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British world champions ratings list

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17 hours ago, norbold said:

Maybe because winning three World Championships in the Grand Prix era is seen as a greater achievement than winning one in the old one-off days.

Do you think it is a greater achievement Norbold ? personally i believe they are two different disiplines and winning either way both are great achievements in there own right.Going back to Collins he rode in an era where you had two superstars ( ie) Mauger and Olsen who were both capable of dominating a decade PC broke that to an exstent and along with Michanek (class) made that period in speedway very  strong.Afterwards came along a young Lee and who knows what Tommy Jansson might  of achieved ? a future champion no doubt about that.

Edited by Sidney the robin

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It's hard to compare the one-off final and Grand Prix eras but I think Tai winning three Grand Prix world titles puts him at the top of my list. I'm not sure that either of the PC's would have won three Grand Prix titles and Price and Williams were Wembley riders when the final was held on their home track. Neither were that dominant in league racing. When Tommy won in 1949 he was 8th in the league averages and Freddie was 14th in the averages in 1950 and 7th in 1953. There is an argument for suggesting that neither would have been World Champion if the final had been held elsewhere. My list would be 

1. Tai Woffinden

2. Peter Craven

3. Peter Collins

4. Michael Lee

5. Mark Loram

6. Freddie Williams

7. Gary Havelock

8. Tommy Price

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It is quite eye opening, looking back at 1950-51 to see how often Williams away from Wembley was fairly average. 

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5 hours ago, Sidney the robin said:

Going back to Collins he rode in an era where you had two superstars ( ie) Mauger and Olsen who were both capable of dominating a decade PC broke that to an exstent a

And to play Devil's Advocate, Ole Olsen was (unluckily) absent when PC won his one world title and Mauger suffered an engine failure that put him out of the running. 

Now, I wouldn't for a minute pretend PC was anything but a deserving champ..of course he was. But I wouldn't pretend that the riders of yesteryear were better than today. Guys like Collins, Lee, Mauger, Michanek, Olsen have all existed in our consciousness as speedway legends for 40 years. Woffinden for a mere five years tops, so it's very easy to fall into the trap of lauding the old heroes above the new. 

Like some other posters, I see in Woffinden a guy who (despite this year) has all the tools at his disposal. The magic PC could conjure on a bike is also well with Woffinden's range...and he's proved it against the rest of the world's best. Enjoy him while you can...he's a once in a generation rider.

Edited by falcace
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And while we are at it....a nerdy fact for you...

What do the World Final wins of England's Peter Collins, Mike Lee and Gary Havelock all have in common?

Answer: none featured the defending champion

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4 hours ago, falcace said:

And to play Devil's Advocate, Ole Olsen was (unluckily) absent when PC won his one world title and Mauger suffered an engine failure that put him out of the running. 

Now, I wouldn't for a minute pretend PC was anything but a deserving champ..of course he was. But I wouldn't pretend that the riders of yesteryear were better than today. Guys like Collins, Lee, Mauger, Michanek, Olsen have all existed in our consciousness as speedway legends for 40 years. Woffinden for a mere five years tops, so it's very easy to fall into the trap of lauding the old heroes above the new. 

Like some other posters, I see in Woffinden a guy who (despite this year) has all the tools at his disposal. The magic PC could conjure on a bike is also well with Woffinden's range...and he's proved it against the rest of the world's best. Enjoy him while you can...he's a once in a generation rider.

 

4 hours ago, falcace said:

And while we are at it....a nerdy fact for you...

What do the World Final wins of England's Peter Collins, Mike Lee and Gary Havelock all have in common?

Answer: none featured the defending champion

Do you believe this era is better than the one i described ??? i think you have given me my answer.Like you i have seen a

alot of these riders over the years i watch Doyle regular and enjoy his skill immensely and Woffinden is a great rider but  compared to some of yesteryear riders  Woffinden is no way top of my list.

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5 hours ago, falcace said:

And to play Devil's Advocate, Ole Olsen was (unluckily) absent when PC won his one world title and Mauger suffered an engine failure that put him out of the running. 

Now, I wouldn't for a minute pretend PC was anything but a deserving champ..of course he was. But I wouldn't pretend that the riders of yesteryear were better than today. Guys like Collins, Lee, Mauger, Michanek, Olsen have all existed in our consciousness as speedway legends for 40 years. Woffinden for a mere five years tops, so it's very easy to fall into the trap of lauding the old heroes above the new. 

