It's the culmination of the tightest world speedway championship race in the Viking Ship stadium, Hamar, Norway on Saturday night. After eight rounds of fluctuating fortune, four riders can be crowned 2003 champions - but only one of them will be. Jason Crump, Nicki Pedersen and Tony Rickardsson are the three principals split by one and eleven points respectively. Leigh Adams does have still a mathematical chance.

At first glance it's a straight fight between Crump and Pedersen with whoever finishes ahead of the other on the night snatching that crown - and their first world championship - but five time champion Rickardsson can still claim that record equalling sixth title if he wins in Hamar and the pretenders both have an off-night.

Rickardsson knows all about off-nights as he had one in Poland a couple of weeks ago while Crump and Pedersen went on to slug it out in the Grand Final. Rickardsson also knows his chances are not totally gone and nothing short of 25 gp points will do.

The real big pressure is on Crump and Pedersen. Can they cope or will they crack. The first signs of which one it might be should come in heat number 10 when they line up at the tapes in adjacent starting positions and race for nothing more than a gate position next time out - however don't underestimate the significance of the psychological advantage. The mind games will be starting early.

So take your pick - Crump, Pedersen, Rickardsson or Adams. Everything else is pretty much a side-show.

Current championship standing
Jason Crump 133
Nicki Pedersen 132
Tony Rickardsson 121
Leigh Adams 118
Tomasz Gollob 100
Greg Hancock 96
Scott Nicholls 89
Ryan Sullivan 87
Rune Holta 85
Andreas Jonsson 60
Lukas Dryml 58
Piotr Protasiewicz 58
Mikael Max 49
Tomasz Bajerski 49
Lee Richardson 38
Hans Andersen 35
Bjarne Pedersen 33
Mark Loram 27
Todd Wiltshire 27
Peter Karlsson 26
Bo Brhel 25
Jason Lyons 25
Krzysztof Cegielski 15
Ronni Pedersen 15
Tomas Topinka 13
Jarek Hampel 13
David Howe 8
Peter Ljung 7
Roman Povazhny 6
Matej Zagar 5
David Ruud 4
Sebastian Ulamek 4
Izak Santej 4
Charlie Gjedde 4
Robert Dados 3
Rafal Kurmanski 3
Ales Dryml 3
Simon Stead 3
Sandor Tihanyi 2
Joonas Kylmakorpi 2
Rafal Szombierski 2
Chris Harris 1
Denis Stojs 1
Josef Franc 1
Magnus Zetterstrom 1
Jesper Jensen 1.

 

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