Terenzano, Italy. Second semi final of the Italian Speedway Grand Prix. On the inside in red, Chris Harris, on fire, only dropped a handful of points all night. Next to him in blue is Greg Hancock, the only rider to have raced in every single grand prix. In white was Hans Anderson, the underachiever of 2010, in battle to finish in the top 8 and automatic entry for the 2011 season. And on the outside, in yellow, Jaroslaw Hampel, second in the championship and chasing Tomasz Gollob.
The facts were simple, Hampel must finish in the top two or Gollob would win his first world title.
And off, tapes up, Greg Hancock storms in the lead, Harris second with Anderson and Hampel fighting out for third, Hampel gets by on the second bend. Its all action from then on in.
The Pole sets his sights on Harris, the golden prize, keep the title bid alive, runs wide to gain extra speed at the last turn, not good enough. Lap 2, Hampel gets speed down the back straight, just not enough, Harris defends inside line down 3 and 4 but Hampel still has the more speed, attacking right into lap 3.
Loses focus into turn 2, but catches back up to the Cornish rider soon enough, goes wide into the start finish straight, one lap, just one lap to determine the future of the 2010 Grand Prix Championship.
Wide gain at the start of lap 4 and then his best and last chance, down the back, gaining ground, and coming in for the move. Goes around the outside, Harris the inside. ‘Bomber’ looks to have got it and then the back steps out, advantage Hampel into the finishing line. Hancock wins, Hampel gains ground on Harris, they reach the finish line together, as one. Who’s second? Is Gollob world champion?
And the waiting begins. Tick tock. Race referee over viewing the two camera angles. Side on is too blurry, impossible to call, something that is pointless for anything faster than 5 mp/h. The blimp cam is clearer, but not going to give a call. Did Hampel have the advantage? Did Harris just do enough? Tick tock, tick tock.
A few minutes, still no clearer, a dead heat unavailabe, and then the graphic comes up. Tomasz Gollob – 2010 Speedway World Champion.
About time too, sixteen years of trying. 3rd in 1997, 1998, 2001 and 2008. 2nd in 1999 and 2009 and now 1st in 2010. Its taken its time, but he is there, eventually.
He ended up doing it in style, winning his fourth meeting of the season in Italy in what was an equally thrilling final as well. And he has deserved it as well, despite the seasonal challenge between Jaroslaw Hampel, and the late season push from Jason Crump as well.
The lad done good and all that, fantastic stuff and from a man who is all set to be turning 40 next season. Its showing the so called old dogs still have got it, and same with Greg Hancock, sure, someone who isn’t the same as he was a few seasons back, but still wins, as shown in Croatia. And in a way its a lesson, you can be good despite your age, you can win something, can’t you Michael Schumacher?
Well done Tomasz Gollob, and despite the fact I’d have loved to have seen the title go down to the wire. There is no doubt that Bydgoszcz will be rocking on October 9th.