Just one British rider in world championship quest
SPEEDWAY: There will be only one British rider in the Grand Prix next year after Pole Janusz Kolodziej, Swede Andreas Jonsson, Dane Nicki Pedersen and Russian Emil Sayfutdinov were handed the permanent wild card places for 2011.
Chris Harris gained automatic inclusion after finishing sixth this season, but Tai Woffinden has dropped out.
Ipswich Witches star Scott Nicholls was a regular until 2009 with Britain always having at least two riders involved since the GP system was introduced in the mid-nineties.
BSI Speedway managing director Paul Bellamy said: “With just four places available, it is never an easy decision for the SGP Commission.
“Andreas Jonsson and Nicki Pedersen will be the first to admit they have not had the best of seasons this time around. But with their fantastic records and undoubted talent, there is no reason why either could not turn their fortunes around next year.
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“Emil Sayfutdinov has not been given the chance to show what he is truly capable of due to his injuries. But hopefully he can get back to his best in 2011.
“With regards to Janusz, he has been, without a shadow of a doubt, the best rider in the world outside of the SGP regulars this year.”
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Bellamy confirmed the wild card rider for each individual SGP round may not be from the hosting country next season.
He explained: “We are keen to use the wild card places to give new riders their chance to shine in the Grand Prix series, and hopefully stake their claim to be part of the world championship in years to come.”
2010 Grand Prix line-up: T Gollob, J Hampel (both Poland), J Crump (Australia), R Holta (Poland), G Hancock (USA), C Harris (Great Britain), K Bjerre (Denmark), C Holder (Australia), A Jonsson (Sweden), N Pedersen (Denmark), F Lindgren (Sweden), E Sayfutdinov (Russia), A Laguta (Russia), A Lindback (Sweden), J Kolodziej (Poland), Wild card. Qualified substitutes: M Zetterstrom (Sweden), T H Jonasson (Sweden), N-K Iversen (Denmark).