Hunter rider Jason Doyle needs only a handful of points at the Australian Speedway Grand Prix to claim his maiden world title.
Novocastrian Doyle’s championship lead was cut to 14 after Polish rival Patryk Dudek kept the series alive with victory in his home grand prix at Torun on the weekend.
Dydek scored 18 points, but Doyle’s 10 points from two heat wins, a second place and two thirds including a semi-final against Dydek means he needs just five points from Melbourne on October 28 to be become the first Hunter rider to claim the world crown.
Doyle’s 2016 title challenge ended at Torun when he was badly injured in a spectacular fall in the penultimate grand prix of last season. He was leading the standings at that point.
His consistency this season has been the key to his accumulation of a what should be an unbeatable lead.
His only grand prix win was at the Czech GP in June but he has made nine finals from the 11 races he has competed in.
In 2016 before Doyle’s GP challenge ended he had won four grand prix and made six finals. He averaged an amazing 13.67 a meeting in 2016, compared with this year’s 12.91.
Ahead of Saturday’s GP Doyle told Fairfax Media: “It's world championships so it's easy to score low points, but it's a fine line between having a good and bad night. I just need stay safe and get as many points as possible.”
“My friends and family know how much it will mean to me,” Doyle said of winning the world title..
“And also how much last year’s heart break was a hard pill to swallow. It was a long six months after nearly killing myself in Poland in Torun.
“My friends and family are just happy I am in the GPS doing well. And my wife Emily needs a medal herself, she has put up with the battles of a professional motorbike rider and it's not an easy job I tell you that.”