NGK-sponsored Speedway star Greg Hancock is on the verge of winning his fourth world title after a crash ended rival and fellow NGK stablemate Jason Doyle’s title challenge.
Doyle has confirmed he won’t race in the season’s final Grand Prix in Australia following a crash at the Polish SGP which saw him suffer a punctured left lung, a badly traumatised right lung, dislocated left shoulder and shattered right elbow.
Greg Hancock (left) is just three points from becoming World Speedway champion for the fourth time following the accident involving Jason Doyle (centre) and Chris Harris (right). Photo: courtesy of Speedway GP
The 31-year-old Australian went into the Torun SGP with a five-point lead at the top of the World Championship, but he crashed out in his first ride in a spill with Britain’s Chris Harris, who is also sponsored by NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd.
His absence allowed Hancock (46) to establish an 11-point lead in the standings with 134 points overall and the American is now just three points – or a race win – away from guaranteeing his fourth World title, with third-placed defending champion Britain’s Tai Woffinden on 115.
Doyle remains second on 123, but mathematically still has a chance of claiming a silver or bronze medal, with Bartosz Zmarzlik, of Poland, fourth on 113 and fellow Australian Chris Holder fifth on 109.
Posting on his Facebook page, Doyle insisted he had to put his health first, with a 24-hour trip Down Under inadvisable due to his lung concerns.
He said: “I would like to let everyone know first-hand from me that sadly I have to withdraw from the Melbourne GP.
“I am unable to fly due to my lungs and have to wait for surgery on my elbow once my lungs are healed.
“I would like to again thank everyone for their kind messages. I have got time to read them all! I will concentrate on my health and recovery to be ready for 2017.”
NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd Marketing Manager Mark Hallam said: “It is a great shame that Jason’s fantastic season has been curtailed in such a manner and we wish him a speedy recovery. The stage is obviously now set for Greg to secure his fourth World title which would be an amazing achievement.”
The final SGP of the season will be held at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium on Saturday, October 22.
For more information on NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd and its products and services, please visit the website www.ngkntk.co.uk Also you can check out its new blogzine at ngktorque.com