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Speedway FIM World Championships 2013 Preview


The Contenders

#1 Chris Holder – Best Odds 9/2 (Bet365)
The reigning world champion is 25 year old Australian Chris Holder who won the World Championships in just his third full season of riding in the GP’s. He finished 8th in both of his first season’s with averages of 8.73 (2010) and 9.18 (2011) whilst reaching 4 finals and going on to win 1 of those but in 2012 he averaged 13.33 points, reached 6 finals and won 2 of those, he also notched up 33 heat wins in 2012 which was more than his previous 2 years combined which was 25.

#2 Nicki Pedersen – Best Odds 13/2 (SkyBet)
The experienced and competitive Dane Nicki Pedersen is a three time previous world champion having won in 2003, 2007 & 2008 and we be competing in his 14th world championships having first featured in 2000. This man has averaged 11.71 over the years that he has featured which is a superb return and he missed out on last year’s title by just 8 points.

#3 Greg Hancock – Best Odds 10/1 (Various)
43 year old Greg Hancock continues to impress for a man his age, a third place finish last year and just 12 points off the winner. First appeared in the GP’s back in 1995 and in 1997 took his first title, it was a long wait for his next which came in 2011. He is Mr Consistency, he averages 12.52 points, has won 15 GP’s and made 64 finals. The man keeps defying the odds and is still as strong as ever.

#4 Tomasz Gollob – Best Odds 10/1 (Various)
Just a year younger than Hancock at 42 next month and is still one of my personal favourite riders, twice world champion in 1999 & 2010 and has won the Polish GP an incredible 8 times. He averages 12.42 since 1995, won 22 GP’s and made 61 finals and he has made the top 5 in all of his last 6 years.

#5 Emil Sayfutdinov – Best Odds 9/1 (PaddyPower)
Emil first entered the GP back in 2009 when he had an amazing first year and finished 3rd in the championship with him winning 3 of the 11 GP’s but has failed to follow that such promising debut, been hampered by injuries and has gone 27 GP’s in the last three years without winning one. He is still young and still learning at this level.

#6 Antonio Lindback – Best Odds 16/1 (Boylesports)
Antonio has been a real disappointment for me personally, I have always talked this guy up because he has the ability but rarely shows it, has now had 5 full seasons on the GP circuit and it was not until last year that he won a GP, in fact he picked up 2 wins and finished 7th overall.

#7 Frederik Lindgren – Best Odds 33/1 (PaddyPower)
No offence to Freddy but for the past 5 years he seems to have just been in the GP’s to make up the numbers, he averages 8.25 and has won 1 GP from 60. He is a decent rider but he is not great and does not excel himself on the GP circuit, he needs to step up his game.

#8 Andreas Jonsson – Best Odds 22/1 (Bet365)
Andreas has been on the scene for a while now, first debuted back in 2001 and his first full season was in 2002 and in 2011 he had his best season when finishing runner up and picked up 3 GP wins which almost doubled all his previous wins but he failed to follow that up last year when finishing down in 9th place and making just 2 finals.

#9 Martin Vaculik – Best Odds 33/1 (Bet365)
Martin appeared on the GP scene just last year, he rode in 6 GP’s and made 2 finals which is great for a newcomer and the fact that he went on to win one of the finals is great. We have a lot of newcomers coming on to the GP and making an immediate impact but the majority of those have failed to go on and follow that up in the following season but the experience of this year will be great for him.

#10 Jaroslaw Hampel – Best Odds 10/1 (Various)
Jarek entered the GP scene at a young age and in between 2000 & 2009 he rode in 39 GP’s from which he made 9 finals but failed to pick up a single win but then in 2010 he finished runner up in the world championships and then a year later he finished 3rd however in those 2 years he only recorded 2 wins which was his downfall in his attempt at the title and then last year he had a shocker after a good couple of GP’s, averaged just 7.25 points and only made 2 finals although he did miss 4 through injury, his inability to win finals is a big negative.

