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GP rounds 3 and 4 Wroclaw Fri/Sat 30th/31st July live on BT Sport

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1 hour ago, chunky said:

My point is that not only did it suit British speedway, British speedway fans "expected" it. Everyone was up in arms when it went to Malmo.

The thing to remember is that the world is a mess right now - and probably will be for a while to come. Would you just like to see one GP held in Poland?

As a speedway supporter, I want to see a lot of speedway. If most of it happens to take place on Poland, then so be it. They have the best riders, the best league, the best tracks, the best stadia, the best fans, and the most money...

At least we are getting a full season.

In addition, think about it; people on here complain about meetings taking too long. Would I want to travel across Europe and back for 90 minutes action? Hell, I drove to Berwick for that, and I flew to Glasgow for that! Having a full weekend really adds incentive, and gives much greater value. I'm not saying every GP should be a two-day affair, but were I still in the UK, I would be all over them...

It devalues the competition for me, 6 is too many, it's over half of the GP's, 3 should probably be the maximum in my opinion. I think any national or international competition should be run on neutral tracks, it devalues it for me when Somerset kept winning the pairs, Peterborough kept winning the 4's and Cov riders kept winning the British Championship.

They're already holding GP's in Denmark, Sweden, Czech Republic, Poland & Russia to hold 6 in one country is almost farcical in my opinion (as a World Championship). 

If you're going to hold double headers, they should all be double headers, not just the ones in Poland (and Czech Republic), just doesn't seem very fair to me.

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When virtually all the GP riders are based in Poland riding for Polish teams it sort of negates a “home” track advantage, and therefore does it matter in times of this pandemic that most of the gp’s are in a country where the riders can actually get to a gp meeting. If things take a turn for the worse, COVID wise, it could be the Danish, Swedish, Russian meetings could well be cancelled. So at least we get a world championship over more then one meeting.

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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, OveFundinFan said:

When virtually all the GP riders are based in Poland riding for Polish teams it sort of negates a “home” track advantage, and therefore does it matter in times of this pandemic that most of the gp’s are in a country where the riders can actually get to a gp meeting. If things take a turn for the worse, COVID wise, it could be the Danish, Swedish, Russian meetings could well be cancelled. So at least we get a world championship over more then one meeting.

It's not just home track advantage though, a lot of the Poles will have done many more laps around their own tracks than, until recently, fly in foreigners. But then there's also other factors like home crowd, language, food, just general familiar surroundings etc.

To me it does matter, the odds are stacked in the Polish riders favour, it's just not a level playing field. 6 rounds in an 11 round World Championship is too many for me. 

There's a reason why home teams usually win in most team sports and especially in Speedway.

Edited by iainb
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, iainb said:

To me it does matter, the odds are stacked in the Polish riders favour

Jusr like the odds used to be stacked in the British-based riders' favour (but that was okay, wasn't it?)... The difference now is that everybody is used to riding on the tracks, and as OveFundinFan says, it negates any home advantage. Like he also says (and like I said previously), if it gives us a full season of GP's, then just be happy and make the most of it!

Edited by chunky

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, chunky said:

Jusr like the odds used to be stacked in the British-based riders' favour (but that was okay, wasn't it?)... The difference now is that everybody is used to riding on the tracks, and as OveFundinFan says, it negates any home advantage. Like he also says (and like I said previously), if it gives us a full season of GP's, then just be happy and make the most of it!

No that wasn't OK, not when it was being held on a riders' home track (when Wembley were riding in the league for example), but with a one-off world final attracting a crowd of around 100,000 people you wouldn't be holding it at Cradley Heath would you? The GP's are a different matter, they were introduced (rightly imo) to find the best rider over the course of a season on a variety of tracks to be staged in a variety of countries. Like I said it's not just about tracks it's also about environments, surroundings and crowds.

Why do you think all of the double headers are in (or near) to Poland? Partly down to the crowd numbers and economics but also so the riders can be riding Ekstraliga the next day. I don't mind a double header, in fact I've been quite enjoying them, all I'm saying is to be holding over half of the events in a "World Championship" in 1 country is just not fair to the riders. Why not hold all 11 rounds at 1 track? Gorzow? Wroclaw? Torun? Just how many GP's in 1 country is too many for you?

For me this years and last years World Championships will always have an * by them.

In the mean time I will continue to enjoy them for what they are as they do provide great entertainment and the Speedway is generally a cut above anything you'll see anywhere else.

Edited by iainb

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But it is only the last 2 years that we have had 6 gps in one country.......why is that....... the common denominator is Covid. Hopefully its temporary, and pandemic allowing it will be back to normal next year. 

Its the same in Moto GP, Spain seems to be taking a lot of GPs at the moment, even though Spain is still being hit badly even today by Covid. They also have double headers, but with a week in between (same as F1). During that week race teams isolalte as a team, They have to remain in their team mobile accommodation units at the track for a whole week. Tough, but that is whats happening in the sports world to be able to continue this year and last year,

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2 hours ago, iainb said:

No that wasn't OK, not when it was being held on a riders' home track (when Wembley were riding in the league for example), but with a one-off world final attracting a crowd of around 100,000 people you wouldn't be holding it at Cradley Heath would you? The GP's are a different matter, they were introduced (rightly imo) to find the best rider over the course of a season on a variety of tracks to be staged in a variety of countries. Like I said it's not just about tracks it's also about environments, surroundings and crowds.

