Hancock Champion, Chris Holder Round 11 winner at SGP

Greg Hancock needed only two points to clinch the Speedway GP Championship and took them first race of the night

Words and images by Marc Jones

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Greg Hancock

After ten rounds, at the Speedway GP of Melbourne it seemed inevitable that four-time World Champion Greg Hancock would take out his fifth championship.

Grey Hancock took the Championship win early in the night, and was forced to later retire.
Greg Hancock took the Championship win early in the night, and was forced to later retire.

Needing only two points to secure the win, Hancock didn’t leave the crowd wondering, taking the win in his opening race and securing the Championship early in the night.

Tai Woffinden
Tai Woffinden

The podium race was still up for grab with former series leader Jason Doyle out after sustaining serious injuries at the previous round in Poland.

Chris Holder chasing down Greg Hancock before he retired.
Chris Holder chasing down Greg Hancock before he withdrew.

It was left to Tai Woffinden, Bartosz Zmarzlik, and Chris Holder to duke it out. From the get go, Woffinden and Holder set out to take a stranglehold on the podium spots.

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Chris Holder

Holder seemed almost unstoppable through the heats while Woffinden remained steady taking three wins, as well as Zmarzlik who crept through the heats almost unnoticed.

Aussie Max Fricke
Aussie Max Fricke

After a racing incident earlier in the night, Greg Hancock withdrew from the event giving Australian young guns Sam Masters, Max Fricke and Jack Holder a chance to prove themselves on the world stage.

Sam Masters
Sam Masters

Both Masters and Holder managed second place finishes in the heats and at one stage, both riders ran out front of the pack gaining valuable experience for their future careers in the sport.

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2016 Speedway GP Finals – Melbourne Rnd 11

The finals left the best of the best fighting for the GP win, and for some their first of the season.

Antonio Lindback
Antonio Lindback

In semi-final 1 Antonio Lindback returned after a crash earlier on in the night to take the win ahead of championship contender Bartosz Zmarzlik.

Tai Woffinden, Chris Holder
Tai Woffinden, Chris Holder

This left Holder and Woffinden to battle out for the final two spots in the final in semi final 2. After running wide on the first turn, Holder slingshot himself into the lead and never looked back, taking the win in style ahead of Woffinden.

Bartosz Zmarzlik
Bartosz Zmarzlik

Woffinden had secured a podium finish, but for Holder, he needed to not only win but for Bartosz Zmarzlik to finish fourth for him to steal the podium finish in the championship standings.

Michael Jensen leads Chris Holder into turn one
Michael Jensen leads Chris Holder into turn one

Holder did everything he could, grabbing the lead early and running away from the pack. Woffinden hunted him down but couldn’t match the pace of his fellow countrymen.

Antonio Lindback
Antonio Lindback

Unfortunately for Holder, Bartosz Zmarzlik proved too good for Lindback and secured a championship podium spot with a third-place finish. For Holder, it was his first overall of the season and he finished the series fourth overall.

Tai Woffinden
Tai Woffinden

Woffinden couldn’t defend his championship but once again finished second, for the second time in his young career. Bartosz Zmarzlik’s impressive second half of the season gifted him with the third place spot in the championship.

Chris Holder, overall Round 11 SGP winner.
Chris Holder, overall Round 11 SGP winner.
QBE INSURANCE AUSTRALIAN SGP SCORES
  1. Chris Holder 17
  2. Tai Woffinden 15
  3. Bartosz Zmarzlik 15
  4. Antonio Lindback 14
  5. Niels-Kristian Iversen 12
  6. Matej Zagar 11
  7. Michael Jepsen Jensen 10
  8. Piotr Pawlicki 8
  9. Andreas Jonsson 6
  10. Fredrik Lindgren 6
  11. Greg Hancock 5
  12. Maciej Janowski 5
  13. Peter Kildemand 4
  14. Chris Harris 4
  15. Jack Holder 2
  16. Sam Masters 2
  17. Brady Kurtz 2
  18. Max Fricke 0.
Tai Woffinden took second overall for Round 11.
Tai Woffinden took second overall for Round 11
Bartosz Zmarzlik took third overall for the round, a point ahead of Antonio Lindback
Bartosz Zmarzlik took third overall for the round, a point ahead of Antonio Lindback
Greg Hancock 2016 SGP World Champion
Greg Hancock 2016 SGP World Champion
FIM Speedway World Championship 2016 Final Standings - Greg Hancock 139 - Tai Woffinden 130 - Bartosz Zmarzlik 128
FIM Speedway World Championship 2016 Final Standings – Greg Hancock 139 – Tai Woffinden 130 – Bartosz Zmarzlik 128
FINAL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
  1. Greg Hancock 139
  2. Tai Woffinden 130
  3. Bartosz Zmarzlik 128
  4. Chris Holder 126
  5. Jason Doyle 123
  6. Piotr Pawlicki 99
  7. Antonio Lindback 93
  8. Niels-Kristian Iversen 91
  9. Matej Zagar 90
  10. Maciej Janowski 90
  11. Fredrik Lindgren 88
  12. Peter Kildemand 68
  13. Nicki Pedersen 62
  14. Andreas Jonsson 52
  15. Chris Harris 40
  16. Michael Jepsen Jensen 31
  17. Patryk Dudek 8,
  18. Martin Smolinski 8
  19. Pawel Przedpelski 8
  20. Danny King 7
Chris Holder was fourth overall in the Championship standings, just two points behind Zmarzlik who had the final podium placing.
Aussie Chris Holder was fourth overall in the Championship standings, just two points behind Zmarzlik who had the final podium placing.
Jack Holder took two points in the round standings for 15th
Jack Holder took two points in the round standings for 15th
Sam Masters also took two points for the round to finish 16th.
Sam Masters also took two points for the round to finish 16th.