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Tai Woffinden Best Ever!?

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, steve roberts said:

Wasn't always the case during its formative conception.

But it doesn’t really matter that much.The year before TRick met some of his main rivals only once (Boyce) or twice (Hancock) . A year later and Hans had to meet all his main rivals 6 times....at least !!! Checked and Hans met TRick 9 times and Sam 7 in the first GP season.

Edited by iris123

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Posted (edited)

How would Nielsen, Mauger, Fundin, Briggs , Olsen, Michanek, Penhall, Collins, Lee ( at there peak have fared???)  my hunch is that they would of all loved and preferred the GP format.

Edited by Sidney the robin

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4 minutes ago, Sidney the robin said:

How would Nielsen, Mauger, Fundin, Briggs , Olsen, Michanek, Penhall, Collins, Lee ( at there peak have fared???)  my hunch is that they would of all loved and preferred the GP format.

Nielsen would definately have won more titles as he was the rider to beat during the middle/late eighties. A view shared by the late John Berry.

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Just now, steve roberts said:

Nielsen would definately have won more titles as he was the rider to beat during the middle/late eighties. A view shared by the late John Berry.

He could of won 6/8 titles and that would not be stretching it Steve.He could of rode percentage speedway against Erik and win over a longer  distance.

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I think, if the Grand Prix had been in effect earlier, Hans Nielsen would be seen as the undisputed best rider of all time, but for a while he always seemed to mess up the one-offs for some reason. A Grand Prix system would have been much more forgiving of those mistakes.

 

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1 hour ago, Grachan said:

I think, if the Grand Prix had been in effect earlier, Hans Nielsen would be seen as the undisputed best rider of all time, but for a while he always seemed to mess up the one-offs for some reason. A Grand Prix system would have been much more forgiving of those mistakes.

 

Yes - probably. But I still say Gundersen would have had the better of him for some of those years. He just seemed to able to handle the pressure that bit better and step it up. In a GP format, that pressure would still have been intense throughout and I'd still fancy Gundersen to come out top. Also, worth noting that Hans crumbled in 1996 too when he was in the drivers seat on home turf to let Billy Hamill  it - and that was in a GP format.

That said, over a GP season, you'd have to fancy him for 90, 91, 92, 94. Ermolenko was a fully deserving champ in 1993. 

Also, it is very difficult to compare eras. But the one Hans occupied stands out as the one where more top riders - and realistic contenders for the world title -  ended their careers prematurely. In modern day speedway, I would say only Darcy Ward is the only true top notch rider the sport has lost prematurely. From the 80s/early 90s, you could include Penhall, Carter, Sigalos, Lee, Sanders, Pedersen, Gundersen, and Jonsson  in that list. So, in short, Nielsen was good enough to win more and really, he should have done.

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3 minutes ago, falcace said:

Yes - probably. But I still say Gundersen would have had the better of him for some of those years. He just seemed to able to handle the pressure that bit better and step it up. In a GP format, that pressure would still have been intense throughout and I'd still fancy Gundersen to come out top. Also, worth noting that Hans crumbled in 1996 too when he was in the drivers seat on home turf to let Billy Hamill  it - and that was in a GP format.

That said, over a GP season, you'd have to fancy him for 90, 91, 92, 94. Ermolenko was a fully deserving champ in 1993. 

Also, it is very difficult to compare eras. But the one Hans occupied stands out as the one where more top riders - and realistic contenders for the world title -  ended their careers prematurely. In modern day speedway, I would say only Darcy Ward is the only true top notch rider the sport has lost prematurely. From the 80s/early 90s, you could include Penhall, Carter, Sigalos, Lee, Sanders, Pedersen, Gundersen, and Jonsson  in that list. So, in short, Nielsen was good enough to win more and really, he should have done.

I think it would have depended on the format. I've always felt that the old Knock Out system in the GPs would have suited Gundersen more than Nielsen. On a system of race points I think Nielsen would have dominated, but in the KOs I think Gundersen would have had an edge because he just needed to scrape through to the final and then win it.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Sidney the robin said:

The USA final was always a tough meeting ask the likes of Bobby Schwartz who suffered as badly as most over the years.Tai i like and he will probably go on and win more titles but for me the GP series is a different discipline to the old one off finals.My opinion is Ivan Mauger winning  his six titles was harder than Tony Rickardsson winning his just an opinion though.