#11 Krzysztof Kasprzak – Best Odds 50/1 (Bet365)
Kasprzak was a wildcard in the GP in 2004, 2005, 2006 & 2007 before becoming a fixture in the GP in 2008 but that only last 1 year, he failed make any of the finals that year and averaged just 5.18 but he reappeared last year again as a wildcard in a couple of GP’s and he made 1 final but is no back as a permanent fixture this year 5 years after his last full season.

#12 Matej Zagar – Best Odds 66/1 (Bet365)
Matej has had two full seasons in on GP scene and these came in 2006 & 2007, he has ridden in a total of 29 GP’s where he has made just 3 finals and is yet to break his duck. His last full season which was in 207 he rode in 11 GP’s and average a dismal 4.91 points. He is more experienced now but would have had to improved a lot .

#13 Niels-Kristian Iversen – Best Odds 40/1 (Boylesports)
Iversen is not too dissimilar to Zagar, he has been in 26 GP’s from which he has made just 1 final and is yet to break his duck and win a GP. He has had two full seasons which were in 2006 & 2008 where he averaged just 5.10 & 5.90, he has to get his averaged up and will have to make finals if he wants to make an impact on his return to the GP scene.

#14 Tai Woffinden – Best Odds 250/1 (Betvictor)
Team GB’s sole representative this year is 22 year old Tai Woffinden, Tai is no stranger to the GP scene having had a full season in it at just the age of 19 back in 2010, he failed to make a single final and averaged just 4.25 points. Tai is still so young in speedway terms so let’s put the record straight that Tai is just here for experience and experience only, any points that he picks up will be a bonus but the experience is going to be more important at this stage of his career.

#15 Darcy Ward – Best Odds 8/1 (Bet365)
Darcy Ward is the final of the 15 riders and is the youngest of the field at just 20 years of age. He arrived on the GP scene back in 2011 when he got to ride in a couple of GP’s, he even made a final in one, from 11 heats he managed to win 5 of them and notched up an average of 11.00. Still young and experience will be valuable here this year but if he is to fulfil his potential in his first full year then we could see a shock!

The Key Players

There are several rider’s in the GP series this year who are going to have to step up their games if they are going to get into the top five, they need to go out there and prove that they are not just there to make up the numbers, riders who have been around for a while now and should be doing better.

I have a shortlist of 5 riders for the World Championship and they are reigning champion Chris Holder, Nicki Pedersen, Tomasz Gollob, Emil Sayfutdinov & Antonio Lindback.

The reigning champion Chris Holder went to Poland for the last GP with just a 2 point lead over Nicki Pedersen and finished 4th on the night with 15 points whilst Pedersen had a poor GP with just 1 heat win on the night and finished with 9 points which handed the title to Holder. Holder has a slow start to the year after picking up just 4 points on the opening night in New Zealand but then he went on to pick up 10+ points in 9 of the remaining 11 GP’s. Since the GP series started back in 1995 there has been 3 occasions when a rider has retained his crown, the great Tony Rickardsson achieved this twice in 1998 & 1999 and then again in 2001 & 2002 and Nicki Pedersen was the other in 2007 & 2008 so Holder has it all to do if he is to retain his crown.

Nicki Pedersen has consistent last year, in only 3 of the 13 GP’s he failed to score 10+ points but he needs to score 15+ consistently to be a serious challenger and he only scored 15+ on three occasions last year but last year showed that he was back to his best, having finished 10th in both 2010 & 2011 his 2nd place finish was much better but a better final GP and he was also a big let-down at his home GP scoring just 9 points, if he gets that consistency this year then he will be a big player.

There is 10/1 available on Gollob, he has been a favourite rider of mine for many of years just because of his competitive nature, he does not know what down and out means and he pulls off incredible manoeuvres out on the race track which no one else could do. The 2010 world champion has had a couple of poor years and has notched up just 2 GP wins over the past 2 years despite making 9 finals, he started off well notching up 43 points in the first three meets but then a 6 and a 3 done the damage but an inspiring 21 points in the final GP should he was not done. All I will say is write him off at your peril because I do not believe that he is done with yet.

