Speedway World Cup Race Off Preview 2013

grid speedwayWith events one and two out of the way all focus is now on the Race Off and which nation will fill the last remaining place in Saturdays World Cup Final. Seeded Czech Republic, Poland and Denmark make up three of the final places, leaving Australia, Great Britain, Latvia and United States of America to battle it out Thursday night.

Great Britain team manager Neil Middleditch has decided to make two team changes for the race off bringing in Ben Barker and Lewis Bridger in place of Craig Cook and Edward Kennett. Both riders struggled in event two scoring just five points between them.

Tai Woffinden will be hoping to produce a similar performance to his grand prix win at the Marketa Stadium in May this year. Woffinden also set the current track record around the 353 metre  track of 62.33 seconds on the same night.

Bringing in Barker and Bridger adds more firepower to the team and better starting ability. Bridger has been riding exceptionally for ZKS Row Rybnik. Ben Barker has also endured an outstanding few months with Elite League side Birmingham rarely scoring less that double figures both home and away.

It is rumoured that Australian team manager Mark Lemon is also making team changes reportedly replacing Davey Watt with either Cameron Woodward or Dakota North.

Australia have made the World Cup final three times out of the last four years all of which they have won a silver medal. In comparison, Team GB have only made the final once in the last four years finishing fourth in 2010 behind Poland, Denmark and Sweden correspondingly.

Latvia and the United States of America are surprise inclusions in Thursdays Race Off after seeing off heavily depleted Russia and Sweden teams in events one and two respectively. However their hard work and team effort in reaching the Race Off means that they do not have to qualify for the World Cup next year.

Both Latvia and USA are going to name the same teams for the Race Off as their events. With this, it looks set to be a two horsed race between Australia and GB for the last place in the final. It should also be an exciting contest between Latvia and USA for the minor places in most heats.