It wasn't as tough in 1978 - ie full of top riders - as it was in the 80's.  At that point, Autrey was in a class of his own, and Steve Gresham was the next best. Penhall, Schwartz, Sigalos, the Morans, Preston, Cook etc, were still a a year or two away from British speedway - and world class.

Steve

Edited by chunky

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22 minutes ago, chunky said:

It wasn't as tough in 1978 - ie full of top riders - as it was in the 80's.  At that point, Autrey was in a class of his own, and Steve Gresham was the next best. Penhall, Schwartz, Sigalos, the Morans, Preston, Cook etc, were still a a year or two away from British speedway - and world class.

Steve

Autrey had mega problems with the Authorities hence him missing out badly in 1979.The USA  final also had the likes of Bast and other homebased riders who were very very good on there home patch.The USA and Australasian final's were renowned for being tough one's and some riders fancied fell out at a early stage.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Grachan said:

I think it would have depended on the format. I've always felt that the old Knock Out system in the GPs would have suited Gundersen more than Nielsen. On a system of race points I think Nielsen would have dominated, but in the KOs I think Gundersen would have had an edge because he just needed to scrape through to the final and then win it.

But do you think Nielsen with his speedway brain could of rode percentage speedway with  Hans you rarely ever got a duck egg from him and his strength was his consistency.

Edited by Sidney the robin

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On ‎3‎/‎11‎/‎2019 at 9:28 AM, geoff100 said:

 it has never been easier to become world champion u get 10 go,s a season and u dont need to win a final  grand prix race to win the title

I would say the exact opposite as 15 other riders also get 10 goes a season! In the one-off finals a single bad gate or a breakdown could see off some of the potential winners, that isn't the case now.

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31 minutes ago, Sidney the robin said:

But do you think Nielsen with his speedway brain could of rode percentage speedway with  Hans you rarely ever got a duck egg from him and his strength was his consistency.

Oh, definitely. But to win the meeting you had to win the final. It didn't matter how well you did in the other races as long as you stayed in.

A Nielsen/Gundersen final was by no means a cert for Hans, even if Erik had to go through eliminators to get there.

For example, Nielsen gets through every ride with a first or second. Gundersen has a bad night, scrapes through an eliminator due to another rider being excluded. Makes the final. Wins it. Gundersen gets more GP points the Nielsen.

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1 hour ago, Grachan said:

I think it would have depended on the format. I've always felt that the old Knock Out system in the GPs would have suited Gundersen more than Nielsen. On a system of race points I think Nielsen would have dominated, but in the KOs I think Gundersen would have had an edge because he just needed to scrape through to the final and then win it.

I think Nielsen may have made more finals across the season, but a shame we never got to find out!

As a counter-argument, the KO system actually seemed to suit Nielsen.  Riding in just one league in Poland, I think Hans started to have less of a competitive edge, that started to show in 1996 and especially into 1997.  But the introduction of the KO system seemed to suit him down to the ground:

1997 (20 heats plus finals) 7th

1998 (KO) 4th

1999 (KO) 3rd

I think, despite his hallmark consistency, Hans always had the ability to raise himself for a big ride. Once his consistency started a bit to fade in the late 90s at the very end of his career, it's that ability that kept him at the sharp end of the standings in 1998 and 1999.

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9 minutes ago, Grachan said:

Oh, definitely. But to win the meeting you had to win the final. It didn't matter how well you did in the other races as long as you stayed in.

A Nielsen/Gundersen final was by no means a cert for Hans, even if Erik had to go through eliminators to get there.

For example, Nielsen gets through every ride with a first or second. Gundersen has a bad night, scrapes through an eliminator due to another rider being excluded. Makes the final. Wins it. Gundersen gets more GP points the Nielsen.

Is it just a coincidence but in world final run-offs, Gundersen rode two, won two, Nielsen rode three lost three.

And in head-to heads in World Finals, Gundersen beat Nielsen 8-3.

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, falcace said:

Is it just a coincidence but in world final run-offs, Gundersen rode two, won two, Nielsen rode three lost three.

And in head-to heads in World Finals, Gundersen beat Nielsen 8-3.

Those stats are true.

It's also true that Nielsen was 6-3 against Hamill in 1996, including 3-0 in finals. 

But a Grand Prix series has always been about consistency, and Hans wasn't riding in enough meetings by 1996 to maintain that consistency. Billy reached more finals (and had a helping hand from Greg) and became World Champion.

I think almost every season (whichever format) has been won by the rider who made most finals.  Reaching the final is more important than winning it.

Edited by lucifer sam

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