is third in the standings on 92 and looks nicely poised to finish in the competition’s top three for the first time in his career. American legend Greg Hancock still leads the SGP series on 117 points, while Hampel has 100 in second and is gaining on the Californian.
Jonsson, who celebrates his 31st birthday on Saturday, is in the form of his life and is chasing hard too. He is keen to keep his red-hot run going into the final three rounds at Vojens, Gorican and Gorzow. He said: “I’ve just broken loose in the last month and a half and it has been going great everywhere I’ve been. I’m really happy at the moment. I’m just trying to stay focused, do the best I can and hopefully the form will keep going.
“I was 10th before the Terenzano (Italian) Grand Prix and now I’m third. It’s good, but there are still three rounds to go and anything can happen. I just need to stay focused and score some points.” Jonsson was desperate to avoid a repeat of his final heartbreak in Malilla, when Hampel tore past him on the run to the finish line and denied him a huge victory in front of his home fans. With Ward attempting to scythe his way under the Pole for four laps, Hampel was never given a clear run at the Swede and there is no doubt this helped AJ.
A relieved Jonsson said: “I knew even if I made the start that I had two really fast guys behind me in Darcy and Jarek. I didn’t want to lose the lead like I did in Malilla, and I just made it. “I’m really happy about it and I’m really happy about getting as many points as I did.” Meanwhile, disaster struck for world champion Tomasz Gollob, who was taken to hospital by his team after the meeting.
The Pole was knocked out when Russian racer Artem Laguta lifted and T-boned him on the last turn of heat 17. The 40-year-old has been plagued by crashes this month, but bravely got up to take his place in the semi-finals and bagged third place to finish his night on 12. This result drops him down to fourth in the standings on 88 points, but Gollob appears to have greater worries than that.
His manager Thomas Gaszynski said: “It was very, very bad. He has definitely got a concussion. His head is just spinning and it was one of those off-nights again. “We were unlucky with when Artem just took him out completely – stone cold.
“Artem did attempt to apologise, but you have to control the bike. I know these things happen; I know he didn’t do it intentionally. But Tomek has had too many accidents in such a short time. Enough is enough. I think we have used up our limit of bad luck. “We’ve got to go to the hospital, get his head checked and see what the situation is.”
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (AFTER EIGHT ROUNDS OF 11): 1 Greg Hancock 117, 2 Jaroslaw Hampel 100, 3 Andreas Jonsson 92, 4 Tomasz Gollob 88, 5 Jason Crump 79, 6 Emil Sayfutdinov 79, 7 Chris Holder 77, 8 Kenneth Bjerre 72, 9 Nicki Pedersen 65, 10 Fredrik Lindgren 60, 11 Antonio Lindback 60, 12 Chris Harris 43, 13 Rune Holta 41, 14 Janusz Kolodziej 39, 15 Magnus Zetterstrom 19, 16 Thomas H. Jonasson 17, 17 Darcy Ward 15, 18 Artem Laguta 12, 19 Matej Zagar 9, 20 Scott Nicholls 5, 21 Damian Balinski 4, 22 Matej Kus 3, 23 Mikkel B Jensen 2, 24 Tai Woffinden 2, 25 Simon Gustafsson 1.
FIM ENEA TORUN SGP OF POLAND SCORES: 1 Andreas Jonsson 20, 2 Jaroslaw Hampel 18, 3 Darcy Ward 15, 4 Antonio Lindback 12, 5 Greg Hancock 13, 6 Tomasz Gollob 12, 7 Rune Holta 8, 8 Magnus Zetterstrom 7, 9 Chris Holder 7, 10 Jason Crump 7, 11 Emil Sayfutdinov 7, 12 Nicki Pedersen 6, 13 Kenneth Bjerre 6, 14 Freddie Lindgren 5, 15 Artem Laguta 1, 16 Chris Harris 0, 17 Piotr Pawlicki DNR, 18 Emil Pulczynski DNR.