Australia’s Speedway Grand Prix representatives, Jason Doyle and Chris Holder have started their World Championship campaign in the best possible fashion, finishing second and third in the opener in Krsko, Slovenia.
Doyle struggled in the opening heats before fighting back to make the final, whilst Holder – who was celebrating his father Mick’s birthday – was on the mark from the very beginning.
The event was won by Dane Peter Kildemand who leads the Championship by a solitary point over Holder and Doyle in third a further point behind his countryman. Defending World Champion, Tai Woffinden finished fourth in the final.
Doyle was ecstatic with his result after a slow start.
“In my first two heats, I didn’t think I was even going to make the semis. I was struggling. I just tried to get some points. I thought I was going to go back to the van and have a good cry! But that’s speedway. One minute you’re down; the next minute you’re in the final.
“Speedway switches like that. You get on another bike and think you can beat the world. We just started building the points up, made the semi and I got second. I’m happy.”
Holder – who is using 2016 as a springboard back to the top – was encouraged by his performance and heads to the next round on May 14 full of confidence.
“I’m really happy to get a lot of points,” said the 2012 World Champion. “You’d rather be on top than behind and chasing the boys. To leave here with some good points and in the top five feels good. I’m looking forward to the next one already and hopefully I can build on that.”
“To walk away on the podium and with a few points in the bag, I’m pretty relieved and that gives me more motivation to keep going.”
The next round will be at the PGE National Stadium in Warsaw, Poland on May 14.
FIM SPEEDWAY WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 1 Peter Kildemand 15, 2 Chris Holder 14, 3 Jason Doyle 13, 4 Tai Woffinden 10, 5 Greg Hancock 10, 6 Nicki Pedersen 10, 7 Maciej Janowski 10, 8 Antonio Lindback 10, 9 Niels-Kristian Iversen 8, 10 Bartosz Zmarzlik 8, 11 Piotr Pawlicki 8, 12 Fredrik Lindgren 7, 13 Andreas Jonsson 6, 14 Matej Zagar 4, 15 Chris Harris 3, 16 Denis Stojs 1, 17 Nick Skorja 1.