Like some other posters, I see in Woffinden a guy who (despite this year) has all the tools at his disposal. The magic PC could conjure on a bike is also well with Woffinden's range...and he's proved it against the rest of the world's best. Enjoy him while you can...he's a once in a generation rider.

Enjoy him?? it is a pity that he  only rides for England when it suits him and when was the last time he rode in the Benevolent fund meeting? Great rider for HIS time but i cannot compare him to both the PC s .

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20 minutes ago, Sidney the robin said:

 

Do you believe this era is better than the one i described ??? i think you have given me my answer.Like you i have seen a

alot of these riders over the years i watch Doyle regular and enjoy his skill immensely and Woffinden is a great rider but  compared to some of yesteryear riders  Woffinden is no way top of my list.

I believe there is no notable - and certainly no provable - difference in the quality of top riders across eras. Woffinden, Doyle, Hancock, Zmarzlik are all superbly skilled riders and in no way inferior to the leading lights of the 70s.

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13 minutes ago, Sidney the robin said:

Enjoy him?? it is a pity that he  only rides for England when it suits him and when was the last time he rode in the Benevolent fund meeting? Great rider for HIS time but i cannot compare him to both the PC s .

You think Peter Collins wouldn't take exactly the same approach as Tai Woffinden? He knew his worth and the price of a pint, there's no doubt about that. His rich pickings were in England and on the German long track scene and that's what he prioritised. And when he didn't fancy the British scene in 1981 or riding for England in 1985 he opted out. 

If they were riding today, do you think PC, Mauger, Olsen and Lee would stick with the British League with bigger bucks in Poland and Sweden available? No chance. They followed the money then and they would do it again today and good luck to them, its a dangerous and short career. 

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6 minutes ago, falcace said:

I believe there is no notable - and certainly no provable - difference in the quality of top riders across eras. Woffinden, Doyle, Hancock, Zmarzlik are all superbly skilled riders and in no way inferior to the leading lights of the 70s.

Certainly think the likes of Crump, Gollob, Nicki, Emil, Woffinden and of course Hancock would be too riders in any era. Hancock has actually proved the point to a great extent by being a top rider in what could be called a few ‘eras’

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The British World Champions have shown differing degrees of dominance in their title winning seasons.  Looking back at the records of some of the champions from overseas, riders such as Young, Moore, Fundin, Briggs, Mauger and Michanek rarely seemed to be beaten in any meeting when they were at their peak.  The figures from official meetings, (league and cup, including bonus points), individual meetings and world championship meetings, excluding best pairs and challenge matches, show the following for the British champions from 1949 to 1962:

1949 Tommy Price - from 250 rides, possible points 750, points scored 557, success rate 74.5%
1950 Freddie Williams - 203 rides, 609 possible points, points scored 432, success rate 70.9%
1953 Freddie Williams - 221 rides, 663 possible points, points scored 506, success rate 76.3%
1955 Peter Craven - 177 rides, 531 possible points, points scored 409, success rate 77.0%
1962 Peter Craven - 178 rides, 534 possible points, points scored 448, success rate 83.9%

Peter Craven rode off a handicap in team matches in 1962.

 

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3 hours ago, Sidney the robin said:

Great rider for HIS time but i cannot compare him to both the PC s .

You can - but you refuse to.

Like another forum member who refuses to accept a dual-World Champ as a top rider merely because he retired mid-season...

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8 hours ago, falcace said:

I believe there is no notable - and certainly no provable - difference in the quality of top riders across eras. Woffinden, Doyle, Hancock, Zmarzlik are all superbly skilled riders and in no way inferior to the leading lights of the 70s.

I agree with that and this is how it is hard to compare because those riders apart from Hancock have only rode in a GPS series.Personally the way the series is now I believe to win three world titles on a one off night was harder than winning three in the series just my point of view.

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4 hours ago, chunky said:

You can - but you refuse to.

Like another forum member who refuses to accept a dual-World Champ as a top rider merely because he retired mid-season...

I except him admire him but his overall commitment to England puts him behind Craven and Collins.

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39 minutes ago, Sidney the robin said:

I except him admire him but his overall commitment to England puts him behind Craven and Collins.

Commitment to England, age, tattoos, charity work, literacy, vegetarianism, mid-season retirement, sexual orientation, or whatever... NONE of those factors have any relevance when determining the ability and achievements of a speedway rider.

Edited by chunky
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