I am looking at Emil as I viewed Hampel in 2010 when Hampel went on to finish runner up, Emil now has the experience of three full GP seasons behind him, he would by now have picked up on what works best during the meets and although he has not won a GP in the past three years that experience is so valuable on this scene. I hope that he stays clear of injuries and gets a good run because he picked up towards the back end of last year having scored 68 points in the last 5 GP’s, compared to the 48 that he scored in the first 5. If he can bring that form into this year’s event then he would have every chance because he has the ability.

Antonio Lindback is not going to be a name on everyone’s shortlist but I am predicting a big year for the Swede, this will be his 6th full GP series and on the promise of last year it could prove to be his best to date. His final 5 GP’s were so impressive, this man picked up 46 points in his first 7 GP’s of last year and then in the final 5 he tallied up 76 points which was an average of 15.20 which is superb however you are.  IF he can hit the ground running this year which he did not last year and by the time he picked up he was way too far behind but if he makes the start it will give him confidence for the rest of the series and he is the man that I believe is going to be the surprise package this year.

Bet 1: Tomasz Gollob to win the World Championship @ 10/1 (SkyBet)
Bet 2: Antonio Lindback to win the World Championship @ 16/1 (Coral)

I will be dutching these two bets, if you want to play them eachway which means a top 3 finish then Bet365, SkyBet, Ladbrokes and Coral are the only ones which are offering ¼ odds whereas the rest are 1/5 odds.

Along with these bets, I shall be putting up selections for each and every individual GP so keep an eye out for these, the dates for the GP’s can be found below.


March 23: New Zealand FIM Speedway Grand Prix – Auckland, New Zealand

April 20: European FIM Speedway Grand Prix – Bydgoszcz, Poland

May 4: Fogo Swedish FIM Speedway Grand Prix – Gothenburg, Sweden

May 18: Mitas Czech Republic FIM Speedway Grand Prix – Prague, Czech Republic

June 1: British FIM Speedway Grand Prix – Cardiff, Great Britain

June 15: Gorzow FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland – Gorzow, Poland

June 29: Danish FIM Speedway Grand Prix – Copenhagen, Denmark

August 3: Fogo Italian FIM Speedway Grand Prix – Terenzano, Italy

August 17: Latvian FIM Speedway Grand Prix – Daugavpils, Latvia

September 7: Slovenian FIM Speedway Grand Prix – Krsko, Slovenia

September 21: Scandinavian FIM Speedway Grand Prix – Stockholm, Sweden

October 5: Torun FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland – Torun, Poland

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About Author

I have been in the betting game for getting on 10 years now, I was a late comer in the betting scene, never really showed much interest in the first 20 years of my life but then I came across a betting website and that all changed. I have learnt a vast amount over the last 5 years, I used to believe I could pick the winner in every race before I realised I could not and began selective betting which is the only way forward. I mainly stick with the horses but do occasionally stray off to bet on the footie or speedway. I am now 35 years old, born and bred in Ipswich and still here and forever a Tractorboy, work part time for a Cash & Carry and have a dog named Dave! That’s about it from me.


  1. Marc Owen Banks on

    Zipsters post here is a getting a huge amount of views. We would love to hear yours too. please leave a comment on if if you think Zip is on the mark here, or indeed what your thoughts are on the events, perhaps even stick a neck out and make a tip. And make sure you vote in the poll as well.

    We look forward to hearing from you

  2. Cannot fault your assessment of each rider and the likes of Lindgren and Jonsson really do need to step up now show they can be regular finalists and not just a sporadic victory here and there.
    Also cannot disagree with the potential victors of Holder, Pedersen and Sayfutdinov. As for Gollob and Lindback, whilst they are immense talents on a speedway bike and both capable of victory with seeming less ease I also feel they are the two most flawed characters within the SGP field, mentally, both seemingly let their head get lost and at times can appear to give up when the going does not go right. Yes Gollob is more than capable of running a couple of last places then from no where winning all remaining rides and taking the victory in any particular round.Whilst enamering himself to the fans and making the whole spectacle come alive it is ultimately those couple of last places that are going to cost him a world title, where every single ride counts and not just the individual grand prix victories. Lindback had a great end to 2012 and showed himself that he can do it when he wants. He should take confidence from his performances at the end of last year but I feel a poor start in any of the early GP’s this year will play on his mind and affect any form of consistency.

    Personally I feel the experiences of the last few years the reasonably consistent form throughout 2012 it will be the year for Emil Sayfutdinov to press on and be a contender. I think if Hampel has over come his injuries then he certainly has the talent, backing and machinery to improve on his 2 podium finishes in 2010 and 2011. The 2 “newcomers” of Vaculik and Ward will also be having a big say in the destiny of the world title although I would say these are only potential EW opportunities from a betting perspective as I do feel speedway is one sport where the experience of having been there and done that and the knowledge of knowing how to win are big parts of the sport.

    I won’t be having a bet at this stage of proceedings as the first SGP takes place prior to any real competitive action for the majority of the riders involved and form is unknown at this stage. With the grand prix series taking over 6 months there will be plenty of opportunities throughout the year to find value in the market and as Chris Holder showed last year having a shocking first GP does not inhibit your chances of going on to take the world crown.

    If today was the only day I could bet my Money would go on Emil Sayfutdinov to win and also a wager on Martin Vaculik and Darcy Ward EW.

  3. Thank you very much for your feedback Chris.

    I am with you when you say that Gollob and Lindback are not the must, to put it politely mentally stable riders and for the age that he is and the experience that he has Gollob should have overcome this. Lindback can be very temperamental at times and throw his toys out of the pram but that just shows his passion, the run he put together at the end of last season maybe have just spark something into him, given him that belief that if he keeps his head down and gets on with the job then he is capable of challenging his challenging for the title.

    Ante-Post bets on speedway is difficult because you do not know what kind of form is coming into the GP series, my predictions are based on Gollob’s experience and he does not have much time left so will be looking to go out on a high, if he starts bad then I would be very concerned for his chances, the same with Lindback but if he gets off to a flyer then the confidence will be flowing.

    I am expecting big things from Emil because he is a great talent but he has to turn that talent into consistency and I am leaning towards he would be a better bet next year.

    I guess we will see that state of things after the first GP, who hits the ground running, who can get there bikes to work at the tracks because the majority of them have experience with each track now.

    Roll on the 23rd of March is all I can say!

  4. Good range of selections on the votes thus far, 7 different picks with Emil out in front with 3! Feel free to leave a comment on why you think your vote will win.

  5. Darcy Ward is coming in for a lot of support, he was 8/1 at the time I posted this blog, he is now as short as 7/2 and favourite with some firms! The Aussies (Holder/Ward) are battling for favouritism at the moment. Lindback has been shortened with some firms to around 10/1 but you can still get 16/1 on him with others.

  6. Just 1 day to go until the start of the Speedway World Championships! Holder and Ward are still battling for favouritism whilst Pedersen has also been shortening over the past week. You can still get 10/1 for Gollob and whilst Lindback has been shortened with some firms you can get 18/1 with BetVictor.

    I will be putting up individual GP bets so watch out for my bets for the first GP which will be up soon.

  7. Well I probably could not of got this year’s GP any more wrong!

    Lindback has a shocking season and it looks like Gollob’s best days are behind him.

    But what a season from Tai and anyone who managed to back him at that 250/1 that was available at the time of posting this then a big well done to you!

    It would seem that the young guns have now taken over and it will be interesting to see how many of the old guard turn up next year because with the likes of Tai, Emil and Jarek they are the future and you can add Zagar and Ward to that list after solid seasons from them too.

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