Monday, April 2


World champion Greg Hancock got his 2011 title defense off to the best possible start at the opening round of this year’s World Speedway Grand Prix championship at Auckland’s Western Springs Speedway on Saturday night.

In front of a capacity crowd of over 20,000 the American picked up where he left off in Gorzow in Poland in October last year, beating world No.3 Jaroslaw Hampel, Danish star Nicki Pedersen and Aussie favourite Jason Crump in the final.

The result means that the 41-year-old American is four points clear of Hampel at the top of the SGP standings after taking 22 points out of a possible 24 at Western Springs.

For his part Hampel completed an impressive turnaround to bag the silver medal after starting his night with two third places.

Pedersen, meanwhile, worked wonders just to reach the rostrum after crashing hard in heat 16. Having taken a heavy blow to the head and twisted his ankle he was delighted to leave Auckland with 13 points.