The Speedway Grand Prix circus pitched its big top in Prague on Saturday for the round seven of the ten GPs that will decide on who will become world champion in 2003. And could things be more finely poised at the head of the standings - two joint leaders, the third placed man one behind and a few others within striking distance.

Whoever emerges as standings leader on Saturday night will have something of a psychological advantage heading in to the final two rounds and with the stakes being raised with each race the action is sure to be "no holds barred".

Leigh Adams and Nicki Pedersen enter the arena as joint leaders - a fine performance from Adams in Gothenburg last week sending him there while a below par showing from Pedersen lost him ground but he is still in with major chances. Adams goes about his business in a steady, consistent style and more of the same tomorrow could see him take a leap towards becoming the first Australian world champion for half a century.

But will five time champ. Tony Rickardsson have anything to say about that. He was well away from his best form in Gothenburg but lies just a single point off the pace. Rickardsson is more then capable of bouncing back and taking things by the scruff of the neck again as he peruses that record equalling sixth title.

Jason Crump has suffered some misfortune in recent rounds - running out of fuel and blowing an engine - at crucial moments but remains a major contender. He's just eight points off Adams and Pedersen so has every chance to make up ground. Former champ. Greg Hancock is another with live chances.

And still within striking distance is Ryan Sullivan - the only man to win two GP this season. A repetition of his success in Gothenburg will see him further climb the standings after seemingly being well out of contention not that long ago.

So, plenty of riders in with big chances and big incentives to wind it on at the Marketa stadium as a truly open world title chase begins to build to a conclusion filled with permutations and possibilities. And with the low score from Rickardsson in the last round he has to start from the early qualification stages and without the comfort blanket of a "free" first ride to size things up. How crucial could that be in the final reckoning?

Current championship standings
Leigh Adams 96
Nicki Pedersen 96
Tony Rickardsson 95
Jason Crump 88
Greg Hancock 82
Ryan Sullivan 79
Scott Nicholls 70
Tomasz Gollob 67
Rune Holta 61
Lukas Dryml 58
Tomasz Bajerski 46
Andreas Jonsson 40
Piotr Protasiewicz 38
Mikael Max 37
Jason Lyons 22
Todd Wiltshire 21
Bjarne Pedersen 21
Lee Richardson 20
Peter Karlsson 20
Hans Andersen 18
Mark Loram 16
Krzysztof Cegielski 15
Bohumil Brehel 15
Ronni Pedersen 14
David Howe 8
Peter Ljung 7
Roman Povazhny 6
Matej Zagar 5
Izak Santej 4
Sebastian Ulamek 4
Charlie Gjedde 4
David Ruud 4
Robert Dados 3
Rafal Kurmanski 3
Simon Stead 3
Sandor Tihanyi 2
Joonas Kylmakorpi 2
Chris Harris 1
Denis Stojs 1
Magnus Zetterstrom 1
Jesper B Jensen 1

 

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