Clicking into gear
Fit-again Tomasz Gollob can still snare this year's Speedway Grand Prix title, says Kelvin Tatum.
Last Updated: 10/08/12 2:14pm
Tomasz Gollob won the Speedway Grand Prix in 2010 but he has been up and down so far this season.
The Pole picked up a nasty knock whilst riding in the Swedish League for Hammarby a couple of months ago now and hasn't shown much form since.
Concussion is a strange thing and it can take several weeks for you to be back to full health and perhaps Gollob should have taken a lengthier break from racing.
However, he made the final of the Croatia Grand Prix last time out and has previous in the Italian Grand Prix, winning it in 2010 and 2011, so he will be raring to in Terenzano.
A win or a high-placed finish will put Gollob back into contention for the Grand Prix title; he lies fifth in the standings at present, 20 points behind leader Greg Hancock, but that is not an irretrievable deficit.
Gollob is a proven performer and has done some incredible things in the past, and with a Grand Prix in Poland to come you can't write him off completely, even if it is a bit of a long shot.
Denmark won the Speedway World Cup last month and not only was that a huge boost for the nation, but also for their rider Nicki Pedersen.
He is a confidence guy and that success has reignited his form, emphasised by his victory in the Croatia Grand Prix on a track where he has had a desperate record in the past.
Pedersen is fit, pumped up and the only man to win two Grands Prix so far this season.
He has moved up to second place in the standings and if he gets some consistent scores he will really challenge Hancock - though you can still say that about a lot of guys.
When Pedersen won the Grand Prix series in 2007 he picked up a lot of race wins. That hasn't been the case for anyone this term, though, and the title is still anybody's.
Nicolas Covatti is the wildcard entry for this meet and and has done well to get there, having edged out the like of Hans Andersen and Martin Smolinski in qualifying.
This is a big chance for the youngster and if he can perform on such a big stage he will grab people's attention and who knows where that might lead.
The Italian looks set to join Elite League side Birmingham, too, so he will want a strong display to show what he is capable of and to endear himself to Brummies fans.
Terenzano is a tricky track; it is big and has very long straights and relatively tight corners. There is no banking and the course is very flat, while the race is contested on an unusual surface - a white, loose powder that can run very slick.
I think Andreas Jonsson will cope best with the conditions to win his first Grand Prix of the season; he is improving and is always much better in the second half of a campaign.