Speedway Grand Prix: Jarek Hampel won on home soil in Poland
By Graeme Bailey - Tweet me: @graemebailey. Last Updated: 16/06/13 8:11pm
Polish star Jarek Hampel won the Gorzow FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland, but Britain's Tai Woffinden was the undoubted hero of the night.
Hampel, who after winning the opening GP of the season in New Zealand has endured a disappointing campaign, bounced back to form with victory at the wonderful Edward Jancarz Stadium.
Despite Hampel's win - the man on everyone's lips was Woffinden, who just two weeks after shattering his collarbone at Cardiff in the British GP, raced through the pain-barrier to reach the final where he finished third, just behind world champion Chris Holder in second.
Indeed Hampel and Woffinden only just scraped into the semi-finals, finishing in the final two qualifying spots with the brilliant Brit winning his final two races to book his place in the top-eight.
World championship leader Emil Sayfutdinov and Niels-Kristian Iversen dominated the qualifying stages, and both had first choices in their respective semi-finals - but surprisingly both missed out.
Sayfutdinov was knocked out as Woffinden - who had last pick - gated off the outside and won a brilliant race ahead of Greg Hancock with Andreas Jonsson also going out in fourth.
Iversen, who like Sayfutdinov, chose red - was left at the gate as Hampel rode a brilliant race to win it with Holder just holding out home favourite Krzysztof Kasprzak - who was distraught not to make the final on his home shale.
The final saw Woffinden picking blue, deciding against following Sayfutdinov and Iversen in picking the inside gate, for the final - but it was not to be a fairytale ending for the Brit as he missed the gate and could only claim third on the podium.
But Woffinden was more than happy with his efforts as he trails leader Sayfutdinov by just 11 points in the world championship standings.
"It was a great night over all, it was a tough for me but I dug deep and did the job I needed to do, but tonight is about Jarek," said Woffinden.
"I just wanted to stay in second place which worked."
Home favourite Hampel was delighted to get back into world title reckoning as he moved into fourth, two points behind Holder in third and seven off Woffinden.
"It was a really tough night and I could not do anything at the beginning, but I just tried to do my best job and I did it," said Hampel.
Whilst Hampel enjoyed a great night, ex-world champion Tomasz Gollob looked a shadow of his former self as he claimed just four points.
Nicki Pedersen also lost ground on the title contenders as he failed to make the latter stages, as did much fancied wild card Bartosz Zmarzlik - who made the final at Gorzow 12 months ago.