Why do you think all of the double headers are in (or near) to Poland? Partly down to the crowd numbers and economics but also so the riders can be riding Ekstraliga the next day. I don't mind a double header, in fact I've been quite enjoying them, all I'm saying is to be holding over half of the events in a "World Championship" in 1 country is just not fair to the riders. Why not hold all 11 rounds at 1 track? Gorzow? Wroclaw? Torun? Just how many GP's in 1 country is too many for you?

For me this years and last years World Championships will always have an * by them.

In the mean time I will continue to enjoy them for what they are as they do provide great entertainment and the Speedway is generally a cut above anything you'll see anywhere else.

Whilst it is strange to have all these meetings in Poland, it is worth remembering that Poland is probably the only country in the World these days where speedway actually means anything. Also, all the top riders ride there. So I don't think having so many rounds in Poland devalues it in terms of whether or not the rider who wins is a legitimate champion. I think all the riders in the GP ride in Poland.

I went to 5 world finals in England - 3 were won by a Dane, one by an American and one by a Swede. None of them English, but all rode for English teams at the time.

The one time I saw an English rider win a World Final was in Poland.

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5 minutes ago, Grachan said:

Whilst it is strange to have all these meetings in Poland, it is worth remembering that Poland is probably the only country in the World these days where speedway actually means anything. Also, all the top riders ride there. So I don't think having so many rounds in Poland devalues it in terms of whether or not the rider who wins is a legitimate champion. I think all the riders in the GP ride in Poland.

I went to 5 world finals in England - 3 were won by a Dane, one by an American and one by a Swede. None of them English, but all rode for English teams at the time.

The one time I saw an English rider win a World Final was in Poland.

At the moment I would think most of the GP riders live in Poland anyway. They will be doing that because thats where the money is and if Covid goes up in Sweden and self isolating kicks in they are pretty secure in Poland to continue earning.

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1 hour ago, Grachan said:

Whilst it is strange to have all these meetings in Poland, it is worth remembering that Poland is probably the only country in the World these days where speedway actually means anything. Also, all the top riders ride there. So I don't think having so many rounds in Poland devalues it in terms of whether or not the rider who wins is a legitimate champion. I think all the riders in the GP ride in Poland.

I went to 5 world finals in England - 3 were won by a Dane, one by an American and one by a Swede. None of them English, but all rode for English teams at the time.

The one time I saw an English rider win a World Final was in Poland.

Not sure which one you're referring to there PC in '76 or Havvy in '92?

Either way it's not really a true comparison, pre GP the "Continentals" always had a far easier progression to the World Final be it Continental Final (76) or World Semi-Final (92) and I'm sure had there been internet forums back then it surely would have been a hot topic of debate.

It is almost an impossible comparison to make... but I'll have a go. Would PC or Havvy have won their world championships if 4 of the British Semi-Final, British Final, Commonwealth Final, Overseas Final, Intercontinental Final/World Semi Final & World Final rounds been held in Poland with Polish riders (just for the sake of comparison)... possibly not

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9 minutes ago, iainb said:

Not sure which one you're referring to there PC in '76 or Havvy in '92?

Either way it's not really a true comparison, pre GP the "Continentals" always had a far easier progression to the World Final be it Continental Final (76) or World Semi-Final (92) and I'm sure had there been internet forums back then it surely would have been a hot topic of debate.

It is almost an impossible comparison to make... but I'll have a go. Would PC or Havvy have won their world championships if 4 of the British Semi-Final, British Final, Commonwealth Final, Overseas Final, Intercontinental Final/World Semi Final & World Final rounds been held in Poland with Polish riders (just for the sake of comparison)... possibly not

 Ever saw Harvey ride, butt I was there in 1976 when PC won. I am positive he could beat all the Poles on their tracks, he did that day. 
And I not sure the “Continentals” always had a far easier progression to the world final. The fifties and sixties were tough for them, then in the fifties, when only the likes of Fundin and Nygren rode for English teams, they had to race on Wembley track which was smaller and tighter then what they were used to.

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32 minutes ago, iainb said:

Not sure which one you're referring to there PC in '76 or Havvy in '92?

Either way it's not really a true comparison, pre GP the "Continentals" always had a far easier progression to the World Final be it Continental Final (76) or World Semi-Final (92) and I'm sure had there been internet forums back then it surely would have been a hot topic of debate.

It is almost an impossible comparison to make... but I'll have a go. Would PC or Havvy have won their world championships if 4 of the British Semi-Final, British Final, Commonwealth Final, Overseas Final, Intercontinental Final/World Semi Final & World Final rounds been held in Poland with Polish riders (just for the sake of comparison)... possibly not

It was PC, and I reckon he would have gone through those rounds even if they'd been in Poland, and that's without being a regular in the country. He did, after all, win the final so there's no reason why he shouldn't.

