The FIM Speedway World Championship moved past the halfway stage on Saturday in Cardiff, and with six races left, there’s only three points separating the top three riders. It is the tightest battle between the podium occupiers in years and should make for a thrilling end to the season.
Jason Doyle heads the standings on 78 points, with Polish duo Patryk Dudek and Maciej Janowski in second and third on 75 points.
With six races to go, we run the rule over the leading trio…
The man atop the standings for the next two weeks at the very least, Doyle has been in imperious form this season.
Known for his fearless riding, incredible speed and often short temperament, the Aussie rider has stormed to the top of the standings thanks to five podiums and one overall victory from the six race meetings so far.
There was a worry for the Swindon Robins star on Saturday, though, who, still recovering from a recent foot injury, was captured by cameras walking down the tunnel on crutches following a crash.
Doyle defied the odds to sneak into the semi-final and eventually the final where he picked up an extra four points on his championship rivals.
We still reckon the Aussie ace has what it takes to win the competition and price him up accordingly at 6/4.
A relative unknown when the season kicked off in late April, 25-year-old Dudek has taken the speedway world by storm.
The Polish rider has climbed to third in the overall standings despite never having claimed top spot at an individual grand prix meeting.
In fact Dudek, who rides in his native country for Falubaz Zielona Góra, is competing in his first full season of Speedway Grand Prix.
The 2013 Rookie of the Year has stolen the show this year and produced some fearless riding to eclipse two-time champion Tai Woffinden and legend Greg Hancock in the standings.
Dudek picked up a further 10 points at the British Grand Prix on Saturday to move on to 75 points with six meetings remaining.
We make him a handy 7/2 chance to lift the crown in October.
The second Polish rider vying for his maiden title is Maciej Janowski.
With two straight grand prix victories under his belt, Janowski is in the form of his life heading into the second half of the season.
His 17-point haul in Cardiff at the weekend puts him firmly in the picture heading to the next race in Sweden in two weeks’ time.
The 25-year-old has not won at any of the remaining tracks, but crucially does have a great deal more experience than his championship rivals.
Whether he can maintain his current streak remains to be seen, but it would take a brave man to oppose the form horse (powered) favourite at a relatively lengthy 9/2.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing