Speedway: Champ Woffinden is no quitter

TAI Woffinden insists he never considered pulling out of Saturday’s Nordic FIM Speedway Grand Prix – despite failing to score in his opening two rides.

Woffinden was clearly in agony as he touched the tapes in his opening ride and crashed in his second.Riding with subluxed metacarpal joints (knuckles) and a broken bone in his left hand, he recovered notch a useful seven-point score in a meeting won by Swede Andreas Jonsson.

And with series leader Greg Hancock missing out through injury himself – for the first time in the competition’s history – Woffinden halved the legend’s advantage to seven.

“The pain was worth it,” he said defiantly. "My first race was a disaster, I moved and touched the tapes so I can have no complaints about the decision to exclude me and in my second ride I just didn't have the strength in the first turn. I never thought about quitting the meeting, though, I had to go for it.

"And thankfully things came good for me and I was able to see out the meeting - although Ideally I would have liked an extra point to get into the semi-finals!"

Having had time to reflect on the meeting back at his UK base, the Wolverhampton, Worclaw and Vetlanda man admitted he was pleased to see his title hopes still alive with two rounds to go.

He said: "I'm delighted, to be honest. The pain was bad, I felt it a lot and it was all about managing the situation, but to pick up a race win in a GP three weeks after a serious injury is something I'm pretty proud of."I've got another fortnight before the next round in Stockholm and there are now four or five of us in with a serious chance of winning the world title - and I'm one of them.

"I'm going to keep working hard every day before Stockholm, hopefully another fortnight will see some improvement in the injury again and I can kick on.”Woffinden has also had words of encouragement for SGP icon Hancock, who had raced in every Grand Prix until Saturday - right from the first in 1995.He said: "I'm wishing Greg well, he's a great guy and I sincerely hope he's back in Stockholm so we can race for the world championship."I'm thinking of ya, bro. Let's all get back on track and see who comes out with the gold medal. Bring it on."