Speedway was much more a global sport in those days though. At the moment it's a Polish one, with Sweden and Britain as bit players. (Possibly Russia too? Not sure how popular it is there.)

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14 minutes ago, iainb said:

Not sure which one you're referring to there PC in '76 or Havvy in '92?

Either way it's not really a true comparison, pre GP the "Continentals" always had a far easier progression to the World Final be it Continental Final (76) or World Semi-Final (92) and I'm sure had there been internet forums back then it surely would have been a hot topic of debate.

It is almost an impossible comparison to make... but I'll have a go. Would PC or Havvy have won their world championships if 4 of the British Semi-Final, British Final, Commonwealth Final, Overseas Final, Intercontinental Final/World Semi Final & World Final rounds been held in Poland with Polish riders (just for the sake of comparison)... possibly not

In PC's case. almost certainly. He was head and shoulders the best rider in 1976 and Poland's wide tracks suited him perfectly. A year later (injured) he top scored in the WTC in Wroclaw and a year before (1975) he scored 17 and 18 in two test matches in Poland. Whilst not quite as dominant, Havelock was brilliant all year in 1992. They won because they were the best. Just as Zmarzlik and the rest are doing now. You could make a case if these were unfamiliar tracks to the non-Poles, but they are not.

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3 hours ago, OveFundinFan said:

 Ever saw Harvey ride, butt I was there in 1976 when PC won. I am positive he could beat all the Poles on their tracks, he did that day. 
And I not sure the “Continentals” always had a far easier progression to the world final. The fifties and sixties were tough for them, then in the fifties, when only the likes of Fundin and Nygren rode for English teams, they had to race on Wembley track which was smaller and tighter then what they were used to.

Havvy's qualifying route: Cradley Heath, Coventry, Kings Lynn, Coventry, Bradford, Final in Wroclaw

Didn't even have to leave these shores to qualify for the final

3 hours ago, Grachan said:

It was PC, and I reckon he would have gone through those rounds even if they'd been in Poland, and that's without being a regular in the country. He did, after all, win the final so there's no reason why he shouldn't.

Speedway was much more a global sport in those days though. At the moment it's a Polish one, with Sweden and Britain as bit players. (Possibly Russia too? Not sure how popular it is there.)

Maybe a different comparison would have been... would Jerzy Szczakiel have won in 1973 if the final hadn't been held at Chorzow, or Egon Muller in 1983 if the final wasn't at Norden?

3 hours ago, falcace said:

In PC's case. almost certainly. He was head and shoulders the best rider in 1976 and Poland's wide tracks suited him perfectly. A year later (injured) he top scored in the WTC in Wroclaw and a year before (1975) he scored 17 and 18 in two test matches in Poland. Whilst not quite as dominant, Havelock was brilliant all year in 1992. They won because they were the best. Just as Zmarzlik and the rest are doing now. You could make a case if these were unfamiliar tracks to the non-Poles, but they are not.

PC's qualifying route: White City, Coventry, Wembley, Final in Chorzow... Maybe one of the easiest ever

For what it's worth I do think Havvy would have won regardless of where it was in 1992, it was certainly his year, can't comment on PC as I never really saw him in his prime.

As fun as these what ifs are I still think 6 out of 11 Grand Prix rounds in 1 country is too many, especially as they could have easily doubled up on all of them.

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37 minutes ago, iainb said:

Maybe a different comparison would have been... would Jerzy Szczakiel have won in 1973 if the final hadn't been held at Chorzow, or Egon Muller in 1983 if the final wasn't at Norden?

PC's qualifying route: White City, Coventry, Wembley, Final in Chorzow... Maybe one of the easiest ever

You're on safer ground with Muller and Szczakiel of course. I don't think anyone would question that they would never have won in another country or in a GP format. Both victories owed something to elements beyond their own ability, be it track preparation, mechanical, questionable officiating or team mate assistance....and the opposition being in unfamiliar territory. Can't really say that of the GPs.

When you list PC's route, it sounds straightforward. But it needs context. This was a time when the UK was the epicentre of world speedway. PC was no more at home than Mauger, Olsen, Crump and all the rest where...it was all of their bases and where they rode more than anywhere else...just as Poland is today.

I'd also add that in PC's route, three world finallists and WTC/World Pairs winners (Betts, Wilson, Jessup) were eliminated in the British Final and the two immediately previous World Champions (Olsen and Michanek) were eliminated at the Intercontinental Final. "Easy" is not a word many would use. It's rather more the opposite...you'd be hard pressed to find a more cut-throat World Championship qualifier ever than the 1976 Intercontinental Final with 8 eliminated in a deep field. 

Yes, we'd all like to see the GPs spread around a bit, but given COVID, we have a very credible series on tracks not unfamiliar to the whole field. 

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8 minutes ago, falcace said:

 Can't really say that of the GPs.

The other thing to remember is that the eventual World Finalists all had to take different routes with a different number of meetings. I think it was Olsen who only rode in one qualifying round (maybe two, I can't remember) before the World Final. They whole system these days - including the GP's themselves - is a lot more equitable for everyone.

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