Jason Crump won his second successive Grand Prix in Sweden on Saturday to cement his lead at the top of the 2006 World Championship table.
Crump had to admit second best to Greg Hancock in the qualifying heats, the American going through his five races unbeaten, but in the Final, as in the previous round in Wroclaw, Poland, Crump prevailed. "Jason seems to save his best for the last race," admitted Hancock afterwards, but he was still delighted with another outstanding performance.
"I think I am riding better than for a long time," said Hancock, "and there is still a long way to go." Crump dropped two points in the qualifying heats and had choice of gates in his semi but he could not find a way past Denmark's Nicki Pedersen.
In the Final, however, the battling Pedersen, winner of the first Grand Prix this year in Slovenia, found himself bunched out on the first corner and he had to be content with fourth place.
It was enough to keep him in second place overall, now 15 points behind Crump, with Hancock a further ten in arrears.
Gollob, twice on the rostrum this year, admitted that his switch from Jawas to GM paid dividends tonight.
Hosts Sweden failed to have a rider in the final though Andreas Jonsson was a little unlucky to be excluded after a first bend fall in his semi.
Defending World Champion Tony Rickardsson again looked a pale shadow of his former self, though he did experience mechanical failures.
Leigh Adams again reached the semis but couldn't go one step further and although sixth he is already a long way behind fellow Aussie Crump.
England's Scott Nicholls and Lee Richardson again had bitterly disappointing nights. Nicholls was excluded for touching the tapes in his first outing, and never recovered, while Richardson failed to score from five heats.
Crump, who was excluded from three of his five races at Cardiff a year ago, admitted that he was looking forward to returning to the Millennium Stadium. "It is an awesome night and, hopefully, I will have more than a couple of rides this time," he said.
FIM Workz Grand Prix of Sweden:
J.Crump (Australia) 25, G.Hancock (USA) 20, T.Gollob (Poland) 18, N.Pedersen (Denmark) 16, L.Adams (Australia) 11, A.Jonsson (Sweden) 10, J.Hampel (Poland) 8, B.Pedersen I(Denmark) 7, F.Lindgren (Sweden) 7, A.Lindback (Sweden) 6, S.Nicholls (Great Britain) 5, T.Rickardsson (Sweden) 4, N.Kristian Iversen (Denmark) 4, M.Zagar (Slovenia) 4, P.Protasiewicz (Poland) 3, L.Richardson (Great Britain) 0.
Overall standings: J.Crump 70, N.Pedersen 55, G.Hancock 45, T.Gollob 45, M.Zagar 31, L.Adams 28, J.Hampel 28, T.Rickardsson 26, A.Jonsson 23, S.Nicholls 23, B.Pedersen 18, A.Lindback 17, L.Richardson 12, N.Kristian Iversen 12, P.Protasiewicz 7, F.Lindgren 7, K.Kasprzak 6, M.Ferjan 3.