Heartache for Nicholls at British GP

IPSWICH-BORN Scott Nicholls is still searching for his first-ever Grand Prix victory despite battling through to Saturday night's British GP final at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.

Mike Bacon

IPSWICH-BORN Scott Nicholls is still searching for his first-ever Grand Prix victory despite battling through to Saturday night's British GP final at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.

Nicholls rode well throughout, but suffered the heartache of a final heat tapes exclusion, in a meeting won by Belle Vue's Jason Crump, in front of 45,000 fans.

Greg Hancock and Nicki Pedersen filled the other two rostrum places as a disappointed Nicholls could only take himself off back to the pits after roaring through the tapes in that dramatic final.


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"I'm gutted of course I am," Nicholls said. "But it was my fault, I started to move and just couldn't stop.

"The fans have been so good to me tonight and I'm just sorry I couldn't pull it off for them."

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However the former Ipswich Witches star, who now rides for Eastbourne, coped well with the tricky conditions as the Millennium Stadium man-made track cut up badly, causing riders to have to negotiate their way through ruts and bumps.

It was Nicholls' best GP performance for a while however and should give him confidence for the remaining six GPs this season.

Nicki Pedersen was the luckiest man on the night, on two separate occasions getting the benefit of the doubt from Polish referee Marek Wojaczek when he crashed to the ground on turn one, as first Leigh Adams and then Bjarne Pedersen suffered unlucky exclusions.

Both were poor decisions by the referee and even more so when Nicki Pedersen touched the tapes in an earlier heat, an incident Wojaczek missed.

However the current world champion made the most of his good fortune to somehow end up in the final.

Last year's British GP hero Chris Harris suffered a broken nose in a heavy heat 20 fall. But he picked himself up in the re-run of that heat, to gain enough points to qualify for the semi-finals, where he eventually went out.

But Crump was the star of the night, the Belle Vue man, who roared to a 15-point maximum against Ipswich on Monday night, in determined mood throughout.

Hancock too, showed his liking for the smaller tracks, but there were a disappointing performance from another former Ipswich rider, Tomasz Gollob who slipped from second to fourth in the overall standings.

Crump picked up 11 points on Nicki Pedersen in the race for the title, with Nicholls moved himself up nicely into touching distance of a top eight place.

Full results

British Grand Prix: 1 Jason Crump (Australia) 22, 2 Greg Hancock (USA) 20, 3 Nicki Pedersen (Denmark) 11, 4 Scott Nicholls (Great Britain) 12, 5 Bjarne Pedersen (Denmark) 14, 6 Chris Harris (Great Britain) 10, 7 Hans Andersen (Denmark) 9, 8 Andreas Jonsson(Sweden) 8, 9 Leigh Adams (Australia) 7, 10 Niels Kristian-Iversen (Denmark) 6, 11 Rune Holta (Poland) 6, 12 Tomasz Gollob (Poland) 4, 13 Edward Kennett (Great Britain) 4, 14 Krzysztof Kasprzak (Poland) 4, 15 Fredrick Lindgren (Sweden) 2, 16 Lukas Dryml (Czech Republic) 1.

World Championship Standings after round 5 (of 11): N.Pedersen 80, J.Crump 70, G.Hancock 64, T.Gollob 62, L.Adams 49, H.Andersen 48, A.Jonsson 46, F.Lindgren 41, R.Holta 39, S.Nicholls 35, N.K.Iversen 32, C.Harris 30, B.Pedersen 25, K.Kasprzak 21, L.Dryml 16

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