Swindon skipper Jason Doyle heads to Torun this weekend as an SGB Premiership winner – and now with a shot at sealing his first World title.
Doyle led the Carpets4Less Robins to glory with an inspirational performance in Wednesday’s Grand Final second leg at Wolverhampton.
He reeled off four wins in his first four rides at Monmore before securing the vital 3-3 in Heat 15 with Nick Morris which clinched a one-point aggregate win.
It was the Robins’ first league title since 2012, a season in which Doyle was in the team but missed out on racing in the Final due to injury.
Now he goes into Saturday’s penultimate Grand Prix of the campaign with a 22-point lead over Patryk Dudek – an even better position than in 2016 when a serious crash at the Polish venue denied him the crown.
Doyle said: “We were underdogs going into Wednesday, we had nothing to lose, the same as Wolves at Swindon on Monday.
“But we’ve been copping criticism all year when things haven’t been going good, and this is for all the fans who stuck by us.
“We got dealt a bad card at the start of the year with my average being way over the top, but fair play to Rosco and the club for sticking by me.
“The team have done a great job especially since Tobi (Musielak) came in, and we deserved it. It’s great for the club, the fans, and the riders who’ve all worked very hard this season.
“I apologise for my own form as well, trying to ride ‘safe’, and the results have been a bit up and down as I said on Monday.
“But we all came back so strongly on Wednesday. There was a lot of belief, but we always knew coming to Wolves was going to be difficult. I’m absolutely stoked that it happened.”
Robins had trailed Wolverhampton 15-27 after a disastrous opening seven races of the first leg, before giving themselves a glimmer of hope by cutting the gap back to four points.
But that was back up to eight after Heat 7 at Monmore – before huge 5-1s from Adam Ellis and Bradley Wilson-Dean in Heat 8, and then from Doyle and Morris in Heat 13, took them into the last race with a title chance.
Doyle added: “The pressure was on in Heat 15, it was a bit nerve-wracking especially off gate three, it was going to be a very hard one.
“But we knew our jobs against two boys who are both very good around Wolves. Me and Nick knew what we had to do, and we’re over the moon.”