The Grand Prix Season
Luck also plays a significant part in the determining of the grand prix champion, even though you would think it would even itself out over a long series. I cannot remember how many times I have mentioned Jason Crump and black cats in the same sentence over the past few years in grand prix copy, but for him not to have won the title thus far is a travesty.
With gate positions being massively influential on most tracks, the lottery of backing short-priced runners is there for all to see as the draws for the semi-finals and finals are done randomly. A rider could have ridden brilliantly but then get drawn in gate three, from which no winner has come from all night. He bows out while the guy he has beaten three times that night spawns the inside gate in both semi-final and final and emerges as the winner. Is it fair? Does luck even itself out?
Someone once told me it doesn't matter whether you are a good punter or a bad punter, what's important is that you are a lucky punter. I think it is probably the same if you are a grand prix speedway rider.
However, before you decide never to have another speedway grand prix bet again, here are a few things I look for. Some riders really struggle on one-off tracks - Tomasz Gollob springs to mind. Others are practically unbeatable around a particular circuit - Gollob at Bydgoscz, for instance. How has a rider gone at this track in the past? How does he go on similar tracks? Is he in form? Is it a track which is hard to win on if you are not seeded through to the latter stages? Is the rider fully fit? Is it the wrong price? These are some of the thought processes I use.