Tomasz Gollob won the Polish Grand Prix in Bydgoszcz this evening with a spectacular display of brave speedway. Gollob's victory shoots him up to joint third in the standings but Tony Rickardsson's second place extended his overall lead to a dozen points from Ryan Sullivan. Mark Loram had his best GP for a long while with third place while Jason Crump matched his fourth place from Hamar.

Gollob did things mostly the hard way having to start from the early stages. He did have his customary 'blip' with a last place in heat thirteen but that apart, was on the pace, fast, spectacular and brave. Never the best out of the traps but one of the best at slicing through the field, Gollob required the latter attribute right from his first ride when cutting through from third to first.

He lined up in heat twenty-two needing at least a second place to go through to the semi-finals but that looked beyond him as he was slowly away and boxed in behind Leigh Adams and Mikael Karlsson. The wild Pole had other plans and used almost every part of the track to catch Karlsson and the important second place - which he got with an inside pass on the last lap just as the unlucky Karlsson lost a chain in the deep stuff and fell.

In his semi-final, Gollob somehow squeezed through the narrowest of gaps between an opponent and the air fence to blast his way in to the lead and in to the final, where he employed a similar brave move to shoot past Rickardsson, hold off the World Champion's determined challenge and send his army of fans on the Bydgoszcz terraces in to wild celebrations.

Rickardsson had looked his smooth, assured self all evening but couldn't match Gollob's speed and determination where it mattered most - in the final. But Rickardsson won't be losing too much sleep over it as his second place and 20 Grand Prix points extends his lead at the head of the standings to twelve points thanks to Crump's fourth place and Ryan Sullivan only getting as far as the semi-finals.

Mark Loram revelled in conditions chasing the dirt wider and wider looking for drive to have his first final appearance for a while and can be very pleased with his efforts. Andy Smith's night, his 36th birthday, got off to a bad start as his machine failed as the tapes rose plunging the birthday boy straight in to an elimination heat and his customary early bath.

Instead, recovered well to make the main event for the first time in his long Grand Prix career with an astounding cut back under the entire field through the first couple of turns in heat twelve after missing the gate to power in to the lead down the straight and win the heat. He tried a carbon copy in heat eighteen and took the lead again but didn't have the speed to hold being passed by Andreas Jonsson and Gollob which ended 'Smudger's' night on a high.

Leigh Adams again flattered to deceive looking sharp in progression to the semi-finals where he held second place which, had he held on to it, would have sent him to the final at the expense of Crump, but Crump wound his throttle open with a desperate last bend lunge and nicked second from Adams at the line.

Wild Card Piotr Protasiewicz had a productive meeting as did the Norwegian Rune Holta but the same can't be said for former champion Greg Hancock who was eliminated as early as heat eleven. How much is being frozen out of the Elite League affecting his form.

The remainder were little more than a supporting cast to the major players with Gollob emerging a well deserved winner. The series now moves on to Cardiff for the British Grand Prix on June 8th. Rickardsson won it last year and a repeat performance likely.

Polish Grand Prix result:

1. Tomasz Gollob
2. Tony Rickardsson
3. Mark Loram
4. Jason Crump

Scores from Poland:

T. Gollob 25
T. Rickardsson 20
M. Loram 18
J. Crump 16
L. Adams 13
R. Sullivan 13
R. Holta 11
B. Hamill 11
T. Wiltshire 8
A. Jonsson 8
M. Karlsson 7
P. Protasiewicz 7
A. Smith 6
S. Ulamek 6
C. Stonehewer 5
S. Nicholls 5
G. Hancock 4
N. Pedersen 4
N. Klingberg 3
K. Cegielski 3
J. Hampel 2
G. Walacek 2
M. Ferjan 1
L. Dryml 1

Overall standings after Poland:

T. Rickardsson 45
R. Sullivan 33
J. Crump 32
T. Gollob 32
M. Loram 26
L. Adams 26
M. Karlsson 25
B. Hamill 22
T. Wiltshire 19
C. Stonehewer 18
R. Holta 12
G. Hancock 12
A. Jonsson 11
A. Smith 10
G. Walacek 9
S. Ulamek 8
S. Nicholls 8
N. Klingberg 8
P. Protaciewicz 7
K. Cegielski 7
N. Pedersen 6
L. Dryml 6
K. Laukkanen 6
L. Gunnestad 6
J. Hampel 2
M. Ferjan 2