SPEEDWAY, Tai ready for Riga

REIGNING champion Tai Woffinden relaunches his bid to defend his world speedway crown this weekend – and he insists he’s ready for the challenge.

British ace Woffinden leads the title race by a slender three-point margin ahead ofUSA icon Greg Hancock.And Woffinden insists it’s not a two-horse race with Darcy Ward and Niels-Kristian Iversen 15 and 16-points behind him respectively.Wolverhampton, Wroclaw and Vetlanda man Woffinden heads to the Bikernieku Sport Complex, Riga, for the Rietumu Bank Latvian FIM Speedway Grand Prix in good shape.He said: “It’s good to be back after the World Cup break and basically the series is down to five rounds to decide the title.“I’m just so pleased to be in this position after the poor start I made to the series. I left myself with a lot of work to do after Bydgoszcz in April so it’s a real bonus that I lead the championship.“Obviously I have all the experience of last year to fall back on, that was a high pressure situation and it was tough, but we managed to get there in the end.“I’m feeling pretty good, I’m also feeling pretty relaxed about it without actually becoming complacent because the other guys are shooting for me.”And Woffinden admits he is loving battling for the title with Hancock, the 44-year-old Californian who has never missed a GP since the series was launched in 1995.

“Greg is a remarkable guy and full credit to him,” he said. “I have massive respect for what he’s doing, in fact all the guys do.“I couldn’t think of anyone better to be battling for the world championship with, he’s on such great form and he will keep us all on our toes.“But guys like Darcy and Niels won’t give up – there’s five rounds to go and a lot of points available.“It’s a temporary track in Riga and I’m looking forward to seeing a new venue again, I just hope I can make starts and get the points I need.”