RIDER REVIEW: JASON DOYLE
SGP Rider Review looks back at the FIM Speedway Grand Prix class of 2016. Today we feature Aussie ace Jason Doyle.
After a career blighted by injury setbacks on his way to the top of the sport, few riders have experienced speedway’s highs and lows like Doyley.
And his 2016 season was a rollercoaster ride he’ll never forget as he soared within touching distance of becoming world champion, only to be denied in the cruellest possible manner.
JD started his campaign with a second-place finish at the Slovenian SGP in Krsko onb April 30, before stumbling short of the semi-finals in Warsaw and Horsens.
But the ride of his life began in Prague on June 25, when he stormed past American great Greg Hancock to win the Czech SGP – his first FIM Speedway Grand Prix victory. With his father and sister over from Australia, it was the perfect night for the Doyle family.
A useful 12 points followed in Cardiff, before Hancock repaid Doyle for his Czech charge by overhauling the Newcastle-born racer in the final to win the Swedish SGP in Malilla on August 14.
This minor disappointment was the spur Doyley needed to kick into the form of his career as he took the World Championship race by the scruff of the neck.
After arguably the greatest FIM Speedway Grand Prix final of all time with Tai Woffinden in Gorzow on August 27, Doyle was back on top of the rostrum.
He repeated the trick in Teterow on September 10 and Stockholm on September 24 to become the first rider to win four rounds in a season since Greg Hancock in 2011. This put him five points clear at the World Championship summit. Sadly for Doyle, he also became the first rider to top the box four times and not become world champion.
An horrific crash at the Torun SGP on October 1 left him with a dislocated shoulder, shattered elbow, broken ribs, a punctured lung and a distressed lung.
His season was over and he could only watch from his hospital bed as Hancock took the gold, while he slipped to fifth place in the final standings.
But Doyle has shown typical resolve, dignity and determination in his battle to get back to full fitness. And it would be no surprise if the man who targeted a top-eight finish this year ends up racing for the sport’s top prize again.
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- 22/04: RIDER ROUND-UP: MATEJ ZAGAR
- 21/04: PAWLICKI: MORE TO COME
- 20/04: FIVE FACTS: TAI WOFFINDEN
- 19/04: MAGIC: READY TO ROCK AND ROLL
- 18/04: "DON'T WORRY, RELAX & HAVE A GOOD TIME!"
- 18/04: SGP PREVIEW: KRSKO
- 17/04: FIVE FACTS: BARTOSZ ZMARZLIK
- 16/04: ZAGAR BOOSTED BY BIG FINISH
- 15/04: RIDER ROUND-UP: PATRYK DUDEK